Third Edition of Annual HCL Grant CSR Symposium held

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The third edition of annual HCL Grant CSR Symposium has been held with the aim of building capacities of NGOs in and around the state of Maharashtra.

The day-long event, which was part of a series of symposiums held by HCLF across India, comprised a panel discussion 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 148 NGOs participated in the event representing many parts of the region.

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Director, HCL Foundation, Nidhi Pundhir set the context with an overview of HCL Foundation and its community development journey in India. She also introduced HCL Grant, a five year grant project for supporting NGOs doing exemplary work in rural development and under which the symposiums are being organised.

This was followed by an insightful panel discussion with speakers such as Vivek Adhia, Director-Climate and Head, Business Engagement, WRI India, Vanessa D’ Souza, CEO, Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action (SNEHA), Sandhya Krishnan, Director Programme, Educate Girls and Professor Lakshmi Lingam, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS Mumbai. Professor Rukaiya Joshi, Chairperson CEdSS, SPJIMR moderated the panel.

The symposium comprised several sessions where experts shared their experiences and insights on subjects like Decoding Section 135, facts on the changing CSR landscape in India, and design thinking for development sector solutions.

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This is the second time that that HCL Foundation has conducted the symposium in Mumbai. The first Symposium in 2017 received an overwhelming response from the NGOs in the state and the participation has been more encouraging this year.

Jnana Prabodhini from Pune was one of the finalists of HCL Grant 2019 in the education category who received a grant of Rs 25 lakh, recognised for its impactful work in providing life-skills for rural children in 21st century under the project titled ‘Saksham’ that is being implemented in Osmanabad and Beed in Maharashtra.

The first five of the Pan-India symposiums held in Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gangtok and Lucknow. The remaining symposiums of the series will be held in two more cities including, Shimla and Jodhpur later this month.

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Through this symposium, HCL Foundation reached out to the NGOs on the 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 many good NGOs working in the field of education, health and environment, which could benefit from the symposium.

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 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.

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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 crore for a five-year project in each category. The grant would also reward the other finalists with Rs 25 lakh for a one year project. The total fund committed for edition five is Rs 16.5 crore.

HCL Grant has seen a significant increase 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 11,468 registrations were seen, of which, 9,195 registrations were unique NGOs. The idea of HCL Grant is not only to recognise the work of NGOs contributing to the nation’s growth and development but to also stay engaged with them to achieve the desired impact.

The HCL Grant Compendium published each year features not just the winners, but also the work of up to 30 shortlisted NGOs, 10 from each category. It is a step towards re-establishing the value of strong governance in civil society and providing international visibility to Indian NGOs doing path breaking work in the rural development sector.

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