Business and society go hand in hand, business is afterall a social process. It is intricately linked with various stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers, and shareholders or simply as members of the community within which the business exists, operates and thrives. Every aspect of business including profits has a social element.
The social initiatives function at HDFC is not just restricted to a few specialists or narrowly defined set of activities packaged somewhere out of sight. It is a daily part of what the company strives to be: responsive, imaginative and sensitive in the way we operate. There has been a consistent effort at HDFC to widen this role and scope of being a responsible corporate entity.
The following pages illustrate the varied projects supported by the corporation through the Shelter Assistance Reserve.
SHELTER ASSISTANCE RESERVE
During the year, HDFC has partnered with over 190 NGOs and voluntary agencies that have undertaken diverse social and development initiatives. The segment-wise break-up of the utilisation of the Reserve for FY2011-12 is illustrated in the chart below:
Cited below are a few cases in no specific order, with information on projects supported by HDFC out of the Reserve during FY2011-12:
Aavishkar Society for Development of Mentally Handicapped
'Aavishkar' meaning blooming was set up as a voluntary organisation by a group of concerned citizens to meet the needs and requirements of mentally challenged persons in and around Ratnagiri. Aavishkar aims to assess the level of development of these individuals and has programs to enhance their abilities. The programs along with vocational training, aid these individuals into becoming self-sufficient.
The various activities of Aavishkar include a child guidance clinic and an early intervention centre to evaluate and manage issues faced by parents when the child is at a very nascent stage. The organisation also runs a day care centre for children suffering from different forms of disability. The main initiative of the organisation was to set up a school for mentally challenged children in 1986. The school has 110 children and dedicated staff to educate the children in different skills to make them as self-sufficient as possible. The curriculum is focused on daily living skills & pre-vocational skills rather than on pure academics. It is individualized according to the child's needs & capacities. Various innovative teaching methods which are activity based are used at the School.
HDFC partnered the Society towards the purchase of handicap friendly equipment to be utilized in the day-to-day activities of the school.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
HDFC has been associated with the field action projects of The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for several years. This year too HDFC supported the Institute on two projects, highlights of which are mentioned below:
Project Koshish, New Delhi & Mumbai
Koshish is a field action project initiated by TISS in 2006 on homelessness and destitution.
This initiative aims to address the issue of beggary, destitution and homelessness in a holistic manner, combining elements of basic services such as food, health and legal assistance and also efforts towards rehabilitation and repatriation. The project is working in partnership with various government and non-government organisations to develop a comprehensive policy framework that would address destitution and homelessness in urban India.
Koshish has formed a National Alliance on Homelessness with organisations in about 15 states. Through the network it has been questioning and addressing the issue of relevance of the beggary law. A vocational training programme has also been initiated as part of the rehabilitation plan for destitute.
The project currently runs in New Delhi & Mumbai and HDFC is funding its operational costs.
Project Prayas, Mumbai
Prayas is an independent field action project working towards the rehabilitation of undertrials with an aim to successfully integrate them back into their communities, families and mainstream society. Prayas acts as a re-connector between the individual and the community he has left behind giving specific attention to the needs of the individual; and his/her linkages with the community of origin or employment. In this transition, Prayas helps finding them safe shelter, skill training and employment.
From working with one prison in 1990, Prayas has impressively grown to working with five prisons, eight police stations, railway police stations, criminal courts, three homes for rescued women and girls and a special juvenile home. HDFC has had a long-standing association with the project supporting its administrative and operational costs, and in the process, HDFC has contributed to the growth of Project Prayas.
Population First is a communications and advocacy initiative for a balanced, planned and stable population. Reducing gender imbalances, investing in and for the current and future population and reaching the goal of replacement level fertility are the key communication objectives of the organization.
Population First has been working in 40 villages since 2003 under Thane’s field-based primary health care project, Action for Mobilising Community Health Initiatives (AMCHI). Micro-planning is carried out across these villages which is participatory in nature at the same time motivational so that people themselves realise their own responsibility for their well-being. Micro-planning involves the entire village where the people themselves identify their problems and the action plans required to solve them. Sessions are also conducted on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) and HIV with adolescent girls groups and with pregnant and lactating mothers, discussion on various aspects like importance of Ante-Natal Care (ANC), Pre-Natal Care (PNC) and child care and other health hazards.
