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HCL Grant Pan-India Symposium – CSR for Nation Building 2019

HCL Foundation, the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, hosted the second of the HCL Grant Pan-India Symposiums for capacity building of NGOs at the Loyala College, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai on April 24, 2019. A panel discussion was conducted with local NGO representatives and civil society experts on the theme “CSR for bridging the sectoral gaps in education, healthcare and environment. A total of ¬¬200 plus NGOs participated in the event representing the Fourth Estate.

So far, the HCL Grant has already committed Rs 51.5 crore (~US$ 7.25 million) towards Rural Development in the areas of Environment, Health and Education through current HCL Grant Projects with an ambition to reach 10, 15, 033 people in 7, 577 villages in 42 districts across 15 states of India of which the projects have already covered 4, 64, 088 beneficiaries. HCL Grant has seen a significant increases in the number of registrations coming in, from the first edition in 2016 to the fourth edition which concluded in February 2019. In the 2018-19 edition a total of 11468 registrations were seen, of which, 9195 registrations were unique from NGOs.

Ms. Nidhi Pundhir, Director HCL Foundation, set the context with an overview of HCL Foundation, whereas the panel was addressed by eminent speakers such as Ms. Sharon Buteau, Executive Director, IFMR LEAD(Moderator), Mr. Arun P.B, Head CSR, Siemens Gamesa, Ms. Archana Raghuram, Executive Director, United Way Chennai, Mr. Ganesh Subramanian, Director, Chrysalis, Dr. Siluvai Raja, Prof.CK Prahlad Centre for Emerging India, LIBA.

• The symposium comprised several sessions where experts shared their experiences and insights on subjects like Decoding the Section 135, and Facts on the Changing CSR Landscape in India; and Design Thinking for Development Sector Solutions
• The symposium also had a session on the ‘Power of Fifth Estate’ where the recipients of HCL Grant shared their experiences of how HCL Grant helped them bring about the desired impact.
• This is the first time that HCL Foundation has conducted the symposium in Chennai, however, in the state of Tamil Nadu, it hosted a similar symposium in Coimbatore in 2018.
• HCL Technologies has a strong strategic connect with the state, as the company has made significant investment in Tamil Nadu. Through its fully operational centers in Chennai and Madurai in the state, HCL has been providing services to many of its global customers.
• Through this Symposium, HCL Foundation spoke to the NGOs on CSR mandate, challenges and opportunities in the local area development, Proposal writing and Project Management and encouraged them to apply for HCL Grant 2019-2020. The state has very many good NGOs working in the field of Education, Health and Environment and therefore we hope that a symposium here will benefit the NGOS working in the region. Also, nearby states can easily travel from the region
• Keystone Foundation, the winner of HCL Grant 2018 in the Environment category also comes from Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu and has been doing exemplary work in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) with indigenous communities on improving their lives, livelihoods, and maintaining their unique cultures.
• The first of the Pan-India symposiums held in Kochi earlier month. The remaining symposiums of the series will be held in 6 other cities including, Hyderabad, Gangtok, Lucknow, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Shimla
• The HCL Grant Pan-India Symposiums is an initiative by HCL Foundation to bring together NGOs, Government, Corporates, and Policy Makers on one platform, across India, such that they can interact, develop regional as well as sectoral understanding about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and deliberate upon how it can contribute towards Nation Building. In the last 2 years, symposiums have been held in 24 cities.
• Through these symposiums, HCL Foundation aims to inform the NGOs about HCL Grant, one of the most coveted institutionalized grants available in India, which identifies NGOs doing path-breaking work in rural development through an independent, robust and democratic process.
• This is the 5th consecutive edition of HCL Grant in which grants will be awarded in the categories of Education, Health and Environment, with a commitment of ₹5 crores for a five-year project in each category. The Grant would also reward the other finalists with ₹25 lakhs for a 1-year project. The total fund committed for Edition 5 is ₹16.5 Crores.
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