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  Social Responsibility

Slum Area Development
Published on: Feb. 14, 2020, 1:25 a.m.
HCL Foundation addresses vital issues through city-wide campaigns
  • Working with under-privileged communities

By Business India Editorial

The HCL Foundation’s integrated community development programme for underprivileged urban communities encompasses migrant workers and displaced people living in urban slums. Under this programme, HCL Foundation addresses vital issues through city-wide campaigns. All interventions carried out by HCL Foundation, in urban neighbourhoods, where HCL is present, are categories under its flagship project called ‘My Community’. 

My Community is operational in NCR (Noida, Gurgaon and Delhi); Chennai, Madurai, Lucknow, Kolkata and Pune. Soon, the project will also be rolled out in Vijaywada and Nagpur. 

With a philosophy of ensuring lasting positive change, HCL believes in investing in cities, where it operates in. Hence, HCL Foundation addresses issues that are in the remit of its thematic focus areas, in these cities. 

The urban community development interventions were essentially initiated by HCL Foundation to address the issues in immediate neighbourhoods. Soon, HCL employees from the core business also came forward to work with HCL Foundation as volunteers to champion some of these initiatives. 

Given the pace of urbanisation and people forced to live in inhabitable slums growing within metro cities, this has now become a flagship project. Interventions across themes, which were standalone activities till 2015, have been consolidated using an integrated community development approach. The term My Community has been coined with an idea that goes beyond its premises to work with the larger community in the city. 

Education through gurukuls: Gurukuls are physical centres or outreach community education activities that create an enabling environment for mainstream education for children, youth, women and men, living in urban slums. One of its key objectives is to support the education of children who may be at risk of never attending or discontinuing schooling due to socio-economic circumstances. 

In 2016-17, more than 6,000 children enrolled in HCL Gurukul bridge, pre- and in-school programmes, 12,000 children enrolled in the life skills programme; and many others benefitted from sports events; night vigil camps and rehabilitation support; a child sexual abuse sensitisation programme; and a digital literacy programme. About 150 digital learning centres have been established across India.

Addressing gender equality in urban slums through Confident Girls, HCL has designed this to transform girls into confident and self-reliant persons who are digitally literate, well-informed on matters relevant to them, and able to make decisions about their personal and professional lives. 

HCL Foundation partners with experienced NGOs for this initiative and works towards gender equal communities, while also working with boys and men. About 39 teachers and 82 HCL volunteers have been trained under this; and 2,300 girls have been reached in 2016-17 through the Confident Girls initiative.

HCL Foundation’s yuvakendras in urban areas and centres are community hubs that impart short-term skill building training to youth who have had little education and are from low-income backgrounds. 

Yuvakendras train them in areas such as computer skills, information technology, business process outsourcing, healthcare, and retail services and customer relations. 

The foundation also works to build entrepreneurial skills. As a part of this approach, women receive training and awareness on income generation opportunities and help to establish self-help groups. About 4,000 young people received skill enhancement training through 13 Yuvakendras. About 80 per cent of youth enrolled in HCL Yuvakendra were placed in jobs. As many as 2,000 women benefitted through the employment and livelihood programme.

Universal access to healthcare for people living in urban slums: HCL Foundation partners with specialised organisations and government to ensure access to preventive and curative health care services across all age groups, for people living in urban slums. 

There is specific focus on maternal and infant health, immunisation, combating malnutrition and adolescent health. Under this pillar, HCL Foundation also caters to the needs of geriatric population. About 300 aged individuals have been provided with holistic care.

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