Uplifting India

By on Apr 18, 2016 in Giving, People

The growing Yardi teams in Pune, Maharashtra, India have a heart for service. Their compassionate spirit is demonstrated in and out of the office. In Pune, their largest outreach initiative is the Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP).

The Yardi team began in 2006, providing funding support to 17 local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).  In 2014, the YVVP program focused on direct efforts in 10 urban communities near Pune. Together, the organizations work toward creating a brighter future for some of India’s most underserved neighborhoods.

Bharati Kotwal, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Yardi in Pune has been part of the program since its inception. Her passion for the community goes beyond her career with Yardi. For the past 15 years, Kotwal has volunteered to support the social and political empowerment of women and children.educational programs in pune, india

Kotwal observes, “[Underprivileged groups] lack opportunities and basic facilities like housing, sanitation, and access to quality education and health services.”

Kotwal continues, “The community outreach programs like YVVP are important to me because the wellbeing of urban poor communities is connected closely with wellbeing of society as a whole.”

Through YVVP, Kotwal and her team concentrate on several necessities including accessible education, improved hygiene and sanitation practices, and enhanced employment opportunities.


In Yamuna Nagar and Sangamwadi wards, many households lacked awareness of safe waste disposal practices or access to sanitary waste disposal receptacles. Improper waste disposal created unnecessary health risks. As a result, Yardi partnered with local NGO Shelter Associates to construct 250 individual toilets in the community.

In another impoverished area, the need exceeded the supply of individual toilets. Many people living in urban, poor communities of Pune do not have access to individual toilets and are dependent on Community Toilet Blocks (CTB). To clean and maintain the facilities, Yardi co-sponsored the purchase of cleaning and protective materials for caretakers and sanitary workers.

Yardi also mobilizes multiple stakeholders including caretakers, CTB users, relevant city government officers, elected representatives as well as community leaders to monitor cleanliness and proper usage of CTBs. The collaboration helps change the attitude of stakeholders towards maintenance of CTBs and taking ownership for sustainability. Currently, the team is maintaining 250 toilet blocks.

“Sanitation has an impact on the spread of infectious diseases and hence on general health and wellbeing,” says Kotwal. “Individual toilets and well-maintained CTBs also enhance safety of girls and women.”

To promote community involvement in problem solving, YVVP created a new waste management training program. In its first term, 25 women from Ramoshiwadi urban community were educated on household waste segregation and wet waste management. After training, 16 of those women continued to segregate waste at their house and they started composting wet waste.

The pilot project fostered greater acceptance for the program. The project grew significantly in 2015, leading to 475 households using wet waste management.health services pune, india


Basic health services are often not available in some of Pune’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. YVVP hosted a focus group of 50 women from various neighborhoods throughout Pune. The women and facilitators discussed and prioritized health concerns within their communities. Maternal and child health surfaced as a leading concern. As a result, healthcare services were provided to 120,000 women and children.

In 2015, YVVP conducted check-ups for maternal, child and adolescent health in four Pune wards. Medical professionals assisted as needed. Approximately 600 women and children benefited from the check-ups, which were organized in partnership with Integrated Child Development Services, PMC Health Department, Bharati Vidyapeeth Urban Health & Training Center, Tarachand Hospital, and The Rotary Club.

Vocational Training

Limited educational resources and job opportunities have led to high unemployment rates in Pune and its surrounding neighborhoods.

YVVP began to address the unemployment problem at its roots: education and opportunity. Needs assessments targeted school dropouts, the unemployed and unskilled youths of low-income households. In 2014, Yardi teams completed assessments of 530 young adults between 18 and 35 years of age.

After the research, YVVP contributed toward the cost of vocational training guidance. Nearly 280 young adults completed vocational training in 2015. Of that group, 92 women and youth have become entrepreneurs or received job placement.

The program is already changing lives. Kotwal recalls the story of Janabai, who had studied up to 10th standard and then moved from her village to Pune after marriage. To support her family, she started working as a maid, earning Rs. 2000 (about $30 US) per month. Janabai felt dissatisfied with the lack of dignity and creativity associated with the job.

“She enrolled for a beautician course through the YVVP initiative in vocational training. She completed the course with a good rank and was hired by a spa for a job which paid her Rs. 7000 per month. The additional income she is bringing in has improved the financial situation of the family,” says Kotwal.

YVVP also conducted Life Skills Education (LSE) courses for teens. Approximately 1,200 students from 13 middle and high schools received LSE. The programming is supplemented by career guidance sessions that help teens channel their knowledge and skills into professions. More than 166 students participated in career counseling.small businesses and entrepreneurs in Pune India

For younger children, YVVP financially supported literacy courses for 110 students from three PMC schools in Marathi. A similar program took place in 56 Pune schools to improve students’ reading and writing abilities.

In addition, the organizations initiated drop-out prevention measures, including home visits and counseling for school dropouts with participation from school teachers. More than 380 children from impoverished neighborhoods received sponsorship and tuition support to pursue education and improve their quality of life.

In coming years, YVVP seeks to expand its programming into neighboring wards. Click here to learn more about Yardi’s corporate philanthropy.