Dear Friends,

We are happy to bring you the Jan-Mar-2021 quarter issue of the  WIN Newsletter.

The Covid19 situation, after showing substantial reduction in cases upto February, has again deteriorated, with sudden and rapid growth in the number of new cases in March. Strong recovery rate and our growing vaccination program provide ground for cautious optimism. Fortunately, as the world’s  largest producer and user of vaccines, India is well placed in terms of the Covid Vaccine production and stocks as well as a strong immunisation program.

Our economy shows encouraging recovery with resumption of most economic activities, with very strong upturn in basic consumption goods, rural sales and corporate results. Travel still remains highly restricted, a major barrier to collaborations, field visits and also a significant barrier for startups with physical products.

Our project partners have now reached nearly the full level in project work, having worked out creative ways to carry forward projects during the pandemic. 

Our R&D projects reached promising stages. These include the IIT Kharagpur project to take sewage water through modular multi-stage process to potable level water output, IIT Bombay project to produce prototypes for household desalination using capacitive deionisation through carbon nanotubes technology, and IIT Gandhinagar project of household decontamination filter using Surface Engineered Particle technology.

Our NGO partners continue to work with communities, and in addition help bring new innovations to these communities, through multi-stakeholder and community empowerment approach.

In this issue, we cover our multi-stakeholder approach in Water and Sanitation, bringing value to grass root interventions with multiple innovations in technology and processes, community empowerment and knowledge management.

We also cover details of  innovative start-up Sascan – CerviScan, winner of NBEC 2020 under Maternal and Child Health category, with an interview of its founder.

We continue to seek more startups for the WIN Innovative Product Market Validation Program for startups.  Our currently supported start-ups have installed their innovative products like borewell water sensors, soil testing kits, toilet attachment for disabled people in the respective project  areas and  are getting very good response and feedback from the communities.

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

With Warm Regards 

Paresh Vora
Director India Operations
IIT Gandhinagar, ACT and WIN decided to work together to replicate the PGWM project in villages near IIT Gandhinagar and began spadework with initial meetings with the village. This will enable developing a virtual centre of excellence for the hydrogeological region of Central Alluvial Plains in Gujarat, to create region specific solutions, protocols with on-ground action research.

We completed our project to provide ready-to-eat packets for breakfast to anganwadi children for 1 year. The packets were provided by Decimal Foundation, India, while Niswarth Children's Foundation provided local execution support. Simultaneously, nutrition, health and hygiene counselling was done among the mothers. The packets were well received and the mothers opined that they will try to provide more healthy food to children.

Dr. Rupal Dalal has continued to spread the Mother and Child Nutrition training for field health workers in several locations in Gujarat , Maharashtra and other states and subsequently helped the field health workers track the health of babies. WIN welcomes more NGOs to approach for arranging this training for Field Health Workers in their areas.

WIN Foundation participated in the online Sustainability Fair 2021, organized by IIT Gandhinagar - Kiran Patel Center for Sustainability.

WIN Foundation was one of the partners for the virtual Inaugural function of K-MARC Center for Excellence for Participatory Groundwater Management, on 29th Dec, 2020. An initiative by  Arid Communities and Communities  (ACT) jointly with Geo Science Services , KSKV Kachchh University, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Power Unit), WIN Foundation, PARAB and Arghyam.

WIN signed an MOU with Atria  Institute of Technology, Bangalore, to support its initiative Atria Business Incubation Centre. This collaboration aims to support technology entrepreneurship in general and to enable socially responsible start-ups to define, design and bring to life meaningful innovations.

WIN supported Parul University, Vadodara, in its Hackathon for startups, in the social media track, held from 24th to 26th March. 

We continue our outreach activities, together with partners to more Startups and NGOs to identify collaborative opportunities towards our vision. 

WIN’s multi-stakeholder approach, with multiple partners, each bringing unique competencies, enables accomplishing complete solutions significantly better than that achievable individually by each. In the last issue, we covered our multi-stakeholder approach for Mother and Child Nutrition.

In this issue we cover our multi-stakeholder approach for Water and Sanitation.

