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Social Initiatives

It is often forgotten that business and society SHELTER ASSISTANCE RESERVE cum holistic development program making it
go hand in hand. Business is after all a social one of the largest NGO-run school meal
The Shelter Assistance Reserve is an internal
process. It is linked with different people who programs in the world. Currently feeding over
fund at HDFC that has over the years
are involved as employees, suppliers, 8,00,000 students everyday, the Foundation
contributed to the cause of numerous NGOs,
customers, and shareholders or simply as aims to serve one million children by 2010.
public institutions and community-based
members of the community in which the Eventually, their vision is to ensure that no child
organisations by supporting them with
business operates. Costs, sales and profit all in India is left out and every child has equitable
financial assistance including grants.
have a social element. access to food, nutrition and sound health.
During the year, HDFC has partnered with over
The first requirement of business success is The Foundation started its activities on a small
170 NGOs and voluntary agencies that have
sustainable profits. A socially responsible scale in June 2000, feeding 1,500 children in
undertaken diverse social and development
business sustains profits over time and five schools within Bangalore city. Today,
initiatives, thereby resulting in an overall
replenishes the capital that it invests in its Akshaya Patra reaches out to nearly 3,000
utilisation of Rs. 5.43 crore. The segment-wise
business and the community. This capital is not schools across the states of Karnataka,
only in the form of finance, physical assets and break-up of the utilisation of the Reserve for
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. In addition, the
human resources but also reputational (i.e. FY08 is illustrated in the chart below.
Foundation has recently started a subsidized
goodwill) and social. When a business Cited below are a few cases in no specific mid-day meal program for daily wage
contributes to social capital, it is acting order, with information on some of HDFC’s labourers on construction sites in the city of
responsibly and ethically. If through planned partner NGOs, which were funded out of the Jaipur. This program has been started in
CSR activities, a business tries to bring about Reserve during 2007-08: partnership with HDFC and the local developer
social change, it is not only fulfilling its community.
responsibility but it is also protecting its own The Akshaya Patra Foundation
future interest. National Association for the Blind
According to UNESCO’s Education for All - Global
Over the past three decades, there has been a Monitoring Report 2007, close to 13.5 million National Association for the Blind (NAB) is one
consistent effort at HDFC to widen its role and children in the age group of 6 – 13 years are of India’s largest and oldest NGOs working for
scope as a responsible corporate. The following out of school in India because of poverty and the cause of the visually challenged,
pages illustrate the varied projects supported hunger. The Akshaya Patra Foundation aims to empowering them through the medium of
by the corporation through the Shelter address this issue by appeasing hunger and education and training. Their aim is to make
Assistance Reserve and our continued bulk- thereby facilitating education. the visually challenged self-reliant, thereby
lending operations in low-income housing and integrating them with dignity as contributing
The Foundation runs a strategic school-meal
micro-finance. members of the mainstream society.
NAB has always believed in focusing on the
abilities of visually challenged individuals and
has followed a professional path in creating
opportunities for their growth and
empowerment. The organisation has strived to
strike the correct balance between the needs
of modern / urban and rural blind and has
engaged in advocacy and policy level issues
for both categories. NAB has also been active
on the global arena - it is the founding
member of the World Blind Union.
NAB has been distributing braillers to the
needy visually challenged school children and
employed persons for the last 30 years. A
brailler is a simple machine, which is used to
write Braille enabling the user to take notes at


