Sowing seeds of success: Mahindra and Centum Foundation's stories of empowerment

Mahindra and Centum Foundation have served as the catalysts of change in the heart of our rural communities, where livelihoods are often affected by adversity. This dynamic partnership has been sowing the seeds of transformation and opening doors to many opportunities.

With the objective of #TogetherWeRise and to provide equal opportunities for women and youth of the rural section of society, the AFS CSR Team designed a unique CSR programme named “Livelihood through Farm Mechanisation”, which was launched in partnership with the NGO Centum Foundation in FY'22.

Discover the inspiring narratives of three individuals whose lives have been transformed by this programme.

Pullender, Buchinelly, Zaheerabad

Pullender, a 26-year-old resident of Buchinelly, faced many financial hardships as his parents, who are agricultural labourers, struggled to make ends meet for their family of six. Pullender had to leave his studies after the eighth standard, making it challenging for him to secure stable employment. With his parents ageing and unable to continue farming, the responsibility of supporting the family fell on him.

Fortunately, a ray of hope emerged through a scheme initiated by Mahindra and the Centum Foundation in their village. This scheme aimed to teach tractor driving to underprivileged youth, like Pullender, who aspired to learn the skill. He eagerly joined the programme and received comprehensive training, learning everything from driving and changing gears to handling a tractor and trolley.

Armed with newfound knowledge and a permanent tractor licence, Pullender began working as a tractor driver for others. Soon, he took the initiative to rent a tractor himself and offerhis services to farmers in the fields, earning a substantial income. With the financial stability he gained, he could provide for his family, including his daughter, parents, and wife, and even venture into transporting sugarcane to the factory.

Pullender credits his transformation and the happiness of his family to Mahindra and Centum Foundation. He acknowledges that their initiatives have positively impacted numerous lives in the village, especially those of women and the less educated.

Madhuri Moharle, Nagjhari, Hingna, Nagpur

Madhuri had dreamt of driving a tractor, despite facing scepticism from her family and societal norms. When the tractor training programme by Mahindra and Centum Foundation arrived in her village in November 2022, Madhuri saw an opportunity to fulfil her dream.

Overcoming initial fear and cultural barriers, Madhuri embraced the tractor training with her friends from the Self-Help Group (SHG). In just eight days, she learned tractor driving and gained confidence in her abilities. Inspired by the programme, Madhuri and her SHG friends decided to pool their resources and purchase a tractor for income generation.

With her newfound skills and empowerment, Madhuri convinced her group members to save and contribute towards their tractor business. Through dedication and commitment, they managed to collect INR 55,000. Soon, they will embark on their tractor venture, expecting to earn significantly more than their previous daily labour wages.

Grateful for the opportunities provided, Madhuri and her group extend their heartfelt thanks to Mahindra and the Centum Foundation for fostering positive change and empowerment through farm mechanisation.

Rohit Bonde, Pipaldhara, Nagpur

Rohit Bonde faced financial constraints that forced him to work as a labourer on other farmers' land for meagre earnings. Despite his dreams of continuing education, he remained devoted to caring for his family. When Mahindra and the Centum Foundation offered tractor training, Rohit saw a glimmer of hope. Initially hesitant, he seized the opportunity to learn tractor driving and technical maintenance, attending training in the morning while working in the fields during the day to earn his daily wage.

As the training progressed, Rohit’s outlook changed, and he became determined to become a tractor driver. With unwavering support from Centum staff and trainers, he successfully completed the programme. Today, Rohit works as a skilled tractor driver, earning INR 400 for five hours of work. He attributes his transformation and newfound confidence to the guidance and opportunities provided by Mahindra and the Centum Foundation, which have paved the way for a brighter future for him and his family.

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