Improving lives by building self-reliance, co-existence, and sustainability.

Our on-ground program implementations are addressing a wide range of issues at both individual and community level, delivering impact at scale that can sustain for generations to come.


native trees planted


waste management projects setup helping 39,994 households


Sports Centers where 8,077 children play sports actively with 23% girl participation


Learn Labs engaging 4,085 children


health workshops reached 26,304 adolescent girls

Stories of Change

Youth Club of Jhanduke
Youth Club of Jhanduke
Youth Club of Jhanduke

Desertification is not an abstract concept for the 991 homes in Jhanduke village. It is felt in their homes, affecting their livelihoods in the most fundamental way. It is seen in the meals they eat, and the meals they cannot have. Like in most areas in Punjab, Jhanduke’s tree cover has been swallowed by farms and unbridled crop intensification. Changes in weather and reduced rainfall have resulted in a rapidly sinking water table.

“When I was a boy, there was a lot of rain and even hail, and it would get cold. I remember seeing my breath condensing when I spoke. Now there’s less rain and it hardly gets cold,” says Bhagwant Sigh, President of the village Youth Club. “In this region, where agriculture is the backbone of the economy and land is a person’s most valuable asset, desertification means devastation,” adds Gagandeep Singh, Joint Secretary of the club. “Most of India’s 1.2 billion people depend on Punjab to feed them. What they don’t know is that Punjab is running on borrowed time.”

Founded by and run with the support of Roundglass Foundation, the Youth Club is on a mission to reverse this downward spiral. The club has committed to re-establishing the natural green cover by planting indigenous trees.  The foundation is providing saplings, seeds, technical training, on-site planning assistance and maintenance support. Four hundred trees have been planted in a dense patch and hundreds more all over the village. “We are committed to this work because we want the next generation to have trees, though some species have already disappeared,” Bhagwant says. Starting with a small group of 11, the club is now 60-member strong.

Understanding the vital importance of their work, they are happy to sacrifice free time – weekends or evenings – to plant and patrol, tending to the saplings, and ensuring that their tomorrow will bring a cleaner, greener environment.

“We are bringing back native trees that do not exist now – species like desi kikar and white kikar, farmaha and phulai. These trees were common in our grandparents’ days, but are not seen anymore,” says Rajnish Kumar, who leads the initiative for Roundglass Foundation. Many of Punjab’s native trees are mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib and are known to have medicinal properties.

Community engagement is critical to the success of any long-term project. Each home in the village has been given two saplings to plant in the front yard, and the family takes ownership and responsibility for their growth. In local schools, children are taught about climate change and the importance of maintaining the forest cover. “We tell them they need to care for trees and the trees will care for them,” Rajnish says.

The community has started sharing this knowledge with neighboring villages. Twenty-two-year-old Satpal Singh, from adjoining Fatta Maluke, came to see what the excitement in Jhanduke was all about. “They are changing the face of Jhanduke and it is the youth who are driving this change. If they can do it, we can do it too,” he says.

From a trash trove to a zero-waste community
From a trash trove to a zero-waste community
From a trash trove to a zero-waste community

Two years ago, Santosh and her family were ready to move from their home in Dau Majra, a village in Ludhiana district. They could not bear the stench emanating from a garbage dump behind their house. Every time they cleaned it up, garbage would recollect in a heap in a few days. “The problem was that there was no system for people to dispose of their waste,” she says. “People would sneak out in the dark and dump it when I could not prevent it.”

Most people dealt with trash in two ways: burning and dumping. They burned waste in the open, or dumped it “in places no one looks at so it doesn’t bother anyone,” as one villager said. That included people’s backyards, among piles of rocks, or, most commonly, into ponds and rivers.

Floodwaters swept more trash from banks into the rivers, further polluting the water bodies.

Early this year, Roundglass Foundation introduced waste management to Dau Majra, and things started to change.

“Most of the inhabitants had no knowledge of the negative impact trash had on their lives,” says Rajneesh Kumar the man driving the transformation for Roundglass Foundation. Initially they told him, “We have plenty of good air here, so the burning doesn’t affect it.” One villager claimed,“The trash just goes away, and the air goes back to normal.”

Through workshops organized by the team, villagers learned of the threats posed by improperly disposed trash. They were taught about the toxic chemicals and carcinogens released into the environment by burning plastic; about the pollutants that contaminate soil, water and air; and about the diseases that are caused by rotting garbage heaps.

Once aware of their responsibility to their own surroundings, Dau Majra’s population of 790 adopted the Roundglass Waste Management system. Today they segregate 80 per cent of garbage at source, creating employment for a door-to-door waste collector. Nearly 14 tons of manure is produced every month, and revenues are being generated through composting and recycling.

Santosh is happy she stayed back. The garbage piles have been removed, and collection happens at the composting site on the outskirts of the village. “I feel like I live in a new place,” she says.

