NEER Foundation was founded in 2004 after realizing the urgent need for capacity building of different stakeholders involved in the management and protection of the environment and society. Since its appearance NEER Foundation has worked untiringly towards developing a sustainable environment for all by means of grassroots level activities, policy advocacy, mass awareness, community action, field demonstrations and information dissemination.
The efforts of NEER Foundation have borne fruit in the form of improved institutional and local environment and increased community participation in various environmental and human rights issues at the local, national and international levels.
Vision and Mission
To work towards a pollution free world where every individual can have a healthy existence and promotes sustainable development in every sphere. Through its local and national initiatives, NEER Foundation links up to global initiatives and believes in creating positive global impacts.
Local people’s participation and empowerment in decision making at all levels and control over resources is the key way out of environmental degradation.
NF strongly believes that public awareness plays a major role in defining policy issues at various levels. Over the years NF has be-come capable of advocating for various environmental and human rights issues by means of collection and dissemination of information about the resources and accessing the damages caused to our environment and society. This has been done by outreaching to the locals through grass root level initiatives along with an active participation in the policymaking by interacting with various stakeholders such as government authorities, corporate, activists, technical experts, and advisers etc.
NEER is working in Western Uttar Pradesh districts namely Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Bijnor, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Baghpat, Gautambudhnagar, Hapur, Shamli, Aligarh, Etah, Farukkhbad, Kannauj, Kasganj and Moradabad. But through its various programs and campaigns, it has spread its influence in neighboring states as well.
As a speaker
· Invited by the 5th World Water Forum in
Istanbul (Turkey) to deliver a presentation for the Water Experts on March 2009.
· Invited by the Thammasat University (7th South East Asia Water Symposium) in Bangkok (Thailand) to address the students participating from different countries, through a presentation, on October 2009.
· Invited by the Nepal Engineering College, Kathmandu (Nepal) to deliver a presentation for the Water Experts on May 2010.
· Invited by the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh (India) to deliver a presentation for the Water Experts on June 5, 2010.
· Member of the End Water Poverty and World Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
· Invited at the India International Centre, New Delhi to deliver a presentation on Kali River Pollution and efforts of the foundation to save the river on Feb 8, 2012.
· Invited by Zila Panchayat, Meerut to deliver a presentation on Kali River Pollution and efforts of the foundation to save the river on March 24, 2012.
· Invited by Biotechnology Department, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Agricultural University, Meerut, to deliver a lecture on rural water technology, on March 21, 2015.
Awards and Recognition
- “Oasis Award” for its participation in World Water Monitoring Day at the hand pump near Tajmahal on August 22, 2010. The Oasis Award is awarded by WEF and IWA to the group that conducted water quality monitoring in the highest air temperature.
- Prestigious “World Water Champion Award 2009, 2010 and 2011” by WEF and IWA, for its outstanding contribution in the sector of Water.
- “Water Digest Award 2010-11 and 2012-13” - It has been selected as the Best Water NGO, for the Water Education category among the organizations working on the issue of water conservation across the states.
- International “Green Apple Award 2012” for its outstanding contribution towards environment conservation programs by the UK based The Green Organization.
- Awarded with “National Status Award for Intellectual Development - 2012”.
- “Green Hero Award 2013” for its outstanding contribution towards environment conservation programs by the UK based The Green Organization.
- Prakarti Manthan Award 2012 – October 28th, 2012 - Awarded by famous poet Sh. Ishwarchand Gambhir, Sh. Vijay Pandey of Green Care Society and Sh. Mukesh Nadan of Prakarti Manthan Magazine on behalf of Prakarti Manthan Magazine group and Green Care Society, Meerut.
- Recognition by Lok Kalyan Manch, Meerut –December 23rd, 2012 - for its potential .
- “National Environment Jewel Award 2013” by Vishwamitr organization, New Delhi.
- “Vardan Karamveer Chakra 2014” for its contribution towards environment conservation and youth role.
NEER is primarily involved in research work on various aspects. It is the prime objective to find out facts and numbers to aide in development process and awareness of the society.
NEER has conducted sample tests of the Kali East river, Hindon river and other river water, conducted research on various aspects of the river, also has documented a film on the plight of the river Kali. Jal Samitis have also been made in villages to protect the river. Various efforts are being put into restore and revive the Kali river.
To analyze the levels of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the vegetables, eight samples of different vegetables were collected from Meerut region and sent for testing. Presences of those pesticides which are banned in the country are found in most of the vegetables. It is moreover surprising that production, sale or any kind of usage of these pesticides is banned in India, but they are still being used in Meerut region. This study report by NEER has been published in newspapers dailies. The Ministry of Agriculture has been sent these reports. It is crucial to keep a check on our vegetable content.
Polluted Vegetables Safe Vegetables
MANURE & SOIL
According to scientific view, manure made from cow dung and other natural sources when used in field soil, usually take around 3 years time to fully dissolve. Only 30-35 % of the particles of this manure dissolve in the field in the first year. Even in the second year about the same percentage is dissolved again. Finally, in the third year, it dissolves fully.
Water Conservation and Awareness
NF has undertaken grass root level work towards water conservation and management in both rural and urban scenario. Mass awareness is being spread by the organization on water conservation and management with the active involvement of the farmers, schools, colleges, universities, government and civil society organizations and the community.
The rural community is being made aware to save the natural water resources. The organization time to time carries out research and studies on the existence of the historical water bodies. At the same time, the water bodies which have been encroached are saved through raising awareness amongst the local community.
More than seven water bodies have been revived through community participation. The revived ponds have been handed over to the group of local villagers through natural water resources committees headed by Gram Pradhan for maintenance.
