Kerala-based NGO Planetearth found a place among the three NGOs selected by HCL Foundation for the 2023 edition of its flagship program HCL Grant - which supports pioneering work in sustainable rural development in India. 

Three NGOs—Planetearth, Innovators in Health India and Meghshala Trust will receive ₹5 crore each for their projects under the HCL Grant endowment. This year’s winners were chosen from submissions from more than 15,000 entities, an increase of 80 per cent compared to last year.

HCL Foundation has funded over ₹130 crore to NGOs since the HCL Grant program’s onset eight years ago, reaching over 1.8 million beneficiaries in more than 25,000 villages in remote districts across 19 states and two Union Territorie.

Water bodies conservation

Planetearth was awarded HCL Grant in the environment category for its project on conservation of water bodies by cleaning plastics from oceans and invasive species like water hyacinth from ponds and backwaters. It is expected to directly benefit at least 170,000 fishermen across 45 villages in Kerala. The project aims to improve quality of water bodies along with positive impact on the livelihood of fisher folk.

The oceans of the world and the coastal waters of Kerala in particular, are polluted by plastic, which seriously affects the livelihood of marine fishermen. The HCL Grant is the only way we could realize our goals of helping the rural fishermen of Kerala and conserving the planet, said Sooraj Abraham, Founder, Planatearth.

Other recipients

Innovators in Health (IIH) India received the HCL Grant in the health category for a project on universal tuberculosis care in rural Bihar while Meghshala was awarded the HCL Grant in the education category for a project on technology-enabled teacher capacity building, with focus on local languages.

Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation said “HCL Grant partners with these NGOs to strengthen their governance and help scale their innovative ideas for sustainable rural development. We look forward to working with this year’s selected NGO partners to scale innovative interventions that will supercharge progress for rural communities”.