Challenges :

“Water touches every aspect of development and it links with nearly every Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It drives economic growth, supports healthy ecosystems, and is essential and fundamental for life itself.
Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely managed drinking water services, 4.2 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services, and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities.”    – World Bank

  • Water shortages and its poor quality affect hundreds of districts. Our agriculture suffers from vagaries of water supply, seriously affecting the food and nutrition security of the country as well as livelihood of millions of small farmers.    
  • The annual natural water cycle provides us limited fresh water. On the other hand, the increased demand for water due to modern lifestyle and industry have led us to over-use surface water and over-extract groundwater. This has lowered water levels and increased salinity in groundwater. Pollution, both human and industrial, add to the water problems.  
  • The living ecosystem around us also requires water and seriously affected by water problems.  
  • Hence, the governance and practices for water at various levels should ensure: (i) water conservation, (ii) optimized usage, (iii) recycling and reuse of water.     
  • The Government of India has recognised the massive challenges in Water and Sanitation domain and launched the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan, Atal Bhujal Yojana and Jal Jeevan Mission.

WIN Water and Sanitation Projects overview:

WIN Foundation has supported 

(i) Participatory Ground Water Management Project pioneered by Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT), Kutch, for water conservation. This project is also guided and supported by Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (a Unit of Tata Power Limited in Kutch). CGPL provides on-ground support with its own team, logistics support and project monitoring and review support. 

(ii) Technology, products and process development projects with 4 IITs, covering water treatment, water distribution and waste-water processing, with further aim to translate the technology developed and apply in the field. 

(iii) WIN has supported several innovative startups in this domain, bringing their products through ACT and other NGOs to community, for the critical prototype -> test -> refine stage of product market validation.

Snapshot of Impact of Projects so far

Approach : 


1. Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT), Bhuj, Kutch Dist, Gujarat - Lead NGO partner and principal project managers

ACT pioneered Participatory GroundWater Management since 2003. This has involved capacity building in local village communities, supply side intervention to strengthen water availability, demand side interventions to optimize water usage, knowledge management and technology introduction. The major activities are described below. 

Institution and Capacity Building:

  • “Bhujal Jankar” from village youth (men and women): trained on geo-hydrology, Water Security planning, coordination among village bodies and groups
  • Farmers and Women Groups in villages for institution building, farming practices
  • Water Security Plan (WSP) for 19 villages - with comprehensive study including village socio-economic profile, land topology and use, hydrogeology, water sources, storage and uses and possible strategies for improvements : Prepared by Bhujal Jankar
Supply Side Interventions:
  • Ground water recharge: in village water bodies, river-bed, abandoned well (over 700 numbers)
  • Desilting, embankment repair for village water bodies.

Demand Side Interventions:

  • Farming intervention support like drip irrigation, fodder crops, silt application, and so on
Mr. Kirtibhai Rajgor, Sarpanch, Maska Gram Panchayat, Maska – Mandvi - Kutch

Before, the K Marc Project  the gram panchayat’s village tubewell was supplying water of 6600 PPM TDS but after the implementation of salinity control structures like recharge tube well, river bed recharge pit and desilting of our old check dam of 7000 cum and due to blessings of  God , we received good rain in last year, we are supplying drinking water of good quality with 1200 ppm TDS since last 9 months and we are hoping that our TDS will decrease further post this monsoon

Click here for Video clip 

Innovative products introduced:

  • Soil and Water Testing Kits
  • Soil moisture measurement, Low cost weather station, Borewell electronic water level monitoring, water meters
Knowledge Management:
  • Data management: store and analyse data collection from all measurements to provide farmers useful actionable advice, and also develop farmers own capabilities to use data
  • Project field research lab at Bidada,village in Mandvi block, with water testing and geo-survey equipment

Extension of PGWM to another Hydrogeological Region

1. Implementing Decentralized Drinking Water Schemes in Coastal Villages of Khambhaliya Block of Devbhumi Dwarka District, Gujarat

The processes and protocols developed over several years, through action research in Kachchh, one of the Geo-hydrological subregions of state, are now applied to another geo-hydrological sub-region of Gujarat, namely the Coastal tract of Saurashtra from 2014, with Khambhaliya region as the location for piloting the action research. Early pilots have already been done to show how similar protocols are effective with suitable modifications for the hydrogeological, socio-economic and cultural differences

2. Central Gujarat Alluvium – Participatory Ground Water Management (PGWM at Gandhinagar – being started)

This project aims to setup a centre of excellence for groundwater mapping, conservation and optimum usage, focused on the hydrogeological region of Central Alluvial Plains in Gujarat, through a partnership between WIN, ACT and IIT Gandhinagar. Through this project, individuals at the village level will get knowledge and training (as bhujal-jankaars) so that they can coordinate work with village panchayat, farmer groups and women groups for water security. This replicates and builds on the experiences gained by Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT) in “participatory groundwater management” in Kachchh district of Gujarat. IIT Gandhinagar will be a specialized knowledge partner and hub, bringing valuable faculty research and student involvement.

