Activities of Utkarsh Welfare Foundation

Utkarsh Welfare Foundation was incorporated in August 2010 and is registered under section 25 of companies act 1956 and aims to provide various services and products for the development and assistance to the underprivileged population in rural & urban sectors by way of market linkage opportunities, education, health and vocational training program. Utkarsh Welfare Foundation aims at empowering grass root population especially women, making them self-reliant and transforming them into successful entrepreneurs.

Utkarsh Welfare Foundation aims to make a meaningful and sustainable impact in the lives of the community through a multi-pronged service oriented market led approach. Utkarsh Welfare Foundation has initiatives that focuses on education, health, skill development, micro enterprise training & environment conservation.

Utkarsh Welfare Foundation implements CSR activities for Utkarsh Coreinvest Limited and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Limited. Utkarsh Coreinvest Limited is the holding company with ‘Utkarsh Small Finance Bank' and Utkarsh Welfare Foundation as its subsidiaries.

Utkarsh Welfare Foundation aspires to be leading implementing agency and knowledge partner in the domain of social, welfare and CSR activities. It has partnerships with multiple industry leaders like ACCION, International Finance Corporation (IFC), SIDBI PSIG, Swiss Capacity Building Facility, Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and leading health service providers.

Financial Education Program supported by Utkarsh Coreinvest Limited - CSR:

Financial education programs are aimed at building financial capabilities to enhance financial decision making process among the resource poor and financially excluded section in the underprivileged and underserved geographies through right information, instructions and advices. Total beneficiary outreach under Financial Education initiatives supported by Utkarsh Coreinvest Limited - CSR has been 123523.

Approaches and models for delivering Financial Education:

Models for delivering financial education and advisory services to the beneficiaries incorporates best practices in the domain through partnerships. Currently, Utkarsh Welfare Foundation is implementing Financial Education initiatives at 13 locations across Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Class Room Training Approach:

This adopts Intensive approach towards the delivery of financial literacy to target population. Trainings are organized in small batch sizes of 20-25 and around 12 hours of inputs are given covering modules on financial planning, budgeting, savings, borrowings, investments, insurance, banking services and targeted govt. schemes. The methodology of training adopted is participatory & interactive. Audio-visuals, poster, banners, group discussion, role plays, exercises, games, and other participatory training tools and other aides used. Trainers effectively communicate and transmit the key messages to the participating women/men beneficiaries. Financial literacy training provided to achieve the desired objectives are delivered in 12 hours session spread across 3 days for each class room training for each batch.

Dialogue on Business (DOB):

Financial Literacy for Micro and Small Business Entrepreneurs. Dialogue on Business (DOB) is an award-winning business skills training program developed by the knowledge partner, ACCION. It is based on adult learning principles, which draws from the knowledge and experience of program participants. It uses interactive games and role-playing tools to help participants solve real-life business challenges. The workshops are based on the real situations of participants, rather than textbook cases. DOB is found to be an interesting and engaging activity for people, even with little formal education, who may not learn effectively in a traditional classroom set-up. Total 919 beneficiary has successfully attended the DOB program.

Health Program:

Utkarsh Welfare Foundation’s health initiatives are intended to provide free Primary Health Services and awareness to the low income households in the targeted geographies. Outpatient diagnostic services with free medicine are being provided as a part of the initiative. Program is implemented in collaboration with select hospitals, ensuring quality health service under the strict supervision of healthcare professionals and practitioners. Two approaches viz. regular Poly Clinics through branches as well as Mobile Poly Clinics with route plan are being adopted for extending health services. Total beneficiary outreach under this initiatives since inception has been 236472 beneficiaries.

Regular Polyclinic:

Regular Polyclinics are organized in collaboration with Ramakrishna Sewashram Hospital, Mirzapur and GV Meditech Group, Varanasi. Currently, the program is organized in two districts of Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi and Allahabad) and one district of Bihar (Gaya).

This program was started in July 2013 through 1 branch and is currently operational through 8 branches with cumulative patient outreach of 79587 as on May, 2019.

Mobile Van Polyclinic:

Mobile Polyclinics are organized to ensure that the benefits of health initiatives reaches to more number of patients. Mobile Vans equipped with professional medical practitioners and medicines covers the targeted geography.

Started in August 2015 through 5 branches, the initiative is currently operational through 20 branches across Satna, Kushinagar, Kaimur and Rohtas districts of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively.

The total patients outreach under Mobile Van Polyclinic since inception has been 156885.

Health Awareness:

In addition to regular and medical mobile van polyclinics; a class-room training on Health awareness program has been started (Modules already piloted under SIDBI Project). The objective of health awareness program is aligned with the concept “Prevention is better than cure” and aims to:

  • Raise awareness on the various aspects of preventive healthcare measures;
  • Educate the target group on information to identify and prevent common diseases;
  • Raise awareness on the nutritional needs of young children and mother;
  • Build capacity within the community to handle local health issues effectively;
  • Promote overall good health of the local community.

The total outreach under Health Awareness training since inception is 8674 as on May 2019.

Earlier Projects supported by Utkarsh Coreinvest Limited - CSR

International Finance Corporation (IFC) - Knowledge partner ACCION

The Project objective was to support the roll out of an effective and sustainable financial awareness delivery program for low income households, thereby improving the quality of financial services offered among Financial Institutions (FIs) working with low income beneficiaries. Project targeted to cover 15,000 beneficiaries through 8 branches across eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Knowledge toolkits and methodologies were jointly developed in association with ACCION India for imparting financial awareness. The 7 modules developed under the project comprises of contents on Financial Planning, Cash Flow & Budgeting, Savings, Debt, Insurance, Investment and Banking.

