The devastation caused by the unprecedented rains and flood in Chennai in December 2015 and by Cyclone Vardah in December 2016 led to the social and economic deprivation of thousands of families in and around Chennai. Cognizant chose Cognizant Foundation as one of the channels to execute relief and rehabilitation work among these families. The Foundation launched its Rebuilding Communities Program (RCP) to rehabilitate fifteen communities (panchayats) affected by the natural calamities. RCP is being implemented through two NGO partners – DHAN Foundation & Hand in Hand India.
Hand in Hand (HIH India) is a public charitable trust that works to alleviate poverty through a unique integrated community development approach. HIH India renders services in five key areas – child labour elimination and education, self-help groups (SHGs) and women empowerment, skill development and technology, health and environment.
HIH India is implementing Cognizant Foundation’s RCP in six panchayats in Kanchipuram and Villupuram Districts of Tamil Nadu, over a period of two years. The beneficiaries of this intervention are predominantly farmers, daily wage laborers, housewives and petty shop keepers from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Some of the key interventions in this program are:
- Education – learning centers, ICT tools
- Health – rural health camps, awareness on health, hygiene, sanitation & anemia control program
- Women empowerment – promotion of SHGs and enterprise creation
- Environment – solid waste management, pond deepening and renovation, installation of Reverse Osmosis units, azolla cultivation, kitchen gardens and avenue trees.
- Skill building programs – trades like beautician, fashion designing, cell phone servicing and 4 wheeler driving.
- Housing – renovation of badly damaged houses
- Multipurpose Technology Centre (MTC) – transit school, rural health clinic, advanced play way learning station for children
More than 8350 people from 2400 families living in these six panchayats – Sirunagar, Porur, Poongunam, Chitharkadu, Munnithikuppam, Agasampattu gram panchayats of Kancheepuram & Villupuram districts, are being benefitted through this program.