~ The 10th Anniversary celebration was graced by esteemed dignitaries including Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble Former President of India and Bharat Ratna and Shri. Trivendra Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand; Mr. Manoj Bhargava, Founder and Prime Funder, The Hans Foundation ~
@ Vikas Sharma | Sr Journalist
New Delhi: One of India’s largest social development organisations, The Hans Foundation marked its 10th anniversary with a grand event at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi today. The evening was graced by esteemed dignitaries including Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, Former Hon’ble President of India and Bharat Ratna, Shri. Trivendra Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand; Mr. Manoj Bhargava, Founder and Prime Funder, The Hans Foundation. The evening also witnessed dance and music performances by renowned artists including Shobana, Padma Shri; Shri Suresh Wadkar and Shillong Chamber Choir.
The Hans Foundation has actively supported more than 350 NGOs in 26 states and union territories in the past ten years benefiting more than 10 million poor in the country. Today, it is positioned as one of the leading organisations in social development across the country. It has also forged significant partnerships through MoUs with Govts. of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and The National Trust.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary, Ms. Shweta Rawat, Founder & Chairperson, The Hans Foundation, said, “As we mark our 10th Anniversary, I would like to congratulate the entire staff, beneficiaries and partners and each individual who has contributed his or her time to the Foundation. Our presence started as a story of adaptability, compassion and unwavering determination for excellence. In the last 10 years, we have strived to transform millions of lives across the country and embrace all-encompassing dimensions of our vision with enhancing the quality of life for all through the empowerment of marginalised and underprivileged communities in India.”
Health forms the largest sector for THF’s work with a special focus on women, adolescent girls and children. The Foundation has been working towards delivering quality healthcare through ‘Hans Mobile Medical Units’ and Health centres which benefits close to eight lakh people annually. The Foundation runs its signature programs such as the Cochlear Implant Program for children with hearing loss and Little Hearts Program for helping children with congenital heart diseases. Till date, The Foundation has supported more than 1500 children through these programs.
Disability is one of the core areas of work for The Foundation. Several programs aiming at empowerment, dignity, livelihoods, independent living, mainstreaming and rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) are being implemented by The Foundation. Every year, The Hans Foundation supports 30-40 NGOs/Partners for creating pathways for deinstitutionalisation (community reintegration and independent living) of persons with mental health issues. Recently, the foundation has completed a national-level study titled National Strategy on Inclusive and Community Based Living for Persons with Mental Health Issues. This study covered 43 mental institutions in India for recommendations for reuniting and rehabilitating the for long-stay patients in these facilities. The Foundation is working with a diverse set of stakeholders ranging from non-governmental organizations, professional care providers, National Trust (under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and international organization like Keystone Human Services International to address the entire disability spectrum holistically.
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Bharat Ratna and Former President of India, said, “The Foundation has been making consistent efforts since last decade in addressing the gap in accessibility of services for health, education and services for people with disability in the country in the unserved areas. I take this opportunity to put on record my appreciations for the senior management and the entire team of The Hans Foundation for capturing this decade long development journey. The completion of the decade is a good opportunity for The Hans Foundation to take stock of the past work and strategize the way forward for their future endeavours with greater resolve, passion and dedication. I wish The Hans Foundation all the success in all their efforts and initiatives.”
Analysing the underlying causes of poverty, unemployment and distress migration – the Foundation is supporting several livelihoods projects across the country on improved agricultural practices, skill building for youth, collectivisation of primary producers, improving value chain, animal husbandry.
Commenting on the success, Lt Gen S.M Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, The Hans Foundation, said, “We’re extremely proud of the progress we have made in advancing education, literacy and health services, especially in the remotest parts of the country. The Foundation was set-up to provide equal access to basic services for everyone, regardless of their caste, creed, race, economic status, gender, and religion. There is still so much work to be done, so we encourage other partners and organizations to get involved, as community anchors and funders.”
The Hans Foundation has been working to provide access to quality education to children from marginalised communities ranging from pre-primary education to post-graduation. The educational project’s footprint of THF spreads from Nagaland in North East to Rajasthan, from Uttarakhand to Tamil Nadu. THF is also creating opportunities for aspiring and deserving students hailing from economically disadvantaged families through scholarships. In North East, in collaboration with the government, THF has established an academy in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences which will be developed to a full-fledged for higher education and professional courses in the region. In partnership with the state govt. of Rajasthan, a program for improving early learning outcomes in government schools is being implemented which will be taken up in 14,000 schools. Similar initiatives are being undertaken in Jharkhand with Tata Steel Rural Development Society in West Singhhum district and with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation in Koderma district to ensure that every child is free from child labour and receive quality education.
Uttarakhand state has a special niche in the interventions of The Hans Foundation. A significant MoU was signed between the Government and The Hans Foundation in November 2014 to work together in the fields of Education, Water & Sanitation, Agriculture, Health, Disability, and Energy. Mr. Manoj Bhargava, the Founder and Prime Funder, announced a grant of INR 500 crores for Uttarakhand State-wide Development Program under ‘UK Vision – 2020’. Since the program states, life has transformed for the marginal farmers in almost 100 villages where with electricity, toilets and livelihood opportunities have been provided. In almost 100 government schools, digital smart classes and science laboratories have been introduced to revolutionize the traditional ways of teaching and learning which will be expanded to 500 schools. In Integrated Village Development Program, one of the most ambitious programs (part of UK Vision 2020), THF adopted all villages in the Pindar valley for implementation of a comprehensive social development program in Bageshwar District. Under this program, projects on health, disability, livelihoods, education, water & sanitation and electrification are being undertaken. In health, THF is running 21 mobile medical units in the state benefitting close to three lakh people in the remotest corners of the state in a year. In addition to this, the foundation is also building world-class Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in district hospitals. Two such projects have already been completed. The Hans Foundation has also established two Hospitals; 150 bedded Multi-specialty Hospital in Satpuli and a 30 bedded Eye Hospital in Haridwar to ensure that quality and timely healthcare reaches the remotest corners of Uttarakhand. Ever since THF General Hospital’s launch in November 2017, its OPD has registered over 1,25,000 patients; over 800 surgeries have been performed. In education, this year the foundation has collaborated with Akshaypatra to make nine mid-day meal kitchens with an outlay of Rs. 70 crores which will benefit 3,90,000 children in Uttarakhand.
The Hans Foundation has uplifted the lives of millions of people in India over the past 10 years and is continuously positively impacting hundreds of thousands of underprivileged and untouched regions of the country. Presently working with close to 150 organisations and partnering with several State Governments, the Foundation has so far supported projects worth over INR 10 billion.