Next on the village agenda: improve its environmental credentials by eliminating the use of plastic. The plan involves working with schools and youth groups to change behavior, creating awareness of the hazardous effects of plastic on the environment, and arranging events for disposal of discarded plastic.

Women Building a Cleaner Punjab
Women Building a Cleaner Punjab
Women Building a Cleaner Punjab

Out of the twenty villages where Roundglass Foundation has launched its Waste Management initiative, Laut village has something uniquely uplifting. It is the only village where a woman waste collector has been hired to collect garbage from the village households. Laut’s first woman waste collector, Amandeep Kaur, has a very empowering story.

Amandeep, who has never worked outside her home before, gets up early  every morning to ride her green rickshaw cart across the village collecting waste from village homes. She picks dry and waste separately, and then dumps the wet waste in the honeycomb-styled compost pits in the village. This is where wet waste is converted to compost to be given back to the villagers – the crucial last step of the Roundglass Waste Management program.

Amandeep readily accepted the work of a waste collector. She says,

"No work is big or small. I find this work to be quite powerful. It has given me an opportunity to help clean our village. When people appreciate the change that has taken place, I know I have played an important role in making that happen."

Under RGF’s Waste Management program, segregation of waste is a technical mandate for the smooth functioning of this initiative. Amandeep makes sure that it is done properly by regularly talking to rural residents. Amandeep understands how solid waste accumulation becomes an environmental, health and aesthetic hazard, and builds awareness about it among the villagers.

“The project has come as a relief for the village women because household waste is always a woman’s headache. Most of them are happy with this new solution, therefore they support it by properly segregating waste at source. But if there are some who still don’t understand it, I interact with them and focus on the health benefits for the entire community.”

Seeing her efforts bear great results, Amandeep is delighted with the change that has taken place in her village. “My heart knows that somewhere I have played a significant role in bringing such an important change in the village. Where else do you see clean lanes? Visit other villages and you will find gutters choked with all sorts of garbage. But you will not find that in our village!”

Mother of four children, Amandeep is quite proud of the fact that, with her new job, she is supporting her family financially too. From not earning anything at all to contributing 7000 rupees every month now, she has come a long way towards living a life of meaning and wellbeing.

Thinking Beyond Tomorrow
Thinking Beyond Tomorrow
Thinking Beyond Tomorrow

Surinder Singh’s earliest memories are of playing in his village with birds chirping in the background. Over the years, the birds went quiet, dying from pesticide-infused toxic food. Then the vultures died after feeding on the carcasses of oxytocin-injected cattle. Gradually, the climate changed. The “loo” winds that blew sharp and hot for a month, killing mosquitos before the onset of monsoons, now barely breezed in for a day. The rains became unpredictable and infrequent.

However, the crop yield from his family farm doubled as, like many others in Punjab, they adopted the wheat-paddy monoculture and plied the soil with synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. Until one day, it all blew up.

The Green Revolution transformed Punjab into India’s breadbasket, but it extracted a high environmental cost. The fertile soil has degraded to polluted mud, contaminating ground water, and resulting in an increase in human and livestock diseases.

The high cost of production and diminishing economic returns is affecting farmers so severely that a state that was once known for its flourishing agrarian economy is now dealing with a ‘farmer suicide’ crisis.

Organic agriculture- making a positive impact beyond farming.

When Roundglass Foundation stepped in to offer organic farming support in his village, Surinder Singh was the first to sign up. Surinder was hesitant when he was told that the returns would dip initially. However, the foundation’s promise to compensate him for the deficit during the three-year transition and help in certification removed all his doubts.

Singh has produced at home the organic compost he uses in the soil that will help control erosion, retain moisture and nutrients, and manage weeds. After cover cropping, he was surprised to find that the ground was holding better, and weeds could be controlled without chemicals.

The basmati he sowed instead of the water-guzzling paddy is also pushing up green and firm. In time he hopes the natural ecosystem will be revived as well.

"Living on a farm and seeing the life around you is incredible, but it's very vulnerable to our influence. It's important to make sure our food choices don't impair that. When we switch to organic, we think beyond ourselves. The choices we make have a huge impact on every other part of our ecosystem."

Finding joy in growing food the right way, Singh has become RGF’s advocate for organic farming, explaining to other farmers how natural farming practice is both thoughtful and profitable.

“It’s important for us to know what’s in our food and that we’re doing the best we possibly can for future generations,” says Singh. “We can’t keep using chemicals the way we have been for the last 50 years. You don’t want poison in your food and don’t want other people to consume toxins either.”

Flourishing with nature…not against it
Flourishing with nature…not against it
Flourishing with nature…not against it

Software Engineer Harpreet Singh hails from a family of farmers. During his childhood days, everything in his family’s kitchen would come directly from the farm. Right from vegetables such as potato and cauliflower, to pulses, jaggery, seeds and sugar, all food was from their own farms. His father worked hard in the fields and made sure that his children ate good, nourishing food.