Ms.Manisha Jadeja, Khambhaliya-Project Coordinator, Arid Communities and Technologies

"Our PGWM program in Khambhaliya demonstrates ACT's ability to transplant the learnings from PGWM in Kutch, to an entirely different hydrogeological region: Coastal Saurashtra, and develop local capacity and protocols to solve water issues. My young team, including our two youthful women Bhujal Jankars, are excited to work in partnership with WIN Foundation and bring this transformation in our villages in a sustainable manner. We have started with drinking water problem and will progressively move to demand side practices."

ACT has also been appointed as  a `District  Implementation Partner(DIP), under the Atal Bhujal Yojana for 123 villages in Kutch. Further, ACT has formed a consortium of like minded NGOs to adopt common best practices for this project across multiple partners.  The Atal Bhujal Yojna is being implemented in 213 Villages in Kachchh and 2207 Villages in Gujarat, with 22 District Implementation Partners, across 7 Districts of Gujarat.

Thus Multi-stakeholder partnerships established by ACT, where WIN is a partner, have shown the feasibility for setting up of virtual Bhujal Gurukul for groundwater management in any new hydrogeological  region.

The following picture highlights the outcomes over last 3 years :

Interview with Pradeep Kumar Ghosal, Head - Environment, CR &  Sustainability, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Power)

1.    CGPL's  vision for the multi stakeholder holder approach in watsan

CGPL- CSR has coined a new definition of  CSR which is Collaborative Social Responsibility and believes that only collective approach can bring the desired impact and the sustainability of any project. Hence, if for any project or program, Multi- stakeholder approach is practiced, the key elements of sustainable development can easily be attained which is economic efficiency, equity, endogeneity or self-reliance and environmental soundness. The results are then multidimensional and reach to the last mile with the cohesive approach of each of the likeminded stakeholder through a singular platform. It has been seen over the years, through the practices and program implementation that those programs or the project where involvement of more than single stakeholders, multi-stakeholders are involved, the impact is meaningful and long lasting. Moreover, CGPL/Tata power adopted this success mantra for most of the program   
2.    Major challenges and strategy 

After robust assessment of the Regional need, (which I feel is the biggest challenge),  a scientific  strategic intent for holistic development has been formulated in CGPL area which says about actual and prioritized need of the region which can lead to overall development of the region. Simultaneously, if the same can be practiced in partnership with the expert agencies keeping in mind of all the rubrics , then I feel many of the challenges can be mitigated and addressed in a very systematic way. Obviously, the challenges are converted in to opportunities through efficient deployment, networking, effective dialogue, program delivery and buying the critical inputs from all the stakeholders etc, hence created a vibrant and effective cohort and traversed from Transactional to Transformation   
3.    Your experience of working with WIN Foundation

Infact the partnership with WIN foundation over the years, has given a new dimension of regional growth with valuable learning and cohesiveness. This partnership has many facets starting with synergy of thoughts, exchange of field tested experiments and action research, aspiration for doing the goods for the targeted communities, boosting appropriate start-ups in the field, supportive monitoring and evaluation, exchange of learning and the opportunities in various platforms for high impact visibility which has  always created an improvisation effect on the entire  CGPL- CSR team. Working with WIN Foundation has also paved a way that how a trust worthy partnership if created, can take any program to the last miles through synergetic approach and cross learning. We always regard this partnership in a very high esteem.        


Ms.Gazala Paul, Managing Trustee/Executive Director, Samerth Charitable Trust

The soil testing kits provided by the WIN Foundation has been ‘Like a soil doctor’ as said by the Gabha bhai Koli a farmer from Javavadh village of Rapar block of Kutch. It has contributed significantly in the area of agriculture.  The farmers are able to know the exact nutrient found in their farm soil and the pH level for healthy crop production.  The soil health and condition enabled these farmers to decide on which crop to grow. With the Soil testing Kit available to Samerth, farmers from remote villages would access this facility.

