Ambuja’s plants are primarily located in the rural interiors, in the vicinity of villages. One such village was Kukudsath, in the Chandrapur district. Just 2 years ago, there was widespread poverty and a lack of basic facilities here. Moved by the conditions, the Ambuja Cement Foundation tried to help the locals. However, their direct attempts were met with resistance.
But our people didn’t give up hope. They realised that to convince the villagers, they needed to show visible benefits of change. So they took the village elders on a visit to Patoda, a famed village. Patoda had earned the title of being a model village, with cleanliness and technology initiatives. This visit convinced the Kukudsath villagers of the need for improvement.
ACF could have taken on the entire burden of improving the village. But for lasting change, they needed the villagers to be active participants. ACF created a fund in which 50% was covered by the villagers themselves, the wealthier contributing more. Things rapidly turned around. In just a year the village was equipped with a RO plant, wastewater management, a school, a solar water heater, and CCTV cameras. Next they tackled social and health evils, such as tobacco usage, banning it entirely from the village. Today Kukudsath is a model village by itself and an inspiration to the country. It was the I Can spirit, shared equally by our people and the villagers, that made a complete transformation possible.