New Delhi: HCL Foundation, the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, announced the recipients of HCL Grant 2019 in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Mr. Sourav Ganguly, Former captain of the Indian National Cricket Team. One of the biggest and most coveted institutionalized CSR grants of India, HCL Grant recognizes the rise of community-led ecosystems of NGOs. Three NGOs across the categories of Education, Healthcare and Environment received a grant of ₹5 crore each. This year, HCL Grant also introduced an additional grant of ₹25 lakhs each for the six finalists across the three categories, taking the overall Grant purse to ₹16.5 crore.
The HCL Grant award ceremony, held at the HCL Technologies campus in Noida, was also graced by Mr. Shiv Nadar, Founder & Chairman, HCL, Ms. Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Vice Chairperson, HCL Technologies and Chairperson, CSR Committee, HCL Technologies, along with senior dignitaries, bureaucrats, NGO-partners and the HCL leadership.
The recipients of HCL Grant 2019 are:
Health – The 2019 HCL Grant winner in this category is She Hope Society for Women Entrepreneurs. Established in 2001, the organization is working in remote, border and isolated areas of Jammu and Kashmir on Physical Rehabilitation.
o Project Title: Humanitarian assistance to strengthen inclusion and safety of vulnerable persons especially women and children in conflict affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
o Project Location: 4 Districts of Jammu & Kashmir (Kupwara, Baramulla, Rajouri and Poonch)
Environment – Wildlife Trust of India is the winner of HCL Grant 2019 in the Environment category. WTI has been working towards wildlife and biodiversity conservation issues across the country since 1999.
o Project Title: Connecting Landscapes, Empowering People and Protecting Elephants- An initiative to secure the Baghmara – Balpakram Elephant corridor and protect the wildlife habitats of Garo Hills, Meghalaya.
o Project Location: Garo Hills, Meghalaya.
Education – The winner for HCL Grant 2019 in the Education category is Srijan Foundation. Established in 2001, the Srijan Foundation aims to work for the welfare of the underprivileged by building capacity of the community as well as grass root organizations.
o Project Title: Educating the Women Farmers for better Livelihood Opportunities and better Income Generation.
o Project Location: Hazaribagh and West Singhbhum in Jharkhand.
Till date, HCL Grant has committed ₹35 crore (US$5.4 million) towards rural development with an ambition to reach over 900,000 people. Today, the seven HCL Grant recipients are addressing some of the most pressing issues in the remotest corners of the country with innovative solutions – creating the last mile support framework. Since 2015, HCL Grant projects have already significantly altered over 3,70,000 lives in 3500 villages across 26 districts in 12 states of India.
Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said, “HCL has put together a great model to support the country’s development agenda. Health, Environment and Education constitute core components of any country’s development program. It is also imperative that all the stakeholders – government, corporates, NGOs and civil society work together to make a greater impact. I congratulate the winners and the finalists for their sincere work and wish them all the best.”
Mr. Sourav Ganguly, Former Captain of Indian National Cricket Team said, “I feel privileged to be a part of this event. It is inspiring to see the work of the NGOs and I congratulate the winners of HCL Grant and HCL for the outstanding work they are doing to make a difference in the lives of the communities they serve. I believe working for causes and charitable purposes is like a habit and we should all strive to do our bit because development is not a one-person job – but requires a team effort to drive meaningful impact.”
During the event, the third edition of the “The Fifth Estate – NGOs transforming Rural India in Environment, Health and Education”, was also released. This is a comprehensive compendium detailing out the work of India’s top NGOs who are making credible efforts towards empowering rural India. This Compendium is put together basis the research that HCL conducts during the evaluation process of HCL Grant and serves as a point of reference for other organizations or individuals looking to support NGOs in a particular field.
Speaking on the occasion Ms. Nidhi Pundhir, Director HCL Foundation, said “HCL Grant is a unique initiative in the CSR space where we make an attempt to not only recognize the heroes contributing to growth and development of India but also engage with them over years to achieve the desired impact. Over the course of four years, HCL Grant has enabled the emergence of a cadre of remarkable community-based, participatory NGOs that are strengthening grassroots development by driving deeper and wider impact.”
The eminent Jury for this year’s Grant was chaired by Ms. Robin Abrams and comprised Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia – Leading Economist and Chairperson, Board of Governors, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Ms. Pallavi Shroff – Eminent Legal Counsel, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., Mr. B.S. Baswan – Former Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration and former HRD secretary, Mr. Richard Lariviere – President, Field Museum, Chicago and Former President of the University of Oregon, James Syring, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Operations Support, USAA. and Mr. Shiv Nadar – Founder & Chairman, HCL.
“HCL Grant is a path-breaking initiative towards recognizing and supporting the inspiring work done by NGOs in three key development categories in India. It has been an interesting journey to shortlist the finalists and winners as all the entries had a significant story to tell with a visible impact on ground” said Ms. Robin Abrams, former president of Palm Computing and longest-serving Board member of HCL Technologies.
The fourth edition of HCL Grant witnessed an overwhelming response from NGOs from across the country, with over 4,000 applicants. The applications were carefully scrutinized through a robust 8-month long process, monitored and audited by Governance Partner, Grant Thornton. Built into the Grant’s structure, beyond identifying the project that needs support, there is a system to fortify the organization itself, provide a methodology for implementation, and monitor the impact, sustainable in time and complexity.