Innovation for Social Impact – WIN Newsletter  ​​    June, 2020 Vol.1 No.2    

Dear Friends, 

Welcome to this 2nd issue of the WIN Newsletter.

When we brought out the 1st newsletter, the Covid19 pandemic had very limited presence in India and we could not have then imagined the huge adversity it has created worldwide and in India. In India, it has brought about following:
  • Economic distress with severe adverse impact on  employment, livelihoods, industry and small businesses.
  • Migration of several millions of labour back to their villages and towns, and even return back for work, which has put further stress on the migrants as well as industry and businesses operations. Some of this reverse migration can have also a positive impact, if the home locations use skilled migrants for constructive work e.g. in water conservation structures, as some states are trying to do.
  • Social sector’s attention  and budgets have been majorly reoriented towards emergency and sustenance relief with likelihood of lower resources in the coming year for the other critical issues.
WIN Foundation’s chosen domains, (i) Water and Sanitation and (ii) Maternal and Child Health, have become even more relevant and critical. The coming onset of monsoon and new agricultural season again brings to fore the water conservation needs while the largescale dislocation, due to covid19, make mother and child nutrition a major focal point in health.
Our new initiatives in these domains, with our partners, include (i) nutrition through building community expertise and capacity, together with microentrepreneurship, (ii) water conservation in a new hydrogeological zone to prove extension of learnings from the PGWM project in Kutch, an arid region, (iii) support for innovative products introduction among poor communities for social impact through partnerships. 

Also in this issue, our Founder and Chairman, Mr. Chirag Patel, talks about his vision for WIN, stemming from his background, his sources of inspiration, success in industry and challenges for all of us in social impact space.

We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, and look forward to your feedback (email to info@winfoundations.org)  for this issue. We also invite contributory articles, case studies etc. for future issues.                                                                          
With Warm Regards

Paresh Vora
Director – India Operations
                    Interview with Mr. Chirag Patel                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Founder and Chairman, WIN Foundation
1. Can you tell us a little about your thinking and vision to focus on innovation and sustainability / scalability in social impact while establishing WIN Foundation? Also about WHEELS as partner?  
Over last several ye
ars, as we moved deeper into philanthropic activities, we clearly saw need for innovations which can drive much stronger impact, say at a 10x scale, and also be sustainable. Then we looked at how we can source the innovations, and WHEELS, formed by IIT Alumni across the world, was clearly best partner. WHEELS members have strong technology background, and have strong connect with IITs as well as Tech industry across the globe. We see this as a long term play, and hope to see such relationships bring substantial benefits for society.

2. What were the reasons to select the two domain areas: (i) Water and Sanitation and (ii) Maternal and Child Health? 
We saw very major challenges in these two highly inter-related domains, almost across the country. We felt that if we focus our energies in these two domains, we can achieve large and measurable impact. There is a huge scope for innovations and innovative approaches in these two domains, which we and our partners are continuously trying to take.
3. What are the major challenges you see for WIN Foundation to achieve its goals in next few years? 
The major challenge will be to identify the right innovations in technology, products, services and processes, to provide society benefits at a much higher scale. We will also need to identify and nurture, over time, the best teams and talent to plan and execute our programs, both inside WIN Foundation and through our partners.

 4. Please tell us little bit about growing up in India and then migrating to the US at age of 20? What and Who all have inspired you towards your work and achievements? 
While growing up in India, the hard realities for major sections of society does register very strongly on a subconscious mind. Later on, once I achieved success in industry in US, this translated into a strong conviction that it is everyone’s job to help tackle the challenges and not merely that of government. Observing a much higher level of public services and facilities in US, generated a desire that we should try to achieve the same in India as well.
Both of my paternal and maternal Grandfathers were social workers in their local communities and they were my major inspirations. Among the leaders, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, with his vision and work in bringing science and technology to solve common man’s problems, and Sardar Patel, in terms of his iron determination, courage and conviction in public life, have been strong beacons for me. Growing up near the Gandhi Ashram, Gandhiji’s message to industry promoters to act as trustees of their industry and wealth also had a deep impact on me. My father, through his own work, instilled a strong sense of hard work, honesty and integrity. My father and my wife not only encourage, but also play an active role in all of our philanthropic activities.

5. Can you tell us a little bit about your current corporate initiatives?   
Amneal Pharmaceuticals is involved in multiple community activities, in US as well as India. This includes supporting job creation, schools and labs, drug donations, support for green initiatives in US, while in India, it includes several initiatives in health and education initially in rural and tribal areas.
On corporate side, Amneal continues to be focused on delivering outcomes that meet important medical needs, make quality medicines more accessible and more affordable, and provide solutions for tomorrow’s health challenges.
6. You can also feel free to express your thoughts on any other aspects of WIN Foundation

We are committed to achieve long term scalable social impact, through strong collaborations with like minded groups and organizations, to bring synergy and momentum innovative approach to challenges. 
The Covid19 lockdown implemented countrywide since end of March, had a serious impact on all projects, halting all field activities. In short run, it has also led to near exclusive focus on Covid related distress removal activities.

Our NGO partners have also supported Covid related relief efforts, including sustenance food ration kits for marginalized families. WIN made modest contributions to our partners for these efforts. We also coordinated discussion between on how to make the kits nutrition balanced, with good results.

Mother and Child nutrition has become very important as bread-earners lose employment, family incomes reduce, putting women and young children at risk in getting critical nutrition inputs. WIN Foundation, through multiple partners, plan to launch a project to promote nutrition among urban slums through knowledge/awareness building among community, creating ground level health champions as master trainers and microentrepreneurship among community to provide nutritious food.
Water situation remains challenging, and only a widespread participatory conservation effort, in both rural and urban areas, can reverse the trend. Our partner, ACT has started PGWM in another hydro-geological zone of Gujarat, with aim to apply the common approach / methodology to develop model for different climatic and hydrogeological regions.
Our Innovations for Social Impact scheme has started showing results in bringing innovative products and technology from promising startups to rural/tribal or other poor communities through NGOs in close touch with them. This aims to enable such communities to improve their quality of life through understanding of such technologies and products.

As part of our outreach and collaborations, we partnered with IIT Gandhinagar in their Climate Action Now (CAN 2020) workshop series, sponsored by GEER Foundation, Government of Gujarat. WIN Foundation was a Sponsor and Outreach Partner for this event, which included a series of workshops, seminars and other programs on Water, Energy, Ecology and Sustainability, spread over 3 months. 

We also partnered with icreate, a Government of Gujarat incubator, in their EarthXHack 2020, as a Network Partner for this event scheduled from 13th April 2020 to 3rd May 2020. On the 50th year anniversary of the EARTH Day, icreate in partnership with the EarthXHack organised  a challenge to all innovators. The theme of the hackathon  was  COVID19 and post lockdown scenarios.

More information on projects and startups, as well as outreach activities are available on our website at https://winfoundations.org/
Title :  Participatory Ground Water Management (PGWM) Program

Climatic change, deforestation and population growth, have created water availability and quality issues, particularly affecting the communities with natural resource based livelihoods, like agriculture and animal husbandry. Both surface and ground water have seen depletion and degradation. Incidentally, even the water rich areas, i.e. those near perennial rivers, near irrigation canals or regions with high rainfall, have seen widespread problems of soil degradation and water distress in summer due to inefficient use of water and outdated agricultural practices. 

Participatory Ground Water Management (PGWM) program in Kutch has proven that participatory & trans-disciplinary approach to (i) conserve surface water and groundwater in a coordinated and complementary manner, and (ii) sound water usage practices, by knowledge equipped stakeholders, can provide for present requirements and secure their future as well. The intense participatory action research in PGWM includes:
  • Institution and Capacity Building for sustainability through practice led training of village youth into Bhujal Jankars, with practice based training on hydrogeology, water budgeting and coordinating village level action, Farmer Groups and Women’s Groups – formation / mobilization for cooperative decision and action.
  • Water Security Plans (WSP) for 19 villages were prepared by Bhujal Jankars, detailing sources and uses of water, population, land, cattle population, crops, topology etc.
  • Supply side projects included: (i) Ground water recharge: in village water bodies, river-bed,  abandoned bore-well in farms (over 100 through the program + over 250 by well off farmers through awareness building), (ii) Desilting and repair for village water bodies, and ground water recharge from excess water flow.
  • Demand Management Projects include: Farming intervention support like drip irrigation, fodder crops, silt application, SRI Wheat cultivation, bore-water metering, village level STP plant etc. for water demand control.
  • Knowledge Management initiatives included: (i) Field measurement lab at Bidada, with water and soil measurement tools and protocols at lab as well as field level (ii)  Building extensive database through monitoring of water levels and quality, soil quality, at multiple locations, and (ii) Standardization of Practices, Protocols, Data sets and decision tools to develop a virtual Centre of Excellence for water management for the Kutch hydrogeological region, and with key concepts distilled to apply to other hydrogeological regions.
  • 1st year: In spite of a poor rainfall year, 12% deficit covered (3.32MCM out of total deficit of 29MCM), with significant improvement in water levels and quality. Significant reduction (10% to 50%) in groundwater TDS.
  • 2nd Year: Good rainfall was used fruitfully to recharge water for coming years. Community mobilization, enabled technology introduction e.g. low cost water and soil testing in field and several demand side farming improvements.
  • Extension: Now, PGWM has been extended to the Khambhailya, Devbhumi Dwarka Dist., Gujarat, to apply the concepts and develop specific strategies, practices and protocols for the Coastal Saurashtra hydrogeological region.
Interview - Dr.Yogesh Jadeja, 
Director, Arid Communities and Technologies (Project Head)

1. What have been your most satisfying outcome of the project personally for you?
Personally I have felt satisfaction on 3 major counts,
First, as a geologist and a native Kachchhi, I have been able to use education and knowledge to serve my own land and people to i) address critical issue like water in an arid region, ii) create a platform to transform complex science down to earth. Second, the knowledge transformation process through Bhujal Jankars and their recognition for resolving national groundwater issues is highly satisfying at being instrumental to help to re-start our intergenerational knowledge transformation culture. Third, we were able to prove importance of  groundwater knowledge centre like ACT, as  a need of hour for the society.

2. Your experience of working with WIN Foundation.
We never felt that WIN foundation is donor agency, but felt that it is motivational institution that guides and shows us directions which really helps us to more strongly deliver on our vision of “empowering community through people centric technologies”, by practically introducing and connecting us with such technologies, technologists and institutions e.g. IIT's. We are heartily thankful to WIN Foundation for holding our hand at the right time during our journey, when we have planned to demonstrate community operated Bhujal Gurukul in one of the geo-hydrological sub regions of the state. 
   User/Government’s voice:
   Mr. Vinod Joshi, Block Development Officer,
   Nakhtrana (earlier Taluka Development Officer, Mandvi Taluka)
When I was TDO of Mandvi, we along with ACT have planned to recharge our groundwater sources and we demonstrated this in Maska village where our Taluka Panchayat office is located. The water, earlier, was too salty to drink, it was hard to grow plants. After seeing the highly positive results of these recharge activities, now we are planning to spread these activities in many villages. Now I am BDO at Nakhtrana block, and I will continue with such recharge activities in this block also and will motivate farmers to take this activities based on my participatory experiences of Mandvi block. 
Venture Name : Parisodhana  Technologies Pvt.Ltd.
“Parisodhana” is a platform created to develop solutions to problems facing the mankind through applied research and affordable product development, for social impact. “Team Parisodhana” is focused on developing alternative technologies and affordable solutions with commercial viability. Areas of interest include energy, health care and environmental protection.
Product : Neowarm Self Heating Blanket for Pre-Term Babies

2018 UNICEF records indicate *23 new born children die per 1000 live births* that are recorded in India.  Prematurity and low birth weight is two critical aspects leading to mortality. As high as 50% of the babies are reported to become hypothermic during transport, which further leads to mortality in new born children. About 1 million new born babies die worldwide due to this reason.

“Team Parisodhana” has innovated an air activated Self-heating blanket for transporting pre-term babies from remote areas to hospitals. No electricity or hot water or any external heat source required. This enables keeping the baby temperature at required level for upto 8 hours in a controlled manner.
With WIN Foundation support, the self heating blanket has been tested in Gujarat, Telangana and Maharashtra, with over 200 trials. Encouraging results and feedback from medical practitioners, in turn, has resulted in support by other donors and investors to fund more trials and further progress. 
To know more, CLICK HERE     
“We started Parisodhana with a dream to use our patent pending technology based product, Neowarm - self heating portable blanket, for saving lives of one million pre-term babies in India and across the world, in a cost effective manner. WIN Foundation recognised our unique technology, design and desired social impact goals, and agreed to provide support for the very crucial phase of product validation and refinement trials and also supported us in establishing the important links with Gujarat medical fraternity for these trials in rural and urban settings. WIN Foundation's encouragement and quick decision helped us role out trials in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telangana rapidly”
Co-founder & Director, Parisodhana Technologies  Pvt. Ltd.
WIN Innovative Product Market Validation Support Program :

Social Impact Startups face a major hurdle in reaching target user communities, as such communities are often remote, not easy to approach and cannot easily pay for new unproven products. Hence, it is a major challenge for them to undertake the  critical stage for initial product prototype ->trial -> refinement stage and market validation with actual user communities. The WIN scheme provides for this by connecting them to our NGO partners who are in close touch with target communities and provide the support for the product, installation and training cost. 

Thus, the scheme addresses the twin objectives : (i) enable the communities to try innovative products to better their quality of life, and (ii) enable the startups to get critical inputs on product and market.

We have received very good response from both start-ups and community partners. We provide below details of two such innovative products. We will cover others selected in future issues, and welcome more startups to apply.

1. Low Cost and Field usable Water and Soil Testing Kits by Foundation for Environmental Monitoring (FFEM), Bangalore. 
Supporting Community Partner : Arid Communities and Technologies, Trial location : Kutch Dist.
Product :  Soil tests enable estimation of the concentration of nutrients, in order to determine fertilizer recommendations in agriculture. Water quality testing is critical for determining suitability for various uses. These kits are usable by farmers and field workers, and provide instant results to enable timely corrective action.

2. Borewell water level sensors  by CFar Sensors India Pvt.Ltd.
Supporting Community Partner : Arid Communities and Technologies,
Trial location: Kutch Dist, 
Product:  The product enables farmers, businesses and regulating bodies, the ability to monitor the level of water in tanks, borewells and dugwells, at low cost, and also remotely control the operation of pumps if required. The piezoelectric sensor, lowered to the bottom of the borewell, transmits changes in water level to a cloud server, through a gsm modem. 

Interested start-ups can apply for our 2nd round clicking HERE (GOOGLE FORM)
COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown in response severely impacted the daily wage earner. In most cases their livelihood was gone, leaving them and their dependent women, elders and children along with themselves highly vulnerable. Several partners of WIN Foundation rose to the challenge to provide ration kit support to such families. WIN made a contribution to  Saath Charitable Trust, Ahmedabad, as well as Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat (Associated with ACT, Kutch)  for this support.

Our collaboration building outreach efforts also enabled our partners to get nutrition suggestions from our nutrition partner Dr. Rupal Dalal and her associates, senior faculty members from Nutrition department of Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, a highly reputed institution. This enabled our partners to achieve better nutrition balance in the ration kits being distributed by adding locally available grocery items to add proteins and micronutrients, at a very minor incremental cost. 

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, the company founded by the WIN Foundation Founder and Chairman, Mr. Chirag Patel and his brother Mr.Chintu Patel, donated 3.4 million hydroxychloroquine tablets in US to various state government agencies and hospitals in effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Amneal is a major producer of hydroxychloroquine.

To know more visit https://winfoundations.org/media/

 Edited by: Shanti Menon, Paresh Vora
- For feedback and suggestions write to: impact@winfoundations.org

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