HCL Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of HCL Technologies (HCL), announces the opening of the application portal for Edition VI of HCL Grant, one of the most coveted institutionalized CSR grants of India. HCL Grant is a flagship program of HCL Foundation which recognizes the rise of the community-led ecosystem of NGOs — the Fifth Estate. It recognizes the path-breaking work being done by NGOs in rural development through an independent, robust and democratic process.
The Grant is applicable for NGOs working in the fields of Education, Health and Environment and that have experience implementing projects in rural India. Organizations with innovative, replicable and sustainable models, which can make a significant contribution towards rural development in the categories of Education, Health and Environment, are eligible for it.
Three NGOs, one for each of the three categories will be awarded a grant of INR 5 crores each for a 3-5 year-project. In addition, the remaining two finalist NGOs in each category will be awarded a one-year grant of ₹25 lacs, taking the overall Grant commitment to ₹16.5 crore.
In the current edition, HCL Grant has made a few changes in its process. From this edition onwards, the eligibility criteria in the Education and Health categories concerning an NGO’s average annual expenditure over the last three years has been reduced from INR 1.5 crores to INR 1 crore. Also, henceforth, NGOs will need to submit only a brief concept note of the proposal in Stage 1 (as per the online format). Detailed proposals will be required only in Stage 2 from the shortlisted NGOs. There will be no charge or fees while submitting the application. No authorized individual, third party, company, agency or organization may accept an application on behalf of HCL Grant or ask for any benefit, either monetary or in kind, for completing the application process.
In these times of global and national crisis, HCL Foundation, while continuing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, also reaffirms that the HCL Grant commitment will remain directed towards the objective of achieving sustainable, replicable & scalable rural development, through long-term strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened a range of challenges in rural India, over and above the already prevailing conditions. While HCL Foundation recognizes that the applicant NGOs will take into consideration these challenges, it requests NGOs to ensure that the HCL Grant proposal remains focused on transformational & impactful rural development, in the areas of Environment, Health & Education, through innovative, relevant & cost-effective strategies.
While applying for HCL Grant Edition VI, it is imperative that the COVID 19 Pandemic situation on the ground should be taken into consideration. The pandemic has impacted various states and districts differently, and therefore it is critical that the situation assessment is done at micro-meso-macro levels while developing long term solutions towards issues related to Environment, Health & Education in rural belt of India. The NGOs will be treating COVID-19 as the ‘new normal’ till the world finds a permanent solution to it, yet focusing on regular rural developmental areas while taking all measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. This further calls for NGOs to strengthen the aspects of ‘innovation’ and ‘use of technology’ in their HCL Grant application.