Population First also runs the Laadli campaign that addresses the core social values that promote and justify sex selection, the campaign builds public opinion and promotes community participation with the main objective of creating a positive image of the girl child. The Laadli campaign addresses the issue of sex selection through ward level interventions, youth initiatives, capacity building of appropriate authorities and media interventions.
HDFC has been supporting the ongoing activities of Population First and the Laadli Campaign towards emphasizing on correcting the falling sex ratio in the country by creating a positive image of the girl child.
Premaanjali Educational Trust
The Premaanjali Educational Trust (PET) was established in 1988 and is mainly engaged in activities focused around homeless children, visually impaired and other needy sectors. The Trust runs a home for destitute children with an aim to make them contributing members of society. The children study in nearby schools. Besides providing basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, education etc., the focus is on holistic development of the children - picnics, overnight outings, educational film shows, exposure to art, theatre etc. to provide insight into all spheres of life. The total numbers of beneficiaries of the Trust are more than 700 children.
The Trust also runs a scholarship program for children who drop out of school due to lack of availability of funds. The Trust identifies deserving children and provides them with schooling, and other related expenses so that they can continue their education. In addition, during the periodical meetings, the mothers of the children are given orientation in personality development, hygiene, benefits of woman taking up gainful employment & such other subjects.
The Trust also supports day-care centres looking after children of daily wage labourers, stone quarry workers on the outskirts of Bangalore. While the parents are at work in the quarry sites, their children are taken care of by providing food and basic education in the day care centers. PET also runs a mid-day meal program for a large number of school children and a centre for visually impaired students with advanced computer-training facilities.
HDFC partnered Premaanjali Educational Trust towards meeting the expenses of carrying out its ongoing charitable activities.
Shelter Associates is an NGO based out of Pune comprising architects, social workers, GIS experts and community workers. Shelter works with the urban poor, particularly women, in informal settlements to facilitate and provide technical support for community-managed housing, slum rehabilitation and infrastructure projects.
Three of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are directly related to sanitation. These are: reducing child mortality, combating diseases, and ensuring environmental sustainability. The poor sanitation that exists in
most of India’s urban areas has a serious impact on environmental health and quality of life. Experience suggests that better sanitation requires an innovative approach to tenure and partnership between local communities and local governments, as well as financial resources.
Shelter Associates has worked together on access to sanitation for twelve years and have successfully implemented innovative projects in the cities of Pune and Sangli and in Khuldabad in the Aurangabad district.
Thousands of slum dwellers in Pune have no access to any kind of toilet facility. The existing toilets make no provision at all for small children, whose only option is to defecate on the ground nearby. HDFC was approached for assistance towards the construction of toilet blocks for the slum families in Bibwewadi, Pune. To date the organisation has built 340 toilet blocks covering a total of 5000 households. The building is done through a revenue sharing model wherein a certain percentage of the cost is put in by the beneficiaries. In the next phase, the organisation plans to construct an additional 100 blocks and HDFC has been approached for assistance towards meeting the cost of the same.
HelpAge India works towards providing care to older persons to improve their quality of life. HelpAge is integrating its programmes and services, and consciously moving from welfare towards development and long term sustainability for seniors. HelpAge is working closely with Senior Citizen Associations and encouraging seniors to speak up for their own rights.
As the number of older people increases, there is an increasing demand for both formal and informal provisions of support across the continuum of care. For many people, the challenges of caregiving are often new experiences. Caregivers and people needing care often lack information regarding these specific challenges as well as available community resources to assist in providing care. Caring for an older person either at home or in an institutional setting is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behaviour. Research has shown that caregivers themselves are often at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community. These factors, combined with increasing lifespan dictates the need to have alternate care givers. As of date a cadre of professionally trained care givers is not present in the country. HelpAge India with a view to develop trained manpower for the elderly has started Certificate Courses in Care Giving. The aim is to equip the trainees with sensitivity and knowledge about the needs of older persons.
HDFC partnered HelpAge India towards the training of domestic workers as geriatric caregivers in Bhopal.
Association For Sarva Seva Farms
Association for Sarva Seva Farms (ASSEFA) is a rural development organisation working in 3800 villages across eight states, benefiting about 2,50,000 families with socio-economic programmes such as agriculture, dairy, micro-enterprises, social-credit, basic education, child labour rehabilitation, community-health, habitat promotion, environmental protection and vocational training focusing women, children, landless and marginal farmers.
The organization plans to start a school with government recognition to provide comprehensive education to tribal and vulnerable children. The school is in Thandikudi (95 kms. from Madurai). The school will cater to children from tribal families and communities in the surrounding areas. The total proposed area of the school building is approx. 12,000 sq.ft. HDFC partnered ASSEFA towards partially supporting the setting up of the school.