But Harpreet wasn’t able to give his son and daughter the kind of food he grew up eating. “Every time I would get grocery and vegetables from the market, I knew I was buying poison for my children. Like my father, I also wanted to give healthy food to my kids. But the ‘green revolution’ has turned every food item toxic,” shares Harpreet. He felt a strong pull to going back to natural, organic farming methods on his own.  And when Roundglass Foundation presented its Organic Farming initiative,  he didn’t need to think twice to sign up.

Harpreet adds, “My conscious mind knew that we were eating poison. 90% of the chemicals that are used by farmers on the field are not necessary but they are still spraying to increase yield. It has become only a matter of business now.”

When Harpreet joined hands with Roundglass Foundation, he was assured of their commitment to compensate him for the deficit during the three-year transition, and to help him with the certification.

As he continues to work for Edifecs, Harpreet has also begun farming with organic practices on three acres of his land. He has grown organic wheat, mustard, black gram, masri, basmati, till and makki. It is inspiring to see him working full days at office, and devoting the rest of his time and weekends to working in his chemical-free field . “I have created a balance between my work in office and farming because I want to bring back the natural way of farming. Even if someone does it on just one acre – there is a huge change that the person can bring.”

Harpreet has been inspired by writer, environmentalist and philanthropist Bhagat Puran Singh who has an organic farm at Manewala. Bhagat’s strong views on the deleterious effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on health resonated with Harpreet. Having lost his mother to cancer some years ago, Harpreet understands the terrible toll we pay in our lives simply to increase crop yields. He says, “Guru Nanak Dev ji has identified air as guru, water as father and earth as mother – Pavan Guru, Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat. In the present chemical farming process, the entire ecosystem gets affected. Earlier, a farmer loved the animals in the fields, and every animal or insect had a role to play. There was a chain of life that we have broken. But when you switch to organic farming, your entire thought process changes. You don’t want to kill anything, and that makes you a better human being.”

Harpreet is quite vocal about the need to stop the use of chemicals in growing crops. With his experience in organic farming, he feels he also has measurable results to share with people. “By associating with Roundglass Foundation, I have learnt many new things about organic farming. It has provided me the chance to adopt new techniques and helped me hone my farming skills. Now I have the practical knowledge to share with anyone who wants to pursue organic farming.”

And that is what Harpreet has been doing. He has reached out to other young farmers, encouraging them to take advantage to the foundation’s support. “When farmers started chemical farming, Punjab’s new generation were left with nothing to do. Organic farming allows you to bring in new ideas and processes to try on the field. With organic techniques there is lot of cross diversification that one can do. There is huge scope for going creative.”

“Organic farming allows you to bring in new ideas and processes to try on the field. With organic techniques there is lot of cross diversification that one can do. There is huge scope for going creative.”

Creative, flourishing, organic – through Roundglass Foundation’s Organic Farming initiative, Harpreet has found the best way to grow the food he has always wanted for his family.

Life's big questions, answered.
Life's big questions, answered.
Life's big questions, answered.

Today, this 15-year-old is full of enthusiasm and hope. A regular at our Learn Lab in Aloona Tola, usually the first one to come to the lab and the last one to leave, she dreams of being a doctor. A dream that she knows she can make a reality.

Being the oldest of four siblings, Gurjeet started her day at 4 AM with household chores to help her mother – a daily-wage NREGA worker struggling to feed her four kids and alcoholic husband. Gurjeet hurried with her routine chores to carve out time to study during the day.

Despite all her efforts, Gurjeet was struggling in school. Studying was not easy with limited access to books, and the limited knowledge of her teachers. She could sense her dream of higher education and a better life slipping away. But her resilient heart would not give up.

When a Learn Lab opened at her school, Gurjeet went to the lab out of curiosity – to see how computers work. What she discovered was a new world of knowledge and learning. Access to the internet was like finding a key to a treasure chest of answers and new questions!

From answering questions related to her course subjects to searching for ‘how to become a doctor’, Gurjeet utilizes the facilities of the Learn Lab regularly. Now a senior secondary student in a school 10 km away, she comes to the Learn Labs center every day, even requesting that the lab open on non-working days! From the lost, struggling girl a year ago, Gurjeet has come a long way. She has developed a sense of purpose, self-confidence, and found a direction to her life.

“Learn Labs reduce our dependency on teachers for answers. Finding my own answers is very empowering.”

Among the highest performing students in her class today, and student with the most questions in the lab, Gurjeet is on the path of fulfilling her dream of being a doctor.

“Learn Labs is the best thing that has happened to us. Earlier we had many unanswered questions. Through the internet in the Learn Lab we can know everything we have wanted to know. I dream of becoming a doctor. With Learn Labs, I know I can find a way.”