19 farmers who got the soil tested found a nutrient deficiency such zinc and phosphorous and were suggested to use organic fertilisers (locally prepared vermicompost and bacteria fed fertilisers) and also change the crops to bring diversity. This year instead of sowing cumin, 5 farmers have sown cattle feed grass, and Ajwain (carom seeds) .

Technology that is simple and easy to handle is a boon and we are thankful to WIN Foundation for facilitating this.

Startups come with dynamism and high energy to develop innovations and also evolve innovative business models to take products to market. Startups create highly scalable models, as they attract venture investments, and attract competition and hence more and better products for users.

WIN has introduced some innovative products from startups in water and sanitation to communities through our N
GO partners.


1. Take “Science to Society”: Usage of advanced technologies and processes for better work productivity and quality of life at village level.

2. Take “Society to Science”: Inculcating scientific approach, knowledge and habits in village communities.

•    Physical outputs on ground and outcomes in terms of improvement in quality of life/work/agriculture etc.
•    Resonance: replication across larger area through outreach, training etc. in  surrounding areas
Mr.Samuel Rajkumar, Co-founder, Foundation for Environmental Monitoring, Bangalore
"As a product development house, we need to see deployments and usage to guide continuous improvement and come up with new product ideas. Our experience working with the Bhoojal Jaakaars in Kachchh with WIN Foundation, ACT and Samerth provided us key inputs and we are keen to take these learnings and scale"
Institutional Partners and R&D Projects

WIN has actively fostered partnerships with some of the leading IITs with the objective of translation of technology to products through startups, industries, social organizations for social impact
Conclusion :

WIN Foundation partnerships with leading Institutions and NGOs, and promising startups, aim to bring innovative practices, processes and products to empower communities to improve their water and sanitation conditions. With promising results so far, we look forward to strengthening our partnerships to serve communities further, in quality, innovativeness and scale.
Sascan Meditech Pvt Ltd. -  Cerviscan, Bangalore

CerviScan is an automated system for screening and detection of very early stage cervical cancers using a   disruptive multimodal imaging technology with the following characteristics:
  • Imaging of tissue fluorescence, diffuse reflectance and absorption, using multispectral illumination·
  • Non-invasive mapping of the loss in collagen fluorescence and oxyhaemoglobin absorption in cervical tissues·
  • Application of cloud-based ML algorithm for detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)·
  • Biopsy guidance for improving diagnostic accuracy
  • Health Workers can be trained to operate the Cerviscan under field conditions.  Cerviscan is portable, easy to use. Thus it provides an ideal tool for mass screening in remote areas
Sascan Meditech Pvt.Ltd., - Cerviscan has won the WIN Foundation's sponsored  award in National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) – 2020 - organized by Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), on behalf of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, in  Maternal and Child Health domain.
Interview with Dr. Subhash Narayanan, Founder Director & CEO, Sascan Meditech Pvt Ltd.
1. Your vision behind Sascan Meditech? 

Our vision is to develop a non-invasive and real-time methods for screening and detection of cervical malignancies using optical technology. CerviScan can help the gynaecologist in early detection of tissue abnormalities and locate the optimal site for biopsy, based on the structural, morphological and biochemical changes at the cellular level.  

What is current status of Cerviscan  - challenges and opportunities? 

We are engaged in a clinical study at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kasthurba Medical College in Manipal to validate the    CerviScan device.

The Cerviscan results on comparison with histopathology and cytology reports confirm an increase of the R610/R545 ratio value in malignant cells. The cervicitis diagnosed patients had an increase in the R610/R575 ratio value. The fluorescence image shows a decrease in intensity in the affected regions owing to the destruction of collagen in tissues. 

The major challenge is the integration of CerviScan camera with the laptop or tablet such that the whole process of image capture and screening can be completed in a short time by a gynecologist or health worker and data shared to the cloud for followup and report generation.    

3. How do you view support by a non-profit foundation like WIN Foundation for Sascan?

In view of the interest of the WIN Foundation in maternal and child health, and with their experience and exposure of working in these domains, we expect their help in creating awareness among women to do periodic checks for cervical cancer and also provide us opportunities to conduct clinical trials in the rural villages or through the Govt Health Department of the States WIN is  working with. This, we believe, could go a long way in reducing the mortality rates associated with cervical cancer in the country. 
User's Voice 

Dr.Rekha Upadhyay, Professor,Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Cerviscan is a novel screening device.  Being non-invasive, patient acceptance would be easier. The device is handy and the software easy to operate and provides screening results in real time, without any wait period. 