During the project period from May 2014 to March 2016, a total of 22,193 members had registered for the financial literacy program. Out of these, 19,856 had successfully completed the training. The members who attended at least 5 modules out of the 7, were considered as trained.

With the assistance of ACCION India, a comprehensive web based MIS system was developed for monitoring the field team. The trainers were assigned User IDs and passwords for the same. All registration forms were entered into the system and daily attendance was marked for each batch. Web based MIS platform made the process of project monitoring timely and effective.

Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) and ACCION - Financial Education for under-served beneficiaries.

The project aims to develop the capacity of Utkarsh Welfare Foundation to offer financial education program for low-income women with, thus creating awareness and demand for financial services in the market. ACCION (technical resource partner) will train UWF’s Master Trainers in its proven financial education curriculum. Further, the master trainers will be capacitated to train future UWF trainers. Moreover, a hotline is already in place to receive calls from the beneficiaries for providing advices on financial products and services suiting their requirements. One model Community Shop will be established in the project area to provide information on appropriate range of financial products and services.

This project is being implemented in two phases. The project aims to cover 28,000 beneficiary during the entire project period, out of which a minimum of 50% beneficiaries are expected to adopt new financial products. Upon intervention completion, Utkarsh Welfare Foundation should be in a position to continue training its staff with ACCION’s methodology for delivering high quality financial literacy trainings to low-income beneficiaries and also for providing advice. This will increase beneficiaries’ uptake of financial products and services. Moreover, beneficiaries will be better able to understand managing their finances and use financial products.

In the first phase of project implementation (April 2015 to December 2015), the project aimed to cover 13,000 beneficiaries through Class Room Trainings and Mass Awareness Programs. At the completion of first phase, 11,689 beneficiaries outreach was achieved with both the intervention approaches.

In the ongoing second phase (January 2016 to December 2016), the project aims to cover 15,000 beneficiaries, of which, 11,000 will be covered through Class Room Trainings and 4,000 through Mass Awareness Programs.

At the successful completion of the project the total beneficiary outreach for the project period April 2015 to December 31, 2016 through class room training approach is 20,377 and through Mass Awareness Programs is 9157.

FMO (Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank) and ACCION - Financial Education for Beneficiaries

Despite enhanced access to financial services in India, availing and consumption of services has remained a challenge. Also the access to micro-finance services has not been able to address the multidimensional aspects of poverty. Given this context, education on financial literacy is integral to continued growth, long-term success and sustainability of the micro-enterprises in the society.

The project aims to provide financial literacy to 23,200 rural beneficiaries. Two approaches have been adopted for providing financial literacy. It is proposed to cover 13,200 target beneficiaries through class room trainings and 10,000 additional beneficiaries shall be reached through mass awareness program. This project is being implemented during March 2016 to March 2017.

Total beneficiary outreach as at March 31, 2017 through class room training approach has been 13,214 and through mass awareness program has been 10142.

SIDBI - Poorest States Inclusive Growth Programme (PSIG) - Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment Initiatives

Pilot Project

SIDBI-Poorest State Inclusive Growth Programme (PSIG) endeavours to focus specifically on women’s empowerment through micro-finance interventions including financial literacy programme and capacity building of women beneficiaries on social, gender and legal rights and entitlements issues. The project aims to institutionalise capacity building program for the micro-finance beneficiaries through partner MFIs. The project is also being supported by Department for International Development (DFID). It was launched through 7 MFIs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to cover 60,000 beneficiaries.

At Utkarsh, the pilot project was implemented through 16 branches with the support of 22 Master Trainers. Concepts on Financial Literacy and Women Empowerment were imparted to 16,500 members across 2 districts Deoria and Ghazipur of Uttar Pradesh and 3 districts of Bihar Arrah, Kaimur and Sant Ravidas Nagar.

At the closure of the project as on March 31, 2016, a total of 15,741 beneficiaries were trained on the concepts of financial literacy and women empowerment. A pool of 22 Master Trainers (MT) from Utkarsh Welfare Foundation were trained through Training of Trainers (TOT) and Refresher Trainings in three phase program. Each of the trained MT received 26 days of training and each of the targeted micro finance beneficiary received 27 hours of training inputs spread over the project period delivered in three phases.

Vocational Training on Agarbatti rolling & Market Linkages

The project was undertaken with an objective to provide training, technical know-how, credit and market linkages facility to the poor women in rural areas to enable them to enhance their household income. The aim of this initiative was to encourage entrepreneurial activities among the poor, with focus on providing the family with an additional source of income.

Keeping this in mind, Utkarsh Welfare Foundation started imparting providing training on "Agarbatti" making to the underprivileged women and linking it to the market. Continuous training on incense stick production was imparted in almost twenty villages of Harahua block, Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh. The project was implemented during May 2011 to March 2014. Around 400 members were trained and 249 quintals of agarbatti produced by the beneficiaries were linked to market.

Solar Light Project

With an objective to promote clean and green energy, solar light initiative was undertaken through 11 locations across eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Around 3,800 beneficiaries were enrolled under this project. Project was implemented in association with Greenlight Planet which is a for-profit-social-business that develops and manufactures honest, reliable solar products designed to help people living off the electric grid. Project was implemented during December 2013 to March 2015.