NF has been working towards facilitating individuals and organizations in setting up the rainwater harvesting structures. We have already motivated and facilitated in establishing rainwater harvesting structures in more than 68 buildings all around the district. The main objective is to enable people to have access to potable water while at the same time re- storing aquifers and reducing the pollutant levels within them.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
NF time to time creates awareness on water and sanitation hygiene amongst the urban and rural communities of the district. Information about personal hygiene, good habits, hygienic practices during menstruation, water hygiene, proper sanitation and other issues is given to the women/girls and children.
Save River Campaign
The organization has taken the lead to prepare the first policy draft of river policy for Uttar Pradesh, for the government to formulate a policy based on the points. It has made a potential contribution for saving the highly polluted Kali River (E), Ganga River, Kali River (W), Hin- don, Krishni & Budhi Ganga. A mass campaign has been launched wherein ‘Raksha Samiti’ and ‘Nadi Rakshaks’ have been appointed in the villages located on the banks of the rivers.
A Rural Rain Centre has also been established at Poothi village, Meerut district where water conservation has been undertaken at a larger scale. Anyone can visit the center to obtain information about rainwater conservation. Around 60 thousand liters of water can be saved in a year through this model.
NEER is primarily focused on clean water for all. Therefore to collect adequate data, water samples from different water sources and locations are sent for testing. Water samples are taken from river surface, underground water, govt. hand pump water, private hand pump water, wells, johads, ponds, tube wells, etc. The water is tested for the presence of pollutants, odor, color, etc. If the test reports prove the water to be unfit for use, then such reports are taken to the concerned authority to take action and provide alternatives/solutions for the problem.
NEER has been acting as a national coordinator for World Water Monitoring Day since few years and has won the awards for three years for best conduct. The water testing kits are easy to use and NEER has taken up water testing through these kits through the participation of school children, community members, etc at different locations. Also, NEER has won the recognitions for testing the water at highest temperature.
NEER regularly publishes the research data and study reports which it undertakes, in the newspapers and magazines. To aware the public on the data reports or to inform them about latest developments in the environment sector, articles are published in Hindi and English newspapers. Also an English and Hindi quarterly newsletter “Paryavarn Sandesh” is issued. A documentary film on Kali River has also been made.
Environment Days Celebration
NEER celebrates each of the environment days such as World Earth Day, World Environment Day, World Water Day, Earth Hour, International River Day, Groundwater week, etc. Different activities are organized on such events. A seminar, tree plantation drive, awareness campaign, debates, poster making competition, etc are undertaken to mark these days.
NF has been actively working towards the protection & conservation of the environment. This is done through creating awareness among the masses and undertaking outreach pro- grams. Children have an active participation in all the programs. Following the environmental calendar every year, World Environment Day, Earth Day, Tree Plantation Drive, Ground Water Day, Forest Week, World Water Day, Earth Hour and other days are celebrated involving different stakeholders from the community.
In collaboration with AIESEC and Delhi University project ‘Heal the Earth’s Atmosphere Tomorrow (HEAT)’ is being implemented at Meerut district. The organization has made efforts to establish a center of HEAT program at Meerut which has given positive results. Students from four countries who are associated with ISAC under Heat Project visited Meerut to educate school students about environmental education.
NEER Foundation has lifted the torch, to spread the light of knowledge, making people aware of the water quality and its importance. This has been achieved through an association with the World Water Monitoring Day program. The foundation joined the pro- gram in 2009 and after its successful achievements was chosen as the National Coordina- tor of the program for India.
My Clean Meerut
NEER Foundation is running ‘My Clean Meerut’ campaign which aims to reach the people the Meerut City and inspire them to show their love and pride for the environment. This is an association with ‘My Clean India’, a campaign which was embarked on by Mr. Remco Van Santen from Australia. The campaign encourages people to take personal responsibility and by that, together find ways to keep their environment clean and green. This campaign is not just about less litter and rubbish although that is very important but also for cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner soil, and even a cleaner mind and relationships.
Analyzing the needs and priorities of the rural population, NF is making considerable for rural development. Activities undertaken involve a combination of delivery and service activities and employment generation activities. It ensured that all the activities are implemented under the leadership of Gram Pradhans who have the most important role in sustainable rural development.
Kheti Sudhar Abhiyaan
Farming is the mainstay of income in the region of Western Uttar Pradesh with sugar- cane being the major crop. NF under this program is providing field as well as training support to the farming community right from seed to the market. Organic seed distribution, preparation of organic composts and fertilizers, soil analysis, certification, value addition and market linkage are the components involved in the process.
Aadarsh Gaon Abhiyaan
NF has initiated this program for achieving sustainable rural development in the region with community involvement. In the initial phase of the program, it has adopted five villages of the district wherein it will be take up different activities time to time. These include agricultural programs, health and hygiene, human resource development, community development and trade and industrial programs.
Turning the fields back to organic is a task which the team has undertaken at the initiation of the foundation. Till date, numerous farmers have totally stopped using chemicals and in- stead use natural or organic fertilizers in their fields. To achieve this and to take it for- ward, timely agricultural meetings are organized in different areas so as to reach to different farming communities.
Hospital Waste Management
Through the promotion of toxics-free health care by spreading awareness in various states among the healthcare staff, hospitals, and the general public through workshops, training programs & media coverage held from time to time. The main focus of these programs is to bring the issue of mismanagement in handling biomedical waste.
Through school awareness program on E-waste and merits of recycling with a special focus on school children.
Municipal Waste Management
It promotes awareness about the benefits of community-based waste management, as well as the impacts on traditional and informal sector recycling processes. Promotion of “Waste to Wealth” concept for income generation as well as management of solid waste.