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a considerable speed. To date, the organisation children and their mothers. realisation of adivasi (tribal) children’s right to
has donated over 500 braillers for educational education. The project has been started in four
Tata Institute of Social Sciences
purposes in 14 states, either free of cost or at institutions in Thane district where Nav Chetna
a nominal rent. NAB is currently in touch with The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was holds workshops on mathematics, sciences
several students who are in need of braillers established in 1936, as the first post-graduate and languages, and also works towards the
but are unable to afford the same. HDFC school of social work in India. The Institute was improvisation of the existing school system by
partnered with NAB to sponsor new braillers set up by Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust in response coordinating between the school authorities,
for 50 visually challenged students. to Dr. Clifford Manshardt’s vision of a school of teachers and parents. HDFC has partnered with
social work of national stature and it has TISS in running the program in all four
subsequently influenced the direction of social institutions for a period of one year.
Conceived as a special project working on the work education and social research in India.
Koshish is a relatively new field action project
issues affecting poor urban children, Deepalaya HDFC has been associated with the field action
initiated by the TISS in 2006 to work with the
is today one of the largest NGOs in Delhi projects of TISS for several years. This year too
homeless people in Mumbai. This initiative
striving to universalise their philosophy that HDFC supported the Institute on three
aims to address the issue of beggary,
‘every child deserves a chance’. For the past 28 projects, highlights of which are mentioned
destitution and homelessness in a holistic
years, Deepalaya has been active in the urban below:
manner, combining elements of basic services
slums of Delhi and has also made inroads into
Prayas is an independent field action project such as food, health and legal assistance and
undertaken by TISS in the field of criminal also efforts towards rehabilitation. The project
justice. The project works with and towards is working in partnership with various
the rehabilitation of prisoners and women in government and non-government
prostitution with an aim to successfully organisations to develop a comprehensive
integrate them back into the mainstream policy framework that would address
society. From working with one prison in 1990, destitution and homelessness in urban India.
Prayas has impressively grown to working with The project currently runs out of a Home in
five prisons, eight police stations, railway police suburban Mumbai and HDFC is funding its
stations, criminal courts, three homes for operational costs for a period of two years.
rescued women and girls and a special juvenile
home. HDFC has had a long-standing
rural development in the state of Haryana. Maher (meaning ‘Mother’s Home’ in Marathi)
association with the project supporting its
Deepalaya is currently benefiting over 35,000 started in 1997 with a house near Pune,
administrative and operational costs, and in the
children and their families by undertaking functioning as a refuge for women in distress.
process, HDFC has contributed to the growth
integrated development projects. Deepalaya’s Today, Maher has grown into a woman and
of Prayas.
focus and entry point is the child leading to child-centric NGO working with 85 rural
interventions at the level of the family and Nav Chetna is a TISS project focusing on
thereafter the community as a whole. children and their
Deepalaya runs over 30 projects in the areas rights. The main
of education, differently-abled, health, objective is to
gender-equity and institutional care. create child-
friendly support
Taking into account the poor health and living
s y s t e m s ,
conditions and the inadequate health-care
supplement the
facilities in slum pockets, Deepalaya plans to
efforts of the
run a community health care program in 6
government to
slum clusters in South Delhi, aiming to cover
provide school
more than 1500 children. HDFC has partnered
education to
with Deepalaya in this initiative to render
accessible and affordable health care services
children and work
including information dissemination to the
towards the


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communities around Pune and operating 3,500 children have benefited from their decentralised institution building, participatory
several balwadis, bal-sadans, crèches and services till date. development processes and application of
women’s self-help groups. sustainable technologies. Their major areas of
SBT runs four shelter homes for these children
Maher brings together distressed and interventions are sustainable agriculture,
who gain access to education, meals,
traumatized women and children from rural counseling, boarding facilities, medical help animal husbandry and dairying, natural
areas so as to provide them with a ‘home and and a wide range of recreational activities. The resource management, watershed
family’ environment. Maher’s homes offer homes provide the children with a sense of management, promoting peoples’
shelter, psychiatric care, childcare, employment security and an opportunity to benefit from organisations, housing, sanitation and
training and education. Till date, Maher has all the critical ingredients of a healthy pre-school education. As on date, more than
reached out to over 2,200 women and childhood. For the hostel project at Gurgaon 17,500 families are participating and benefiting
children, most having been rehabilitated and being funded by HDFC, CAF India shall from these interventions.
now leading productive lives as part of periodically review the progress with SBT and
regrouped families and communities. will furnish reports to the donors.
Each of the homes run by Maher have 20 - 25 Save The Children India
children with two resident ‘house-mothers’
Save The Children India (STCI) was established
assisted by social workers, tuition teachers and
in 1988 and has been working towards
counselors. Besides being fed and sheltered,
empowerment of underprivileged children
the children are well attended with
and women with its health, nutrition,
educational and medical care. The children are education and vocational training programs.
also provided with opportunities for acquiring The STCI education program has two main Consumer items produced by MDS
vocational skills of their choice. HDFC has components – the balwadis (child care centres)
partnered with Maher towards supporting the program and the comprehensive study centre HDFC has been associated with MDS since
operational and running expenses of two program. Through the two programs, STCI is 1993 in the areas of weaker section housing
homes, which cater to 45 children studying in trying to break the monotony of a rigid school and micro-enterprise finance. MDS has
a nearby Marathi medium school. system by creating opportunities for successfully implemented two housing
Charities Aid Foundation underprivileged children for their all round programmes covering 700 agricultural
Salaam Balak Trust development and successful completion of labourers with the financial assistance of
school education. Rs. 110 lacs from HDFC. In the year 2002, MDS
Charities Aid Foundation India (CAF India) is
initiated a cow-rearing / animal husbandry
part of the CAF international network. Set up Under the education program, STCI runs 125
project for 500 marginal farmers by accessing
as a public charitable trust in New Delhi in balwadis and 60 study centres across Mumbai.
Each centre caters to 25 children. HDFC has a bulk loan of Rs. 50 lacs under HDFC’s
1998, CAF India’s mission has been to increase
partnered with STCI by funding the operating micro-enterprise finance facility (MFF).
the flow of resources from corporations and
high networth individuals into the costs of 20 balwadis and 5 study centres. The successful utilisation and positive
not-for-profit sector. CAF India enables donors LOW-INCOME HOUSING AND MICROFINANCE experience from the first MFF loan encouraged
to efficiently support the causes they care MDS to promote Malanadu Milk Producers
about and helps charities make more from Malanadu Development Society Society (MMPS) in the year 2003. The MMPS is
what’s given. Malanadu Development Society (MDS) is a a sister organisation of MDS dedicated to the
Kerala-based NGO working for the integral social and economic well-being of milk farmers
The Salaam Balak Trust (SBT) approached HDFC by organising them into smaller village level
through CAF India for assistance towards development of the poor and marginalised
communities since 1977. The programs of MDS milk societies. The MMPS services 128 such milk
construction of a hostel facility for girl children societies, with a membership of over 14,000
with dormitories and study rooms at a site in are mainly directed at the remote and under-
developed villages in the districts of Kottayam, marginal farmers.
Palam Vihar, Gurgaon. The Trust was instituted
in 1988 and has been working towards the Pathanamthitta and Idukki. The Society’s MMPS renders several services and technical
welfare of street and working children in and mission is to enhance the quality of life of local support to their members, such as – daily
around the New Delhi railway station. Nearly farmers, women and children through collection of milk; processing, packaging and


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marketing of milk and milk products; veterinary resources to grow together. Over the years, Sangeeta Farkundey (27 years) is married and
services, promotion of high breeds of cattle, ESAF has evolved into a large NGO working settled at Vardhavna village, Nagpur. She has
fodder cultivation, medical insurance services towards empowering the poor and been an active member of a self-help group called
etc. – all this, while ensuring respect to nature marginalized sections, especially women, SOUMYA at the Wadi branch of Prachodhan for
and its resources. The Society is also engaged children and youth by providing access to the past eighteen months. She lives with her
in educating the farmers about rearing healthy finance, markets, health-care, skills-training and husband, who is a carpenter, and two small
livestock breeds and encouraging rain-water children in a rented house. Her husband’s income
appropriate technology. While having
harvesting, bio-gas energy, vermi-compost is not very steady. Yet, they decided to purchase a
widespread micro-finance presence in Kerala
units and agroforestry as alternative small plot in
and Tamil Nadu, ESAF currently operates in 7
technologies for ecological conservation. the same
states through its 90 branches and reaches out village, and
to over 2.25 lac women members. started
PRACHODHAN is the Central & North India their house.
Initiative of ESAF, which commenced
Mrs. Sangeeta Farkundey at her new house Due to their
operations in 2005 and now covers the states financial
of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, struggle, they had to stop the construction mid-
Gujarat and Jharkhand. Prachodhan is way and the house remained incomplete.
strategically head-quartered at Nagpur and its
As a member of Prachodhan, Sangeeta was
programs include microfinance services,
introduced to the housing loan product, and she
A proud member of MMPS with her milch cattle livelihood promotion and housing and was more than happy to avail this loan. After
infrastructure development for the urban poor. getting the disbursement, they recommenced the
MMPS availed a second MFF loan of Rs. 50 lacs
from HDFC during 2006, the implementation The microfinance wing of Prachodhan has construction work and finally moved into the new
being carried out through the milk societies house. It is a dream come true for them. Sangeeta
more than 30,000 members and the operations
of MMPS. The cow-rearing program has is happy about saving the rental of Rs. 450 per
are concentrated more in the remote areas of
provided a means of livelihood for many poor month and she consciously made a provision in
Raipur, Durg, Kanker and Mahasammund
families in the region. Mrs. Ammini Narayanan their house to have a small home-based business,
districts in Chhattisgarh; Gadchiroli in so that she can augment their household income.
(49 years), a member of MMPS says, “I was living
Maharashtra and Dumka district in Jharkand.
an impoverished life due to absence of steady Shalom Trust
Prachodhan also runs an urban microfinance
income coupled with medical expenses incurred
program in Nagpur called Street Banking - a Shalom Charitable Ministries of India (Shalom
for my husband. With the support of MMPS,
I started cow-rearing few years back by taking two lending program catering to the informal Trust) is a not-for-profit organisation founded
cycles of loan and purchased two milch animals. vendors who often do not have a formal in the year 1992 with the objective of reducing
Today, I am able to manage my household business structure. Prachodhan has tied up poverty by way of social and economic
with HDFC Standard Life and HDFC ERGO for interventions. Towards this end, the Trust
expenses and also repay the instalments due to
providing both life & non-life insurance to their started its microfinance program at Palakkad
MMPS. Now I wish to expand the existing activity
SHG members. district in the year 2004 with 20 self-help
by taking another loan from MMPS”.
groups (SHGs). This has now grown into a large
During FY08, HDFC sanctioned a loan of Rs. 50 operation spread across 4 districts (including
- A Central & North India Initiative of ESAF
lacs for the microfinance operations of Coimbatore) with an outreach of over 32,000
Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) was Prachodhan and Rs. 30 lacs for housing clients in urban as well as rural areas.
established by a group of professionals in the upgradation in respect of 300 clients. The MFF HDFC began its association with Shalom Trust
year 1992 as a response to the employment loan has been fully utilized for setting up of by sanctioning an MFF loan of Rs. 50 lacs in
problems faced by the poor. It began as a micro-enterprise units, while the housing loan February 2007. The loan has been disbursed
career guidance organization catering to the stands partly disbursed. Following is the case in full to finance micro-enterprise loans for 960
rural youth with the vision of developing a fair of a typical Prachodhan borrower: women SHG clients of the Trust.
and compassionate society willing to share

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Bag-making unit at Koduvayur – The case of This led to despair in the family and gradually
an SHG client turned entrepreneur Aarifa was forced to withdraw her two children
(8 and 12 years old) from the school. In the
Education and employment are considered meantime, she had become a member in
essential to realizing gender equality and Shalom’s self-help group and could convey her
women’s empowerment. However, in the circumstances to the group secretary and
absence of both, it may still be possible to gain Shalom’s social worker. The Trust offered her
financial independence through an income-generation loan of Rs. 8,000 to set
entrepreneurship, although it is the social up the bag-making unit and for purchase of
relationships that govern access to resources raw materials.
that are critical to the success of a micro-
enterprise. A case in point is the story of Aarifa, It was a humble beginning. Her systematic
a member of a self-help group at Koduvayur approach, hard work and dedication
branch (near Palakkad) of Shalom Trust. along with the monetary and moral
support from Shalom Trust, helped her to
ensure robust sales and fresh orders for
her products.

Gradually she started marketing in the remote
areas of the district and captured several
pockets. With the help of her husband, she
managed to get some permanent customers
for her products. Today, there is a drastic
Aarifa at her profitable bag-making unit
change in her life. Her two children again
Aarifa belongs to a poor labour class family at started going to the school. She is earning well
Koduvayur, which is a well-known small-scale through the business and supporting the
business centre in Palakkad district. Her life was family. Her small business has facilitated
characterised by lack of regular employment personal empowerment, economic
and meagre income leading to poverty. She independence and a sense of respect in her
used to work as an employee in a bag-making household and in the neighborhood.
unit at Koduvayur while her husband Nawaz
was also engaged in a similar bag-making unit
in Palakkad. Unfortunately, two years back,
both the units closed down within a space
of few months, as they could not run

The sudden and unexpected unemployment
was shocking to the family. In order to
overcome the crisis, the couple tried to get
employment elsewhere, though all their efforts
were in vain. Meanwhile, they developed an
idea to start their own bag-making unit. They
initially approached local banks to avail a small
working capital loan to start the activity.
However, in the absence of any collateral
security, the banks refused to lend.


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