About HCL Grant
The democracy of India rests on three constitutional estates - legislative, bureaucracy and judiciary. The free press or media has long been recognized as the fourth. The contribution of NGOs towards nation building is immense. HCL defines it as the Fifth Estate.
HCL Grant is a step towards recognition of the rise of the Fifth Estate - the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The Fifth Estate has now become a critical agent of change, playing a decisive role in building a stronger, future-ready India.
Started in 2015, the HCL Grant is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment by HCL, through HCL Foundation, to strengthen and empower NGOs, engage with them, as well as recognize them for their path breaking work. Currently focused at rural development, the HCL Grant is awarded in three thematic categories, namely Environment, Health and Education. The Grant is designed to support breakthrough award winning projects to NGOs, that have a proven track record of evident impact, high credibility and distinct ability to deliver. NGOs that reach out to marginalized, isolated, underserved and underdeveloped rural communities in India, and work jointly to achieve sustainable socio-economic development.
HCL Grant is HCL’s contribution towards Nation Building. The vision behind HCL Grant is to mine out best practices and most successful models of rural development that are relevant in various contexts. Provide a platform where these models receive unprecedented visibility and replicated by many, such that the country excels in achieving the developmental milestones.
Unique aspect of the HCL Grant is that the organizations are recognized not only based on the “idea”, but also for their power to transform these ideas into reality and thereby, transform Indian villages.
HCL Grant awards the winning NGOs in each of the categories of Environment,Health and Education, a grant of ₹ 5 Crore (~US$0.71 Million) for a 5 years project. The HCL Grant rewards the other finalists too, who are doing great work in their own right. So the 2 other finalists in each category receive a grant of ₹ 25 lakhs (~US$0.04 Million) for an year-long project which is mutually agreed with HCL Foundation after the final Jury meet. Thus, the total committed fund for HCL Grant is ₹16.5 Crores (~US$2.36 Million), for Edition V.
Since its inception in 2015, HCL Grant has given wings to brilliant and committed NGOs - to create a revolutionary kind of transformation. Past 4 years of the Grant have seen an emergence of a cadre of remarkable community-based, participatory NGOs that have dug-in their heels and proceeded to strengthen grassroots development, deepen impact, and scale it.
HCL Grant aims to achieve sustainable rural development by supporting NGOs that are doing path-breaking work, anywhere in India. HCL Grant has following specific objectives:
- Award financial Grant to innovative, replicable, scalable, sustainable & time-bound project, proposed by NGOs which are committed towards transformative rural development, in the categories of Environment, Health & Education.
- Identify NGOs who have made significant impact in rural transformation and publish a compendium capturing work of these NGOs, such that they become globally visible for their efforts.
The Thematic Grant Categories
The HCL Grant is awarded in the following thematic categories. Underneath is an indicative list of sub-thematic areas that could be proposed to seek HCL Grant funding. Please note this is not a comprehensive list - this is to give a sense of the broad sub-themes that the HCL Grant is aimed at:
- Conservation of environment, the indigenous flora and fauna.
- Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all.
- Combating climate change and its impact.
- Protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem and wetlands
- Conservation of natural water bodies, including river rejuvenation, oceans, natural springs, lakes and others.
- Combating desertification, deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution and promoting use of renewable resources. (Please note – proposals that come from agriculture domain only, without any environmental impact, will not be considered)
- Wildlife conservation and preservation.
- Right to Education for All by upscaling initiatives that strengthen Early Childhood Care & Development (ECCD), Elementary, Secondary, Higher Education, Adult Literacy & Inclusive Special Education
- Education that promotes learning opportunities through skill development and confidence building, including digital literacy.
- Education that leads to better livelihood opportunities and improved income & better living for young people and adults.
- Holistic education that encompasses co-scholastics such as sports, art and craft, performing & fine arts, promotion of culture, orientation on national heritage, theatre, provides opportunity for not only overall development but also sustainable livelihoods.
- Equitable, inclusive, technology enabled and relevant quality education, leading to gender equality and human resource development.
- Equitable & Universal access to Health for All - segments of population and ailments.
- Access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, prevention and elimination of water borne diseases.
- Maternal, adolescent, child health and nutrition and eradication of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
- HCL Grant complements and contributes to National Missions & Sustainable Development Goals. Inclusion and Gender-Transformative approaches are underlying principles for HCL Grant.
What We Are Looking For?
The Grant is applicable only for NGOs working in the field of Education, Health and Environment and having experience of implementing projects in rural India. We are looking for organizations with innovative, replicable and sustainable models, which can make significant contribution towards rural development, in these Thematic Categories
- The organization must be a registered not for profit entity in India i.e. Society, Trust, Section 8 (previously Section 25) company or any other (in line with Section 135 of Companies Act 2013).
- The organization must have registered u/s 12A (A) of Income Tax 1961.
- The organization should have completed the below mentioned functional existence (as per registration certificate) in India on or before 28th February 2019:
- Applicant under Education and Health Category – 10 years,
- Applicant under Environment Category – 5 years,
- The organization should have completed the below mentioned working experience in rural areas in India on or before 28th February 2019:
- Applicant under Education and Health Category – 5 years
- Applicant under Environment Category – 2 years
- The organization should have below mentioned average expenditure for the last 3 financial years i.e. 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18:
- Applicant under Education and Health Category – ₹ 1.5 Crores or above *
- Applicant under Environment Category – ₹ 0.50 Crores or above *
- The expenditure refers to overall expenditure of the organization and not thematic wise.
- The organization must not be blacklisted by any government agency, donor or international agency.
- The organization must not have any negative media coverage or any other controversy associated with it.
- The organization should not have any political or religious affiliations.
- The organization should have registration documents, audited financial reports, tax certificates and FCRA (If applicable) and/or similar documents depending on the nature of the funding/donations that it receives.
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