Transforming Rural Rajasthan: RD Foundation’s Economic and Social Revitalization Through Healthcare and Education


Chetan Singh Rathod,In Rajasthan’s remote villages, RD Foundation is pioneering a transformation, not just in healthcare, but in the socio-economic fabric of rural communities. By conducting over 100,000 OPDs across 36 villages, the foundation is not merely addressing immediate health concerns but is fostering a healthier, more productive population poised to contribute significantly to the local and national economy.

The foundation’s mobile medical health van, staffed with medical professionals, symbolizes hope and progress, offering free health check-ups, diagnoses, and medicines. This initiative not only improves the quality of life but also empowers villagers with the knowledge and resources to maintain their health, reducing long-term healthcare costs and enhancing workforce productivity.

Understanding the pivotal role of education in economic empowerment, RD Foundation established Mcare Academy. This vocational training institute transcends traditional education barriers by offering free mobile repair training, enabling young individuals to secure employment or start their own businesses. This initiative not only combats poverty but stimulates local economies through entrepreneurship and job creation.

Moreover, RD Foundation’s engagement in addressing social menaces and promoting awareness on critical issues like drug abuse and menstrual hygiene further underscores its holistic approach to community development. Collaborative efforts with law enforcement and awareness campaigns are instrumental in creating safer, more informed communities, contributing to the social stability necessary for economic development.

Mr. Chetan Singh Rathod, the visionary founder of RD Foundation, remarks, “Our journey from a healthcare initiative to a multifaceted force for change is a testament to the transformative power of grassroots efforts. We believe in empowering villages as the cornerstone for a prosperous nation, where every individual’s well-being contributes to our collective journey toward prosperity.”

As RD Foundation continues to empower villages, its model of comprehensive, grassroots engagement presents a blueprint for sustainable development. The foundation’s success stories in rural Rajasthan are a testament to the potential of targeted social initiatives to catalyze economic growth and national prosperity, embodying the belief that empowerment at the grassroots is key to transformative change.

Changing Lives, Championing Sustainability

Merino Industries has embarked on a transformative journey in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, aiming to change lives and champion sustainability. With a legacy of nearly 60 years, Merino has diversified its business interests into Interior & Architectural Products, Information Technology, and Food & Agro business. Throughout its journey, Merino has prioritized exceptional product quality and stakeholder engagement, earning the trust of consumers, channel partners, and employees.

no poverty

At the heart of Merino’s CSR efforts lies a commitment to sustainability and societal welfare. The company is aligning its economic pursuits with positive outcomes, ensuring a complete sync with its CSR values. Merino’s leadership takes pride in its history, which is characterized by humble beginnings and ambitious forays into new ventures. Guided by its mission of “Universal Weal through Trade & Industry,” Merino is dedicated to benefiting the environment & society at large.

Drawing inspiration from the words of Swami Vivekananda, “Don’t be afraid of a small beginning, great things come afterwards. Be courageous!”, the Merino Group is actively engaged in structured programs for education, women’s empowerment, healthcare, and conservation of natural resources to ensure environmental sustainability.

Merino Group’s social initiatives are focussed on uplifting the lives of people from economically weaker sections, bringing joy, hope, and prosperity among them. Merino Industries’ philosophy revolves around the interconnectedness of business success and societal advancement. At Merino, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a mindset that leverages expertise and resources to foster positive change in marginalized communities, while also prioritizing environmental welfare.

When we talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Merino, we are working for socially responsible thinking and formulating strategies to utilize our skills and resources to create a positive change in the lives of the underprivileged. Merino is deeply committed to fostering social development through education and healthcare initiatives. These efforts are carried out through the Shri Hara Kasturi Memorial Trust, which has been specifically established for this purpose.

The Educational Program is designed to address key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing quality education and reducing inequalities. Initiatives such as the Swami Vivekananda Arunoday Vidyalay (SVAV) and the Yogakshema Scholarship Program have empowered numerous underprivileged children, giving them access to quality education and opportunities for a brighter future.

Additionally, SVAV ensures the nutritional needs of its students by offering them three nutritious meals daily, fostering their holistic development. Merino also extends its support to two other low-income schools in Hapur, by providing nutritious mid-day meals, catering to over 100 children.

These initiatives have not only delivered quality education and nutritional assistance to underprivileged children but have also played a vital role in breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality. Top of Form

Merino’s CSR initiatives yield a multiplier effect. By offering educational and nutritional support to students, parents are empowered to educate their other children, expanding the reach of education. Additionally, these efforts have instigated fundamental changes in over 250 households associated with Swami Vivekananda Arunoday Vidyalay (SVAV) and 100 households associated with Yoga-Kshema Scholarship. These families now embrace positive values such as cleanliness, sanitation, honesty, social responsibility, and healthy living.

Merino is also extending support to Savera School in Jhajjar, near its manufacturing location at Rohad, catering to mentally challenged children, and to Bal Griha in Bahadurgarh, an orphanage for girls, in Jhajjar district, Haryana. Through these programs, Merino has been able to serve 85 inmates (50 boys and 35 girls) of Savera School and 23 girls of Bal Griha, positively impacting their lives.

Yogakshema is a scholarship program designed to support bright and needy students, currently implemented in the eastern part of India, specifically in Kolkata, West Bengal. Launched in September 2018, Yogakshema aims to assist poor and disadvantaged yet meritorious students. The scholarship is offered for two years to students who have scored over 80% in their 10th Board Examination. These students receive a scholarship of Rs. 4000 per month to help them complete their studies up to Higher Secondary (Class XII). The scholarship covers expenses for their studies, provides for some nutritional needs, and includes a Mediclaim policy for the family. The students of Yogakshema also gets the benefit of special online coaching, by expert teachers on 6 different subjects like, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, English and Bengali.

Shri Prem Chand Lohia Health Centre (SPCLHC) caters to Merino’s healthcare initiatives, that plays a crucial role in addressing public health challenges, particularly tuberculosis (TB). Through strategic partnerships and focused interventions, Merino has made significant contributions to the successful treatment of over 6,250 TB patients. These efforts represent significant progress towards the goal of TB elimination by 2025. The health centre currently operates three dispensaries with doctors and supporting medical staff, providing general outpatient services and specialized treatment for tuberculosis (TB). These dispensaries are located in Achheja, Garhmukteshwar, and Hapur town, catering to the healthcare needs of the underprivileged in nearby areas. Apart from allopathic healthcare facilities, the centre also offers Ayurvedic medicine treatments.

Merino Industries’ women empowerment program is dedicated to achieving Gender Equality. With economic autonomy as a key focus, our initiatives include a Stitching Centre in Rohad, Haryana, nurturing female skills since September 2017. To date, 200 female have benefited from successfully completing 14 training batches. Presently, 16 girls are honing their stitching skills at this centre under the guidance of two skilled trainers.

Merino’s CSR strategy champions the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), aligning business practices with global sustainability targets. Through technological advancement and innovation, Merino promotes renewable energy, efficient water management, soil enrichment, emission reduction, and also promoting circular economy via effective waste management. Today, Green Energy makes up 74% of Merino’s total energy requirements. This reflects Merino’s commitment to fostering positive change and shaping a more sustainable future.

Merino stands as a beacon of hope and progress in the corporate sphere. As we gaze ahead, let us draw inspiration from its remarkable leadership and collaborate to build a more sustainable and inclusive world for generations to come.