Leveraging Talent for Social Sector

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Mega-trends keep changing our world. Mega-trends are global macro-economic forces of development that impact economy, business, and society. In fact cultures and surprisingly even personal lives get transformed in the process. With the ever increasing pace of change we keep witnessing trends that revolutionize the entire world – globalization, digitization, climate change and so on.

Much has changed in the development sector too. The non-profit sector has moved on from its hoary past to see robust growth in recent years. Philanthropy is now duly combined with rational corporate approaches for the best interests of the social sector. Non-profits’ growth is essential for sustaining the laudable intents of the social sector, that really speaking does need to run along corporate lines.

Non-profit organizations are of course focused on their social purposes. But now its being better understood that they need not get carried away by their goodwill alone. While formerly their compassionate intent more-often-than-not overlooked keeping of systems and structures in place, they now realize that they themselves need to be inherently effectual, impactful and sustainable as well.

This is what drew HERD Educational & Medical Research Foundation to the India Leaders for Social Sector (ILSS) initiative undertaken by Central Square Foundation, (CSF) New Delhi. They are working to build the next generation of senior leaders for the development sector – a sector that has seen significant growth in the past decade. We found their aspirations for assisting non-profits to scale up, become sustainable and make more impact on the social sector extremely attractive.

Non-profits today actually need professional talent. This initiative is just what is needed to build up latent leadership or to acquire corporate talent to infuse fresh blood into the social sector. We are happy about this changing trend where institutions are addressing this endemic issue – scaling up talent! To bridge this gap CSF and ILSS have built strategies to attract top corporate talent from middle and upper management to play key roles in non-profit organisations.

It is true that skeptical public perception and swelling government restrictions leave NGOs in an implausible position. The time could not have been more opportune for this kind of initiative to have come up. It offers an immense opportunity to influence professionals and specialists to be made available for working in the social sector and lend their expertise. All over the world non-profits are infusing purpose, process and professionalism into the passion that initially brought individuals and institutions into the fold of the social sector. Civil society structures are now adapting to the corporate world methodologies for long term outcomes.

HERD Foundation is looking to forge connections with ILSS to partner in this formidable vision to inspire, empower, and enable high quality talent to play leadership roles in the development sector. We take this opportunity to inform their collaboration with Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) to offer a series of 9-day programs aimed to help senior leadership make meaningful transitions into the social sector. Interested individuals and institutions may connect for the purpose by clicking on the links shared below:

info@indialeadersforsocialsector.com

http://www.indialeadersforsocialsector.com

ILSS is building a platform to highlight developments in the sector: its opportunities and challenges. A repository of information, the platform will encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, showcase success stories from the sector, benchmark best practices, address perceptions and highlight leadership role models. By identifying opportunities, challenges and rewards of the social sector, the ILSS platform aims to create an informed movement of leadership talent for the sector.”

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The Organic Way

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The ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) has identified areas in our country that hold high potential for organic farming. This literally works very well as a ground rule for HERD Organic Farms because the fact is that as per the geo-spatial digital map showing organic carbon stock in the soils of all states, this region of Maharashtra is indeed good for natural organic farming.

HERD Organic Farms is keen to facilitate and dedicate efforts for organic agriculture. The farm team collaborates in the organic processes for cultivation of crops, production of organic manure, undertaking crop rotation, product selection and dissemination of organic farming methods. Farm hands are taught to learn and adopt organic farming techniques, production of green/ organic manure, and use of natural pesticides and herbicides.

The past three years have seen HERD Organic Farms emerge as a trusted source for organic food. With up-to-date documentation on sustainable agriculture practice and soil health, the farm team, led by farm manager Mr Anil Khare, collaborate with organic farming practitioners and academic fraternity to fill gaps in our knowledge. HOF envisions improved health for the soil and its people with due conversion of organic agricultural methodologies.

Operations had begun in March 2015 with the aim to create a model-farm to act as a teaching-learning center for organic farming. In time we hope to scale up efforts to become an example to be followed by farmers in the region. We hope to inspire particularly those farmers who remain uncertain or unconvinced about the concept. We want them to look upon organic farming as a viable venture. It is hoped that they would eventually be persuaded to go the organic way.

Our goal is really to contribute to healthy living for everyone. This is why our major focus is on developing and nurturing in-house organic components so as to strengthen the concept of creating a model organic farm in the region.  With the emphasis on using cost effective methods for organic farming, we also use high-tech innovative ideas on the farm.

We take every opportunity to spread awareness of the benefits of organic produce and the dire consequences of eating unhealthy chemical laden foods. On the farmland we make our own manure and pesticides in a bid to retain soil health. We also ensure organic health of pollinator populations. Our home grown organic pesticides do not have impacts on pollinator health. In fact the diverse food crops benefit such pollinators with increase in food sources.

