3rd HCL Grant Pan-India Symposium Held at Kochi

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Kochi, April 12, 2019: HCL Foundation, the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, hosted the first of the HCL Grant Pan-India Symposiums for capacity building of NGOs at the Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kalamassery in Kochi on April 12, 2019. A panel discussion was conducted with local NGO representatives and civil society experts on the theme “Exploring the Interface of CSR with 5 Ps of the Sustainable Development Goals” – (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership) with reference to the thematic areas of HCL Grant – Environment, Health & Education. A total of 85 plus participants attended the event representing many parts of the State.

Guest speakers included  Binu Kumar G.S., State Team Manager-Kerala for DDU-GKY at NIRDPR, Hyderabad, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, Meena Kuruvilla, Project Director, Rajagiri Outreach, Dr. Prasant Palakkappilly CMI, Principal, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, and Dr. Sunny P. Orathel, Medical Superintendent, Rajagiri Hospital. The opening session was addressed by Nidhi Pundhir, Director, CSR Head, HCL Foundation, and Dr. Binoy Joseph, Principal, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences.

The Symposium comprised of several sessions where experts shared their experiences and insights on Changing Trends of CSR and NGOs adapting some of the best practices and new mechanisms that elaborated on the mapping of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), Compliance and Reporting, Evolving Trends, Monitoring and Impact Evaluation. The session also focused on CSR and 5Ps of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) with reference to HCL Grant thematic areas of Environment, Health and Education.

Keystone Foundation – the winner of HCL Grant 2018 in the Environment category also presented a short case study on their work and the impact of HCL Grant on their project. These symposiums also act as knowledge platforms where the winning NGOs come and share their experiences and enrich the NGO community.

This is the first time that HCL Foundation has conducted the symposium in Kerala, and through this, spoke to the NGOs on CSR mandate, challenges and opportunities in local area development, proposal writing and project management, and encouraged them to apply for HCL Grant 2019-2020. Kerala has very many good NGOs working in the field of education, health and environment and therefore such symposiums here will benefit the NGOS working in the region. Also, neighbouring States can easily travel to attend such programmes. Since Kerala is still dealing with issues like combating climate change, environment conservation, educational reform, skill development, non communicable diseases, etc., such symposiums are useful and relevant proposals are warmly welcomed to improve the existing shortcomings.

The remaining symposiums of the series will be held in 10 other cities including, Lucknow, Chennai, Shimla, Jodhpur, Gangtok, Shillong, Mumbai, Indore, Bhopal and Hyderabad.

The HCL Grant Pan-India Symposiums is an initiative by HCL Foundation to bring together NGOs, Government, Corporates, and Policy Makers under one platform across India so 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 two 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 institutionalised 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 Rs. 5 crores for a five-year project in each category. The Grant would also reward the other finalists with Rs. 25 lakhs for a 1-year project. The total fund committed for Edition 5 is Rs. 16.5 crores.