The third edition of HCL Grant felicitated NGO winners across the categories of education, healthcare and environment with a grant of up to INR 5 crores each. The recipients of HCL Grant 2018 are:

  • Health – Eleutheros Christian Society
  • Environment – Keystone Foundation
  • Education – Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (Sightsavers)

 The third edition received 3,500 applicants from across the country. The eight-month-long assessment process included shortlisting 49 NGOs for field investigation. Based on the reports, 30 NGOs were presented to a thematic sub-jury and finally 9 NGOs were identified for the final jury evaluation and selection of the winners.

The ceremony was held at HCL Technologies Campus, Noida, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh as the chief guest. He also released the second edition of ‘The Fifth Estate – NGOs Transforming Rural India in Environment, Health and Education’, a compendium of the ‘most credible’ NGOs striving towards empowerment of rural India.

Started in 2015, HCL Grant is a CSR grant that aims to strengthen and build the capacity of NGOs that reach out to marginalised and underdeveloped or developing rural communities in the areas of health, education and environment. It forms part of the CSR commitment by HCL. Currently, the Grant-supported projects cover 22 districts and approximately 2,450 villages, reaching out to over 6 lakh rural beneficiaries. The NGOs are selected through a yearlong process that measures in detail and depth the impact of the NGOs and their governance and people aspects. Missing from the press release are the tracking mechanisms for the performance of the winning NGOs and specific targets, if any. CB’s questions to HCL on this remained unanswered.

As per the same press release, Rajnath Singh said, ‘I congratulate the HCL Grant winners and HCL for the work they are doing. It is my hope that in the years to come the social value of HCL Foundation will continue to increase. In a country like ours it is important that everyone – government, corporate, NGOs and civil society – work together towards development agenda.’

Nidhi Pundhir, director of CSR and head of HCL Foundation, said, ‘The overwhelming response of the development sector to HCL Grant reinforces our commitment to empower the NGOs working towards rural development. Each of the finalists was selected because they have had significant impact in changing the rural ecosystem of our country and selecting the winners from amongst them was a real challenge.’