Actually the organic inputs prevent soil pathogen and keep the soil health in perfect order as proven by the soil tests we undertook. HERD Organic Farms continues to collaborate with the organic growers community to help ensure that the unique realities of organic farmers are better understood and considered by the larger fraternity and possibly to influence the future of organic farming in the region.

We keep intensifying our efforts to benefit both the land and the people. We truly believe the words of Anna Lappé, author and educator – “When we fight for organic food, it connects us to every living creature on the planet, from birds to frogs and pollinators—all those harmed by toxic pesticides”. We look ahead to another year of increased organic produce.

Soil Health

 

SOIL FACTS – AND WHY SOIL IS IMPORTANT

Soil is the network of interacting living organisms within the earth’s surface layer which support life above ground.

The nutritional value of the food we eat is directly related to the health of the soil in which it grows (or what it eats grows).

Management of agricultural soils should consider the structural, biological and mineral health of the soil (not just N, P, K) to produce nutritionally-dense food.

Soil has varying amounts of organic matter (living and dead organisms), minerals, and nutrients.

An average soil sample is 45% minerals, 25%, 25% air, and 5% organic matter (less in degraded soils).

Carbon is a master variable within the soil that controls many processes, such as development of soil structure, water storage and nutrient cycling.

Soil high in organic carbon content enables better rainfall infiltration & retention – providing greater resilience to drought.

Every gram of soil organic carbon can hold up to 8 grams of water.

Soils are vulnerable to carbon loss through degradation, but regenerative land management practices can build soil and restore soil health.

Soil erosion within conventional agricultural practices can occur at rates up to 100 times greater than the rate of natural soil formation.

Natural processes can take more than 500 years to form 2 centimeters of topsoil.

Soil carbon takes three distinct forms: living carbon, labile carbon and fixed carbon.

– Living carbon takes the form of microbes, fungi, plant roots, nematodes, earth worms etc.

– Labile carbon in the soil comprises decomposing (dead) plant and animal material that is in a state of transition.

– Fixed carbon in the soil consists of stable compounds as humates and glomalins.

…Sequestered Carbon comprises the fixed carbon plus the total living biomass.

Soil stores 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Around 95% of our food is directly or indirectly produced on our soils.

Soil microbes have a symbiotic relationship with plants – plants provide sugars to microbes and microbes make nutrients bio-available for plants.

Living organisms in soil ultimately control water infiltration, mineral density and nutrient cycling.

Fungi and bacteria help break down organic matter in the soil and earthworms digest organic matter, recycle nutrients, and make the surface soil richer.

In a handful of fertile soil, there are more individual organisms than the total number of human beings that have ever existed.

Soil is one of the most complex biological materials on our planet.

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Image Courtesy – Google

World Soil Day 2017 – ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’

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It was only in 2002 that the International Union of Soil Sciences or IUSS adopted a resolution proposing December 5 as World Soil Day to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component of our natural resources. In truth natural soil is a vital contributor to human well being. Recognizing this fact FAO supports the formal establishment of World Soil Day by creating solidarity for Global Soil Partnership. Since 2012 FAO-GSP has been organizing awareness events for this important day.

HERD Organic Farms is diligent in raising awareness about World Soil Day. Soil is an essential resource and a vital part of our natural environment from which our food is produced. Human beings have survived because it is soil that nourished and nurtured generations. Alongside soil continues to provide living spaces for us humans. Importantly soil is critical in maintaining our essential ecosystem. It regulates water, climate and conserves biodiversity as well as enables carbon sequestration.

It is disheartening that in present times soils continue to be under pressure due to human factors. Increasing population and high demand of land-use for needs other than food cultivation remain two debilitating reasons. Industrialization and urbanization are directly responsible for ruining soils. Additionally 33% of global soils suffer from degradation. This is what brings FAO sponsored Global Soil Partnerships into play in order to have policy makers around the world explore opportunities to embrace sustainable development.

A global community of 60,000 soil scientists has been given the responsibility to generate and communicate soil knowledge for the common good of the world. World Soil Day observes the importance of soil as a critical component of our natural systems or growing food and ensuring biodiversity as well as containing climate change. The need is to promote the regenerative landscape for integrated management of soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity.

HERD Organic Farms supports the need for maintaining healthy soils. It is really very important so that we enable sustainable agricultural production which is ultimately good for the environment and human health. The way things are going now soon soil may be a finite natural resource. We dread the day when it may even become non-renewable. It would do well for us all to remember that soil plays an essential role in our wellbeing.

