The CII Foundation (CIIF) works towards inclusive development by enabling effective and impactful collaborations between corporates, government, experts, civil society and communities. CIIF leverages CSR funds of companies to undertake sustainable and high impact social development projects in the areas of climate change resilience, women empowerment, disaster management and early childhood education.

Areas of Intervention

  • Climate Change Resilience
    • Cleaner Air, Better Life - A Crop Residue Management Initiative
    • Water Body Restoration
  • Women Empowerment
    • CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Disaster Management
    • Immediate Relief Efforts
    • Long term Rehab Interventions

Key Initiatives

Cleaner Air, Better Life

Air quality in various pockets across north India has declined rapidly over the last decade. Apart from various other factors, burning of crop residues in North Western states adds to the rise in air pollution in Delhi NCR.

To promote sustainable agricultural practice and mitigate the problem of crop residue burning, CII Foundation is implementing the Crop Residue Management Initiative in villages of Punjab and Haryana. Implemented with the support of numerous stakeholders, including Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab Pollution Control Board and Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Government of Punjab the initiative aims to make the adopted villages free from the practice of stubble burning.

Launched in 2018, CII Foundation undertook the pilot intervention in 19 villages and 16000 acres of farmland in Punjab, engaging over 3000 farmers. The impact of the intervention was encouraging. Post the intervention, 80% farmers adopted no stubble burning approach and a total of 12,000 acres of farmland (75% of the total area under paddy in the adopted villages) became free of stubble burning in 2018, compared to 550 acres (3.5% of farm land) in 2017. About 25,000 tonne of rice straw was recycled back into the soil under the project. This not only led to avoidance of environmental impacts on local, regional and global scales but also led to nutrient savings worth more than INR 1 crore and improved farme's resilience to adverse impacts of climate change due to water conservation, improved farm biodiversity, and resilience of crops to extreme climatic events.

These results make a strong case that the problem of stubble burning can be tackled while making the farming more sustainable and economically beneficial to farmers. Based on the findings and learnings of the pilot intervention, CII gave its recommendations to the PMO recently.

Encouraged by the inspiring response of pilot intervention, CIIF aims to expand the programme in a multi-stakeholder partnership to about 100 villages in 2019 across districts of Ludhiana, Barnala, Patiala and Sangrur in Punjab and Rohtak and Fatehabad in Haryana. The initiative is actively supported by Farmer Producer Organizations and Farmer Cooperatives. CIIF is adopting a multi-pronged approach to make the adopted villages free from the practice of stubble burning through field action, behaviour change communication & mass awareness, and research & knowledge management.

CII Foundation has partnered with a number of industry players such as Cummins, BPCL, Birlasoft, ONGC, Royal Enfield, ReNew Power, RAU Study Circle, CLP India, and the industry association Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to promote ground level action in Punjab and Haryana against the menace of stubble burning that is causing major environmental concern in the region.

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CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program

The CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program celebrates the indefatigable spirit of women leaders at the grassroots. The program is intended for last-mile grass-root level women, from either rural or urban resource-poor areas, who have excelled as social change leaders in specific chosen fields.

The Program identifies, recognizes, mentors, and amplifies exemplary women change makers from grassroots, who overcame grave personal challenges to create transformative work impacting communities and providing new paradigms for social development. These extraordinary women are 'nation-builders' in every way, driving progress and change in the fields of Education, Health, and Micro-Enterprise. Since its inception in 2005, CIIF has created a network of more than 80 women changemaker, who further reach out to more than 1 million beneficiaries every year.

Selected by an eminent panel from Industry and social sector, the women exemplars are shortlisted from hundreds of nominations received from various NGOs across the country. Every year, the Program identifies 15 women leaders from grassroots and works with them to increase scale and impact of their work. Three Exemplars receive a cash award of INR 3 lakhs at the CII Annual Session, in the presence of senior dignitaries and thought leaders from the government, business, media and civil society.

The Foundation continues to work with 15 Finalists to provide leadership trainings, mentorship, access to various platforms and resources and an opportunity to become part of an CIIF Woman Exemplar Network. CII Foundation facilitates and connects corporates and mentors with these women to forge meaningful partnerships aimed at increasing the scale and reach of the exemplary women.

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Early Childhood Education

The early years of a child's life are critical. These years determine a child's survival and thriving in life and lay the foundations for their learning and holistic development. Multiple researches have demonstrated that maximum brain development occurs between the ages of 0-5 and that quality early childhood education (ECE) is critical in determining a child's life outcomes in terms of health and income levels. Further evidence also links the importance of ECE to social returns such as lower crime rates and better citizenship.

While there has been a lot of focus on nutrition when it comes to Anganwadi Centers in India, there are few programs focusing on ensuring early learning. CIIF aims at engaging with diverse stakeholders - Government, corporates and NGOs to bring the focus on strengthening early childhood education. The Foundation is currently working in more than 67 Anganwadi centres in West Bengal and J&K.

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