HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of HCL Technologies Ltd., today announced the winners of the sixth round of the HCL Grant, a flagship program dedicated to strengthening India’s “fifth estate” of NGOs working towards nation building.
The three NGOs, one each in the development areas of environment, health, and education, will each receive a grant of INR 5 crore ($685,000) for a three to five-year project. In addition, two finalists in each category will receive a one-year grant of INR 25 lakhs ($34,000), making a total grant of INR 16.5 crore.
HCL Foundation, which this year celebrates a decade of building strong and robust communities, is committed to contributing to the nation’s growth curve. Under its HCL Grant program, the Foundation has so far committed a more than INR 60 crore ($8.26 Million), excluding this year’s grants. Recognized as one of the most sought-after validations amongst NGO ecosystems in India, the HCL Grant has in the past five years reached over 733,000 beneficiaries. The Grant aims to touch the lives of at least 1.72 million people in 8,598 villages in 70 districts across 18 states and two union territories of India .
The winning NGOs of HCL Grant 2021 were:
India Health Action Trust (Health)
Child Rights and You (Education)
The NGOs were chosen after an 8-month review of thousands of applications by an eminent jury, monitored and audited by Grant Thornton, the governance partner of HCL Grant. The jury consisted of: Ms. Robin Abrams, Director, HCL Technologies, and Chairperson of the jury; Mr. Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India Limited; Mr. B. S. Baswan, former Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration, and former Secretary, Human Resource Development ministry; Ms. Pallavi Shroff, Managing Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. law firm; Dr. Richard Lariviere, President Emeritus, Field Museum (Chicago), and former President, University of Oregon; and Mr. Shiv Nadar, Founder of HCL, Chief Strategy Officer of HCL Technologies, and Founder and Chairman of the Shiv Nadar Foundation.
“The past year was a unique year of resilience and transformation that taught us how to transcend barriers and keep going even in the face of adversity,” said Ms. Abrams. “Despite the pandemic, the robustness demonstrated by our NGO partners, experts, jury members and the entire team is commendable. The passion and zeal of our NGO partners to bring in scalable and replicable solutions have created systemic shifts across geographies, lending velocity to the sustainable development agenda. The winners and finalists of this year’s Grant also have significant stories to tell, with visible on-the-ground impact. My best wishes to these NGOs, who are addressing some of the most pressing issues in the key development categories of environment, health, and education in the most remote corners of the country.”
Ms. Nidhi Pundhir, Director, HCL Foundation, said: “The year 2020 has been both special and unusual. Special, in that the Foundation is completing ten years of facilitating high-impact, sustainable socio-economic development in rural India. Unusual, in that the NGOs we support had to deal with unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic and various natural disasters, while initiating and implementing their developmental projects. What is inspiring about these NGOs is that they are treating COVID-19 as the ‘new normal’ and are continuing with their path-breaking projects without a pause, creating a much-needed last-mile support framework.”
On the occasion of the grant awards, the HCL Foundation released “Fifth Estate – NGOs Transforming Rural India in Environment, Health and Education,” a compendium featuring the top 30 NGOs selected in the sub-jury round, as well as the previous year’s winning NGOs.