Members of Finland Chamber of Commerce in India (FINCHAM India) launches ‘Resilient Schools’ in New Delhi

By March 11, 2020 No Comments

A joint CSR initiative by Finnish companies in India to promote School-led Water Resilience and Resonating Communities

New Delhi, February 14, 2020: The Finland Chamber of Commerce in India (FINCHAM India), in association with Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE), a not-for-profit development organization that works with urban, informal and low-income communities, launched Project ‘Resilient Schools’ at EDMC Primary School, New Ashok Nagar, Shahdara South, Delhitoday. The project was inaugurated by Ambassador of Finland in India, H.E. RitvaKoukku-Ronde, in the presence of Dr. Seema Sharma, DD Education, EDMC, Mrs. Alka Sharma, Addl. Commissioner, EDMC, Dr. Renu Khosla, Director, CURE,members of FINCHAM and representatives from the Finnish companies in India.

Project ‘Resilient Schools’, a joint CSR initiative by the Finnish companies in India, aims to create water resilient schools and neighbourhood communities. This will be achieved by creating rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge systems, and also engaging with the school children and enhancing their perspective on environment, sustainability and other related issues. The program would also strive to increase awareness and build capacities of the teachers, sanitation staff and parents for sustainable outcomes.

Elaborating on the partnership, H.E. RitvaKoukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Finland in India said “This project is a very important example of cooperation between India and Finland in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility between the Finland Chamber of Commerce in India and CURE India (Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence). The Finnish business community has already shown to be very committed to integrate corporate responsibility into their businesses. With the same intent Project Resilient Schools has been identified, which will collectively contribute towards water conservation and will demonstrate tangible and measurable impact.

During the inauguration Mrs. Alka Sharma, Addl. Commissioner, EDMC shared, “A healthy and sustainableenvironment is critically important to our global society, our economy, our business and our people. In India, the quality of drinking water available to the urban population that live in slums and the urban poor families is mostly unsafe leading to water borne diseases. We are delighted to welcome such initiatives that support the transformation of India’s cities from water stressed to resilient in terms of safe drinking water.”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Neeraj Sharma, Chairperson, FINCHAM and Managing Director & President, Wärtsilä India said, “The challenge of climate change, increasing urbanisation and their impending impact on the quality of water and depleting water tables across Indian cities, including the nation’s capital, is well-known.  Together with CURE India, our implementation partner, FINCHAM members are hopeful of making a small, but measurable impact towards building the water resilience of the city.  Our initiative towards conserving and replenishing this important resource is being initiated with three schools and aims to engage more schools and communities as we go along.”

Commenting on the occasion,Mr Amit Gossain, Vice Chairperson, FINCHAM and Managing Director, KONE Elevator India said,“We are extremely excited to kick-start this project with CURE India, which will improve water resilience. Niti Aayog and the World Bank have emphasized the water crisis facing the nation’s capital city. As per studies, by this year, 21 major cities, including Delhi, is expected to reach zero groundwater levels, affecting access for 100 million people. Through our partnership with CURE, we are committed to taking concrete steps towards improving water conversation, recycling wastewater and minimizing waste generation.”

Dr. Renu Khosla, Director – Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence said, “Schools are not just buildings. These are places where children learn. Children learn better when they are in a positive learning environment, where they can construct new knowledge from the ‘content’ of their environment – by what they can see, what they can touch, what they can smell, or hear. Project Resilient Schools is aimed at creating access to reliable and safe water in schools, for now and in the future. Using an ecosystem approach it shall set up systems for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharging, treating, recycling and reusing wastewater, improving sanitation, and reclaiming and greening blighted spaces. The purpose is to curate knowledge that is useful at school and for improving communities – making for a resilient future.”

CURE is currently working with six primary schools managed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation(EDMC) on water and sanitation infrastructure and behaviour change communication. The programs address water management, sanitation, health and hygiene, ecological restoration, renewable energy and creating environmental awareness.

About CURE:

Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) is a not-for-profit, development organization that works with urban, informal and low-income communities, seeking to innovate and un-think inclusive development.  In particular, CURE strives to achieve three goals; one –  reconnected urban societies that take rightful decisions to ensure sustainable urban development; two –  strengthened local agencies with capacities for community engagement, participatory planning and development; and three –  evidence from the ground up for people-centred planning and development of cities. CURE’s strength lies in its communitarian approach. CURE believes that community participation is a ‘powerful organizing ideal’ – the scaffolding that fosters sustainable development in and of communities. It seeks to build real and meaningful participation in cities that can contribute to local development planning and design.


Finland Chamber of Commerce in India (FINCHAM India) has been established in 2018 to boost trade of the Finnish companies and to support investment and other business operation of its members in various terms.

FINCHAM India strives to provide an organized platform where Finnish companies in India can discuss and identify common issues and concerns regarding their economic and trade interests. The Chamber also acts as an advocacy forum for promoting interests of members on the policy front. Furthermore, the Chamber aims to help Finnish companies in their corporate affair and social responsibility activities, government relations work, dispute resolution and problem solving.

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Swati Grover | [email protected] | +91 9810864260