Cerviscan would be of great help to the gynaecologist,  as it can identify areas of cervical abnormality, which are difficult to detect with naked eyes. The issues related to inadequate sample collection or omission of cells during Pap smear, and difficulties related to colposcopy directed biopsies  could be solved and accelerated treatment provided to the patient. 

Inaugural function of K-MARC Center for Excellence for Participatory Groundwater Management

K-MARC Center for Excellence for Participatory Groundwater Management, an initiative by  Arid Communities and Technologies   was inaugurated on 29th December’20. The function was jointly organized by Arid Communities and Technologies, Geo Science Services , KSKV Kachchh University, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, WIN Foundation, PARAB and Arghyam.

The objective of the Center is to provide training and capacity building on various Participatory Groundwater Management to stakeholders ranging from Grassroots level to decision makers. In addition to Centre, an Interactive website on Kankavati Aquifer Management (kmarc.live) was also launched in this inaugural function.

Dr. Dhimant Vyas, Additional Secretary, Water Resource Department (WRD), inaugurated the Centre and gave keynote speech, while others who addressed the gathering included (i) Dr. Jayrajsinh Jadeja, Vice Chancellor, KSKV Kachchh University, (ii) Mr. Pradeep Ghosal, Head Environment, CR and Sustainability – CGPL, (iii) Mr. Ron Mehta, Executive Director and Mr. Paresh Vora, Head-India Operations, WIN Foundation, (iv) Ms. Madhvi Purohit, Senior Manager, Programmes, Arghyam. The Centre was inaugurated by the Chief Guest - Dr. Dhimant Vyas, Additional Secretary, Water Resource Department (WRD).
For more details, please visit www.kmarc.live

MOU with Atria  Institute of Technology for its initiative Atria Business Incubation Centre : 

WIN Foundation signed an MOU with Atria Institute of Technology, Bangalore, to support  the development of technology entrepreneurship in general and help to  achieve the mission of enabling socially responsible start-ups to define, design and bring to life meaningful innovations for social impact. WIN will support in talent search, mentoring, and also bring in its Innovative product market validation scheme to support qualifying startups.

Vadodara Hackathon 2.0 

Vadodara Hackathon 2.0, one of the biggest Hackathons of Gujarat, was organised by Parul University, in collaboration with various state and national authorities and stakeholders. Held from 24th to 26th February 2021 for 36 hours, with 500+ registrations, 10+ partners, 450+ideas and with 20 tracks, it provided students a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives, to inculcate a culture of product innovation and problem solving.

WIN Foundation partnered and posed specific challenges for the social innovations track. 15 teams participated in this track from various universities across India. Ms. Shanti Menon, Manager - Programs and Outreach, WIN Foundation, participated as mentor and jury for this track.

Sustainability Fair  2021,  IIT Gandhinagar 
3rd Annual Sustainability Fair was organized by the Dr Kiran C Patel Centre for Sustainable Development at IIT Gandhinagar  on  Friday, March 26, 2021.  This event  was inaugurated by Honourable Vijay Rupani. Chief Minister of Gujarat and attended by more than 600 participants from 14 countries across the globe.

WIN Foundation is closely associated with KPCSD, IIT Gandhinagar and participated in the virtual booth alongwith some of its community partners like ACT, CGPL (Tata Power), Samerth Charitable Trust etc..

With the theme of Renewable Energy and Water Resources, the Sustainability Fair had (i) virtual exhibitions by regional and national industries and organizations working in these domains, (ii) keynotes and panel-discussions on the best practices and projects, and (iii) networking sessions designed to explore knowledge transfer and academia-industry partnerships around sustainable development. Government officials, industries, researchers, academicians, NGOs, innovators and corporates attended the event

World Water Day -  22nd March' 2021
On the `World Water Day; on 22nd March, 2021, K-Marc (Arid Communities and Technologies)  and its partner organizations - WIN Foundation, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Power) and Geo Science Services organized an event to celebrate the World Water day, through a seminar, to rekindle our past traditions on water conservation and spread awareness on - Participatory GroundWater Management (PGWM) and Atal Bhujal Yojana, at Bidada, Mandvi taluka, Kutch District, Gujarat.

Media Coverage Links : 

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

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