Atmashakti Trust was established in 1995 with a broad mandate to support a mix of development initiatives in rural areas as well as urban slums. The Trust is now engaged in a long term mission to bring the benefits of government programs to the poor with a focus on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and Food Security Act. Intervention for these programs happens at a policy level as well as at the grass root level. One strategy which has been working for the Trust is creating awareness among the community and assisting them in getting their rights be it education ration cards, land pattas etc.
Close to 55% of Orissa’s population lives in poor and deprived conditions. The Trust works across majority of districts in Orissa catering to a number of Gram Panchayats towards imparting knowledge in these areas and also enrolls the population in the two flagship government programs – Food Security and Employment Guarantee. The main advantage of this program is employment generation for the population as well as creation of an asset for the village in which they reside.
HDFC has partnered the Trust in supporting this program across 3 districts of Central Orissa catering to 41 Gram Panchayats covering over 38,000 families.
The Madhok Foundation, based out of New Delhi is engaged in the relocation and rehabilitation of the slum dwelling disabled families, running courses in vocational training and skill development for school drop-outs, awareness generation programs and grass-root governance. The Foundation also runs a pre-primary educational centerfor children between the age of 3-6 years. This program is designed to intervene early in the lives of these children not only to generate interest and discipline in formative years but also to prepare them to gain admission into mainstream schools. The Foundation’s quest for providing medical facilities to the adopted families has been recognized and bolstered by the allocation of a Mobile Clinic Van by the Government of Delhi which visits slum cluster of the disabled families twice a week for preliminary investigations and treatment.
The Foundation has been associated with the relocation/rehabilitation of slum dwellers living in different parts of Delhi. The Foundation in partnership with Habitat for Humanity is building one room tenements for displaced families wherein the families are putting in 5% of the total cost upfront. HDFC has partnered the Foundation towards the completion of this project.
40% of India’s children fight a daily battle against abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation. Although laws and institutions to safeguard these children exist, implementation is extremely poor. Aangan works on strengthening protection mechanisms for the most vulnerable children in need – with the firm belief that each child’s safety and protection is the first step towards any kind of development. The organisation works in state-run children’s and observation homes across India with the aim of improving the dismal and jail like conditions in these institutions.
Aangan in partnership with UNICEF has developed a replicable standardized tool that can easily be introduced in institutions across the country. The tool is a checklist for every Home based on the requirements of India’s Juvenile Justice Act. The tool covers different areas such as sanitation, nutrition, education, case management and protection issues. Using a combination of goal setting, customized solutions and joint strategizing, Aangan works closely with ground level staff to implement recommendations.
HDFC partnered Aangan in this project to monitor 29 homes in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand run by the two governments. The program will affect close to 3,500 children staying in these homes.
Charities Aid Foundation
Charities Aid Foundation, India (CAF India) promotes effective giving, and increase the flow of resources from individuals and organisations to the not-for-profit sector. CAF India enables donors to effectively support causes and helps charities make more from what has been given. CAF India supports over 130 non profits across 14 states in India.
CAF India along with Coca Cola India and NDTV have embarked upon an initiative called the ‘Support My School’’ campaign. This movement is aimed at helping village children gain access to better educational facilities. The campaign focuses on five key areas – improve access to water, provide proper sanitation for boys and girls, develop sports facilities, water conservation/rain water harvesting in each school and landscaping/tree plantation in and around the school. The campaign is aiming to reach and develop over 100 healthy and active schools in rural and semi-urban towns directly impacting the lives of more than 50,000 students across the country. HDFC joined the ‘Support My School’ campaign by supporting the refurbishment of one school.
HDFC also partnered CAF India to support a community based health care programme in District Baramulla, Jammu & Kashmir. The local charity partner of CAF India titled AMAN has started a primary health care and recuperative centre in a remote village of Mattipora in Baramulla since September 2004. The project sees active participation of the local community in mobilizing people from the district and providing voluntary labour and services in running the centre. In the last seven years, the centre has provided medical services to over 15000 patients. In the last one year the centre has treated a total 5400 OPD persons of which nearly 1500 were children below the age of 10 years. HDFC supported the following activities at the centre thru CAF India - maintenance of the centre, providing regular consultations and laboratory facilities to people and creating awareness among women and young adults about health and hygiene with a specific focus on sanitization.