Climate change and desertification are increasingly degrading soil worldwide. Our own environs are getting affected by power-plants and factories that spew forth pollutants that add to further degradation of soil resources. It is time we worked towards mitigating inappropriate technologies to safeguard soils. Also we need to instill safer agri-management practices to replenish soils. With regard to population pressure we may do well by understanding about the carrying capacity of the land.

Soil organic carbon (SOC) forms the basis of soil health, fertility, and food production. A healthy soil with an ideal amount of SOC (the main component of soil organic matter) can provide optimal plant growing conditions, functional nutrient cycling and effective water infiltration and storage. Agricultural soils are among the planet’s largest reservoirs of carbon and hold potential for expanded carbon sequestration, and thus provide a prospective way of mitigating the increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

World Soil Day 2017 therefore focuses on activities with the aim to communicate messages on the importance of soil quality for food security, healthy ecosystems and human well-being. The first ever Global Soil Organic Carbon map (GSOCmap) is being launched on World Soil Day 2017! The GSOC map is not just a map! It is also a comprehensive process that supports the development and empowerment of national capacities to build their national soil information systems. Please click on the link to open the GSOCmap web application:

http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/worldwide-events/en/

Ensuring Organic Futures

 

 

Organic Farming is spreading like a revolution not only in our country but in the entire world today. In fact the roots of revival of organic farming can be traced back to India! It was Albert Howard and his wife Gabrielle Howard, both skillful botanists, who founded the Institute of Plant Industry at Indore to improve traditional farming methods in pre-independent India.

Working with local farmers they found they had much to learn from them. And so it was that alongside scientific knowledge they incorporated local traditional methods like crop rotation practices, erosion prevention techniques, and use of composts and manures. Upon return to Britain they carried back these experiences to propagate natural agriculture. Albert Howard is one of the key founders of modern organic agriculture.

Consumer’s today are increasingly getting health cautious regarding their diet. This is an important aspect for transformation of farming practices to benefit the land and the people. Organic food produce having high nutritive value and absence of chemicals, potential carcinogenic and mutagenic properties is preferred over conventional agroproducts cultivated by using insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Realizing the high potential of organic farming techniques for the land and its people, HERD Organic Farms was established in March 2015. HOF is practicing organic farming techniques over the past three years on its 40 acres farmland located at village Chargaon, 60 kms from Nagpur city. The ultimate aim of the enterprise is to extend knowledge of organic cultivation practices to benefit neighboring rural farmers in a bid to spread awareness and increase organic food production. It is also to build a momentum for the demand of organic produce.

With gaining popularity of organic produce and a steady buildup of a consumer base willing to pay a premium price, it is important to extend the cost advantage for the benefit of conventional agriculturists. HOF therefore hopes to develop a farming community that adopts organic farming on a mass scale to target niche markets for organic food produce.

Realizing the need to improve the health of the land and the people, HOF joined hands to become part of organic grower’s fraternity in Nagpur city.  Eventually the plan is to scale up a cooperative of organic farmers to facilitate organic food production and processing for supply to existing markets. It is hoped that with due expansion adjoining rural farmers may be included for propagation of organic farming.

HERD Organic Farms was established to promote a system of farming without use of synthetic fertilizers or chemical sprays. It was envisioned right from the start to maintain soil fertility through livestock compost, green manures, crop rotation, and mulching. Setting up cutting-edge net-shed cultivation alongside open field agriculture, we aim for methods that are sustainable and ecological to ensure long-term fertility and wholesome food for us and for future generations.

We remain committed to organic practices to safeguard human health and the environment. To achieve this we need to change mindsets to introduce the philosophy and practice of organic farming. This is what motivates us to step up awareness for organic produce to create a world that will sustain life. We will continue to maintain the soil health of our unique planet.

In order to go about doing this we need to develop ongoing relationships between ourselves as organic growers and the economic system. One of the major challenges till date is fixing premium pricing for organic produce vis-à-vis chemically laced food. We still need to develop farming systems that produce the necessary quantity and quality of food so that we make it economically viable for all. For in all certainty organic farming is the future.

HERD LOGISTICS

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Images – Courtesy Google

 

Started in March 2017, HERD Logistics emerges as a reliable goods-transport service division of the HERD Group of Companies. Headquartered at Nagpur, in Central India, the unit offers transportation services coupled with tailor-made solutions to meet the requirements of its clients. Forging working-links with some of the best-in-the-business it combines broad outreach and grip over local market realities to give operations its cutting edge.

Providing hassle-free freight services from the center of the country, HERD Logistics offers 360 degree radius coverage. Its forte lies in planning, executing and control over movement of consignments. These suitably match with its ability to manage smooth run of goods while in motion from destination to destination. Also consignments are covered by insurance thereby assuring safety of goods.

