The UN SDGs form a fundamental part of how STL conducts its business, as well as plans and implements its social impact programmes. At STL, our four focus areas – Women Empowerment, Healthcare, Education and Environment form part of India’s development priorities and are also important global goals.
While working with communities for over a decade, we have incorporated learnings to develop more inclusive, tech-driven and sustainable programmes. Community involvement and ownership have been significant contributors to ensuring sustained behavioural change, while technology has helped enhance our reach across urban, semi-urban and rural India.
Through collective action and transformation enablement, even STL’s employees have been able to mobilise communities in a way that has ensured all inclusive progress and development. We have reached some of the country’s remotest villages.
Education for All
Quality education is fundamental to create sustainable growth and progressive communities. It is the most effective enabler that helps break inter-generational cycles of poverty. Education leads to an improved quality of life, equips individuals with knowledge and the capability required to make informed decisions. STL’s education programmes focus on leveraging connectivity and collaborations to ensure access to quality education and digital literacy across age-groups in urban, semi-urban and rural India.
With the pandemic-induced lockdown, while children in urban India quickly transitioned to online classes, the glaring digital divide prevented this for many children in rural and marginalized families. STL wanted to ensure that these children do not fall out the education ecosystem and hence initiated its Ed-tech programme that can operate irrespective of the pandemic situation.
By working closely with the local administration and government schools, the programme aims to benefit over 100,000 students annually across 300 schools in Aurangabad, Nandurbar and Silvassa (India) by improving their learning outcomes. The program ensures access to digital content in vernacular medium through Byjus and makes learning fun for them. To facilitate better delivery and optimize digital teaching techniques, teachers and school management, in addition to community volunteers are trained on these aspects.
STL, together with the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pune City Connect launched the Digital Empowerment programme for residents of Pune City slums. Aligned with the Digital Pune and Digital India Missions, the program promotes customized digital literacy programs for people from 14 years to 60 and above. It helps spread the need and importance of using the internet and digital devices available to youth, home-makers and individuals to learn, facilitate online transactions, earn their livelihood, as well as ease utility payments, banking and other aspects.
Each of STL’s interventions under Education have helped make quality instruction accessible even at places otherwise distanced due to their location, unavailability of transport facilities, good teachers and so on. They have also ensured that faculty are trained on latest methods of teaching, building their capabilities and helping them make the whole learning experience exciting. This has also guaranteed that capable students, irrespective of the financial backgrounds are not deprived of opportunities to grow and reach their full potential.
beneficiaries from low-income families benefitted through STL’s ed-tech programmes in FY22
education institutions covered in FY22
across age groups digitally empowered during FY22
Teachers trained on digital teaching techniques in FY22
Village across Aurangabad, Nandurbar and Silvassa covered in FY22
Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment
Women have the innate ability to bring about inter-generational change on account of their daily interactions at home and in their communities. However, even today women in rural India, despite their ambition to study, pursue a career or even work seldom have the freedom to do so. They are still considered homemakers. STL has hence been focussing on this area since 2008 to ensure women are empowered and guided to not just improve their livelihoods, but lead the change they would like to see in their communities through example.
Jeewan Jyoti Programme
Set up in Velhe, Maharashtra (India) in 2014, the Jeewan Jyoti Women Empowerment Programme aims at changing traditional patriarchal notions about the roles of women. While it started with equipping rural women in Pune with vocational skills in tailoring, fashion designing, computers, beauty culture and nursing, it has evolved by helping them drive progress and development for their communities and villages through self-help groups, setup up enterprises through facilitation of micro-financing, digital marketing and even design handicrafts for sale through a newly established production unit.
Through a holistic approach, which incorporates personality development, soft skills and interactions with city folk through mentoring sessions and excursions, these women are transformed into envoys of change. They are no longer just homemakers, but leaders and role models for the younger girls in their villages. Through their progress and ability to help their communities, they have even gone on to change the perception their elders have of working and independent women.
villagers benefitted through STL’s women empowerment programmes in FY22
INR 12.9 million
microfinancing facilitated during FY22
villages covered in rural Pune
self-help groups formed in FY22
Making Quality Healthcare Commonplace
Ensuring good health and wellbeing across all age groups is essential to build sustainable communities. It indirectly affects a community’s ability to enhance their livelihoods and contribute to achieving several other national and global goals. STL believes that access to quality healthcare should not be a privilege for a few who have the financial capability. It is a necessity and should reach every person irrespective of their financial or cultural background or where they live.
The Hybrid Healthcare Programme
To ensure some of the neediest communities in rural India have access to quality healthcare not just at their doorsteps, but anytime and anywhere, STL initiated an AI-telehealth-onsite hybrid healthcare programme. Covering over 200 villages across Aurangabad, Gadchiroli and Nandurbar (India), the programme aims to reduce the morbidity among the rural population in these regions through ongoing awareness and social behaviour change projects coupled with free onsite and teleconsultation, testing and medication.
In addition to this regular healthcare programme, STL has been undertaking several COVID-19 relief measures impacting over 100,000 lives across 20 locations in India. During the second wave of the pandemic, the programme extended support through a 24x7 free teleconsultation, doorstep testing and sample collection, screening for COVID-19, medication and home-care treatment for patients who tested positive. This is being done while the regular programme continues to support the over-burdened healthcare system by ensuring individuals with other morbidities than COVID-19 receive adequate care and timely treatment.
Healthcare even forms an integral part of our Women Empowerment and Volunteering initiatives. By providing communities with the means to guarantee their health and wellbeing, we have been ensuring that these remote and poorer sections of society are not left unattended right from 2006. Over the years, we have looked at ways to incorporate technology into our programmes, thereby bringing in better and more efficient ways to address hygiene and health issues among patients across different age groups and ensure their health and wellbeing.
lives benefitted through healthcare and COVID-19 relief work during FY22
Teleconsultations conducted in FY22
villages covered across Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Aurangabad, Silvassa and Pune in FY22
COVID-19 vaccinations facilated during FY22
Committed to a Cleaner & Greener Future for Communities
Climate change is today one of the world’s most pertinent problems. The vagaries caused by climate change not only have a devastating effect on human life, but also on a country’s economy, property, individual health, lead to scarcity of resources, hunger, famines and so on. However, despite the floods and rising sea level, another major result of climate change that is prevalent across the globe has been water scarcity and droughts inevitably leading to famines, loss of livelihoods, landholdings and increased indebtedness.
STL understands both these issues and has thus designed holistic programs that endeavour to bring about sustainable transformation through behavioural change. The community therefore features not as a beneficiary in our environment programs, but as an important partner. We work together with them to not only address environmental issues, but also related underlying problems that pose an impediment to progress.
The need to enhance the country’s green cover is undeniable. And we intend contributing to making that possible by undertaking 5 million plantations by 2025.
At Vetale village in Maharashtra, we are working to reforest 40 acres of barren land as well as restore the bio-diversity in this area through 9,000+ plantations. Specially constructed water harvesting structures, ensures sustainability of the programme by making available the necessary water source through the year.
Transformed into a lush green stretch across 1.4 kms on both sides of MIDC road from a garbage dump, the Green Belt at Waluj, Aurangabad continues to expand. During FY20, we continued to maintain the green belt taking the total plantations to over 11,000. We believe that every plant contributes to increasing the green cover in the region and helps in mitigating the harmful effects of industrialisation.
Holistic Water Programme
Together with World Bank’s Water Resources 2030 group, STL is looking to leverage wastewater treatment for afforestation and groundwater recharging, as well as promote water conservation in Aurangabad. The programme will ensure that villages in region do not face water scarcity even in drought conditions through sufficient water reserves to serve their agricultural and domestic requirements. To build in sustainability the programme is also working with the Government of Maharashtra through the Village Social Transformation Foundation to create more resilient rural communities by prioritizing women participation in the programme, community involvement and convergence with various administrative schemes.
Apart from these community programmes, we look for every opportunity to drive environmental related initiatives through our own operations, thereby exponentially enhancing the cumulative impact towards these global goals while at the same time setting the bar higher for what it means to operate responsibly.
lives benefitted through environment conservation programs in FY22
plantations done across Aurangabad and Vetale (Maharashtra, India) in FY22
Water harvesting, storage and groundwater replenishment structures built and redeveloped in FY22
Hectares of land brought under Micro-irrigation through convergence funds during the financial year
m3 water replenished across 8 villages in FY22
Creating a conscientious culture through volunteering
With the help of STL’s employees - its transformation enablers, we have been able to reach out further and wider than we could on our own. Our employee volunteers are examples of STL’s value system. Despite their busy schedules they have taken time to volunteer and spend time with those less fortunate showing them the world still cares.
Guiding youth to enable them make correct career choices, helping them build their networks and providing them with advise is just as crucial to ensuring access to quality education. At STL, our employees have played a pivotal role in making this possible. Through Saksham; our volunteering programme for the Jeewan Jyoti beneficiaries, employees in Pune, Maharashtra visit the programme site every two weeks for conducting mentoring sessions. These women are guided on soft skills, interviewing techniques, basic spoken English and public speaking among other topics. To provide such mentoring opportunities to employees across other locations within India and even overseas virtually, we have partnered with Goodera. Here, employees can mentor youth from financially disadvantaged families from the comfort of their homes as per their convenience using technology.
Spreading the Joy of Giving
Celebrated annually in October, Daan Utsav is akin to a ‘festival of giving’. Here, employees choose to fulfil a wish or wishes creating hope for a number of disadvantaged children. A month-long activity, Daan Utsav culminates with a visit to orphanages or homes for differently abled children and youth just before Diwali. Employees have over the past two years, joined in enthusiastically to play, sing and enjoy with these kids, making the festival a memorable one for them.
STL’s employees also volunteer through blood donations, tree plantations and even virtually during the pandemic. Units of blood donated have gone towards helping children with thalassemia, the needy and impoverished lead a healthier life.
Employee volunteered in FY22
Hours of volunteering clocked during the year
Jeewan Jyoti: Helping Rural Women Realize Their True Potential