Like Gurjeet there are many children across Punjab looking for answers. Answers that can change their world and brighten their future. Help us open the world to them! Our goal is to establish 100 labs across Punjab by end of the year 2019. With a small monthly donation of $25, or by signing up to be a Learn Pal, you can contribute to fulfilling the dreams of children in rural Punjab.

Learn more about our initiative on empowering children to define their own learning path and educate themselves using technology.

Making Children World Aware
Making Children World Aware
Making Children World Aware

As the clock hits one in the afternoon, students of class 6th of Government School, Gigemajra, settle down in front of an LCD screen in their Learn Lab. Within few seconds, they see the face of an urban 22-year-old girl smiling from the smart screen. It is Jaanvi Kataria connecting from Mumbai via Skype for an interactive session with students of this village of Punjab.

Jaanvi hails from Amritsar and is pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. “For the first time, I came across an organisation doing such impressive work for the children of my state,” says Jaanvi. She is delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to her home state while continuing her education in Mumbai. Jaanvi is working with Roundglass Foundation as a Learn Pal volunteer for our Learn Labs – SOLE initiative. In the SOLE lab initiative Learn Pals volunteer from all over the world to interact with children over video calls to help them improve their communication skills and aid them in their quest for knowledge.

After Jaanvi finishes introducing herself in this session, she drives the conversation by asking all the 14 students to introduce themselves in English. “Introduction is the most important part. This is the first step where one can help these children in building their confidence and communication skills. They are already getting an education in school but who looks after their communication skills?” questions Jaanvi.

All her about-30-minute sessions are fun and diverse. From mathematics to science, from English conversations to new games, from reading books on culture to experimenting with new technology, Jaanvi tries to open for these children a new world beyond their village.

In today’s session, Jaanvi is talking about the environment. She has quizzed children about different forms of wet and dry waste. When the children finish coming up with different examples, she explains the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. Jaanvi also has green and blue coloured dustbins in her apartment. She quickly pans her laptop camera towards the garbage bins and shows them how she segregates waste before the garbage collector picks it from her.

“These sessions give a lot of confidence to the children. By interacting with young people based in different cities and countries, these village children start looking up to us and want to reach where we are.” shares Jaanvi. Excited about helping children reach for their dreams while she gets the fulfilment of helping her community, she states, “I look forward to every session as there is immense love and respect I get in return. It makes me forget all my worries. In fact, my friends feel I’m doing a wonderful and noble job. They are amazed to see how I am uplifting my community despite staying in a completely different state.”

One Man Can Be An Army
One Man Can Be An Army
One Man Can Be An Army

Meet Gurpreet Singh. In 2010 he realized that the plant cover in Punjab had to be drastically improved and we humans need to be kind to our planet. Without waiting for support or help from those around him, he started planting saplings. People were quick to declare him mad. It didn’t bother him.

A professional photographer, he also heads Samrala Hockey Club that has more than 80 members. Inspired by the work of environmentalist Baba Seechewal, Gurpreet kept planting and nurturing saplings in his free time. His efforts started showing when everyone noticed the transformation at the Samrala Railway Station. In the years he had planted more than 6000 trees at the station, nurtured 3 mini forests and 12 parks around the station. He has also created 5500 bird nests and planted more than a lakh trees.  Samrala Railway Station has become an example for railway stations in North India.

What started as a lone man’s initiative, soon garnered an immense following. People saw his vision and made it their own. Popular Punjabi singers like Manmohan Waaris and Kamal Heer are now regular faces at these on-ground plantation drives.

What makes Gurpreet Singh stand out is his innovative approach to the plantation drive. In 2018 he started knocking on doors with free fruit plants. He spoke to householders encouraging them to plant the fruit trees in their compounds. More than 300 houses in Punjab now have mango, lychee, chickoo, and guava growing in their gardens.

Roundglass Foundation was happy to get him on board in 2021. If you have come across the mini forest in Bhanglan, where 1300 trees are spread over 1 acre of land, it is the fruit of us working with Gurpreet.

Here’s what Gurpreet has to say about us, “Other organizations charge for doing such activities. But RGF is doing everything for free. This is a big thing. Also planting more and more trees is the need of the hour as due to deforestation Punjab’s green cover has substantially decreased.”

Gurpreet’s interest extends to sports too. He heads the Samrala Hockey Club. With 80 very active members, they play many matches and represent the state too. But since no story of Gurpreet’s comes without a surprise, here’s one too. All the members of the club are above 40 years of age.

A photographer who starts a plantation drive and heads a hockey club. It was great meeting you.

We need more people with kindness toward our planet. We need more Gurpreet’s.

Your generous donation will empower us to bring a positive impact in the lives of many. More of us is more of change.