Leveraging on wide-ranging logistics and communications outreach, the team working on this unit efficiently create cost-effective solutions tailored to meet all kinds of transport needs. It has therefore established itself through flawless freight forwarding services, carefully synchronized with factors like timeliness, flexibility, swiftness, safety and reliability.

The division works with the twin mission of –

  • Being committed to providing inclusive logistic solutions in an efficient, reliable and affordable manner, and
  • Gaining and retaining confidence and trust of valued customers by conducting business with complete honesty and integrity.

The Team comprises of professionals led by Mr Shriram Paralkar who knows all there is to know about the business.  Alongside Mr Vijay Satpute efficiently manages tasks to serve people and organizations in need of transport operations, cutting across state borders. Together they successfully handle operations with in-depth understanding of the trade.

It is this team that is the driving force for HERD Logistics to facilitate our unmatched services. Their guidance takes the company to new levels, charting out new territories for expansion. As an upcoming logistics service provider, HERD Logistics offers transportation of goods and materials and relocation of all kinds of cargo across destinations.

HERD Logistics is distinguished through its operational excellence which is the corner stone of all integrated logistics solutions that the division offers to clients. The team of professionals monitors every aspect of the operational performance. With required formats and best practices in place we maintain optimal control over operations.

The company believes there is always room for continuous improvements. We focus on developing highly advanced logistics technology through in-house facility of skilled IT personnel. Our key strength lies in seizing business opportunities for which we rely more on our proven track record of quality operations and a tradition of integrity.

We have consistently demonstrated collaborative approaches that are the backbone of this business. We work with clients to offer the most suitable logistic solutions tailored to meet their exact needs. Our work methodology enables us to create a name to reckon with and our work ethos helps us deliver efficient cargo services. We have always remained duly responsible for stock control and timely delivery.

The works are equipped with modern communications that helps in accessing and handling entire relocation and cargo transportation needs for customers. The latest tracking facilities enable us to provide exact status of the consignment on the move. Moreover, our experienced team can quickly assess a critical situation, identify transportation alternatives and implement a delivery solution that meets your time and cost requirements.

Following strict safety standards and superior quality control we take pride in our professionalism and speedy execution of assignments. Under the proactive style of working and association formed with leading freight forwarding companies that extend due support we hope to reach every corner of the land.

HERD TRANSPORT

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Image – Courtesy Google

HERD Transport is a division under HERD Medical Foundation Pvt. Ltd. that caters to running of school buses. The enterprise was initially undertaken to cater to school transportation needs of affiliated schools. With time the scope of services widened to include management of school bus operations for additional schools. The division has valid certification from Regional Transport Office and the company duly follows norms laid by Maharashtra State for running of school-bus services.

A reliable team of bus-drivers, bus-conductors and lady conductors is on the rosters. HERD Transport works with the mission of delivering unfailing and efficient services at affordable cost. Mr. Shriram Paralkar, Transport Manager is the key person responsible for managing the venture. He has extensive experience in procedural management of running school buses, and offers his commitment in ensuring dependable transportation services for children to attend school in a safe and timely manner.

HERD Transport is steadily being recognized as a dependable transport agency, and is well known for its school commute services. It offers trustworthy and secure travel for children in excellent vehicles that are regularly checked for upkeep and safety.  The use of integrated technology for smooth operations is a key feature of HERD Transport school buses.

On offer is transportation amenity for eligible urban and rural students and students with special needs too. All may avail of transport assistance for school commute in the readily recognizable yellow bus school service. HERD Transport assists parents by providing dependable conveyance for children at reasonable costs to and fro. The company now runs school bus services for a number of schools.

School Bus Services:

  • Routes for various schools are designed to pick-up and drop-off students in the safest and most practical way.
  • Travel fare is calculated for distance at a concessional fare as compared to other modes of transport.
  • Our school buses travel on designated routes and students are picked up and dropped off at designated locations along these routes.
  • School bus services ensure students are provided with allocated seats so as promote comfort and discipline.

HERD Transport remains determined in safeguarding every hazard and to solicit supportive hand-holding from our school partners in joining in to do our utmost to further improve child road safety commute through a range of measures including education and vigilance.

The team believes it is particularly important to do all we can to promote road safety for children on their school journey. This is why we continually keep guiding, raise awareness and make recommendations for how school authorities and our school transport operators can work together to  reduce journey risk and improve the safety of children travelling to and from school.

Traveling by school bus is seven times safer than traveling by car… For perspective…, more than 30,000 people are killed in traffic crashes every year annually” ~~ NHTSA – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration