1. Who are the founders of Hand in Hand?
Hand in Hand is an Indian Trust setup by three locales – Mr. Paul Prem kumar, Mr. Soundarajan and Ms. Hemalatha, with the support of two Swedish teachers – Olle Blomqvist and Gunnel. Both of them were working with local NGOs. Hand in Hand was registered as a Trust in 2002. Percy Barnevik came in as our donor in 2003. Hand in Hand was restructured in 2004 with the induction of five trustees and Kalpana Sankar took over as the CEO & Managing Trustee.
2. What is the role of Percy Barnevik?
Percy Barnevik was our major donor and is the advisor of Hand in Hand Group of Institutions. He was the main person behind the present scale of operations. During the initial stages, he not only gave money, but also gave a lot of his time and brought his corporate experience to the organization. The global presence of Hand in Hand is largely due to Percy Barnevik’s involvement.
3. Describe the functioning of Hand in Hand.
Hand in Hand functions as a tripartite partnership comprising of international community represented by Percy Barnevik & Sven Sandstrom, Hand in Hand Sweden for strategic interventions, and local trustees for governance who contribute in their area of expertise and a team of professionals headed by the CEO for the day to day execution of operations.
4. How is Hand in Hand unique from other NGOs?
5. What is the goal, the vision and the mission of Hand in Hand?
- Transparency – has in-built features of corporate efficiency and professionalism combined with the passion for working at the grass-root level.
- Working together with the Government and trying to fill the gaps and not replicating the Government model
- Catalyst – Only NGO to be established in India and expanded to other countries. This is unique in the development sector.
Our goal is to create 1.3 million jobs by 2013.
To alleviate poverty through job creation and integrated community development.
To work for the economic and social empowerment of women, and thus of society, by creating enterprises and jobs. To follow this with an integrated development programme that creates sustainable communities.
6. What are the unique features of Hand in Hand’s Microfinance Institution (MFI)?
- Child labour in any form is not acceptable.
- Every child out of school is a child engaged in labour.
- Active participation of women is essential for equitable socio-economic development.
- Knowledge and action shall bring true sovereignty for our citizens.
- Access to minimum health care is a basic right of every individual.
- Preventive care should be promoted through advocacy and awareness.
7. How specialized are the staff of Hand in Hand?
- Belstar and Hand in Hand have the same mission and contribute towards poverty elimination and job creation.
- Hand in Hand provides training and technical assistance. Belstar provides timely loans at affordable cost. Both the organisations are pro-poor in their approach and focus on financial and social bottom-line.
- Belstar is the only MFI which focuses on savings, links Self-Help Groups (SHG) to local banks to provide continued bank linkages.
- Focuses on training and capacity building to ensure effective functioning and handholding support, giving the SHG women the option to avail loan from either Belstar or banks.
- Like-minded social investors.
Hand in Hand staff is a group of committed individuals who believe that they can bring about a change in the lives of people. They give a lot of importance to grass-root level functioning keeping the last person first. At present, we have more than 3,000 staff.
8. Why a five-Pillar approach?
We strongly believe that poverty is multi-dimensional. Creating effective models for poverty elimination is essential. SHG is our central focus as we believe to make the poor self-reliant through enterprise creation and economic stability.
9. What is Hand in Hand’s resource allocation?
65% of our resources are allocated to the SHG Pillar. 15% to the Child Labour Elimination Programme (CLEP) Pillar and 20% to the other Pillars namely Health, Citizens’ Centre Enterprises (CCE) and Environment.
Two of the five Pillars come under Hand in Hand and the remaining under Socio Economic and Education Development Trust (SEED), one of our Group organisations.
10. Why does Hand in Hand have two Trusts?
We have two Trusts for better governance and decentralized processes.
11. Why does Hand in Hand aim to create 1.3 million jobs by 2013?
In the poverty estimates created by the World Bank for Tamil Nadu under the Vazdhu Kaathuvom Thittam, 13.3 million people were classified as below the poverty line. Percy Barnevik envisioned Hand in Hand as not a postcard NGO but to do something meaningful. Hence, 10% of 13.3 million i.e. 1.3 million was set as our target.
12. What would be the next step after achieving the goal of 1.3 million jobs by 2013?
Based on funding, we would expand to other States and countries wherever there is a need.
13. How did Hand in Hand achieve so much is such a short period of time?
14. How did Hand in Hand evolve?
- Focused leadership
- Flexibility and funding
- Dedicated team
- Enabling government
- Good governance strategies with respect to the Board, active in its commitment to the cause.
Our initial focus was on helping children come out of child labour. There was rampant child labour in Kancheepuram District. There were many children employed in the weaving industry, and Hand in Hand worked with local Panchayats and partnered with MV foundation to address this problem.
To tackle child labour, we felt that the financial stability of the family was very important. There was a gap in terms of skill upgradation and forward and backward linkages. Hence, training and financial assistance through micro-credits was added as a Pillar.
Women in SHGs had pressing health needs. To improve their health status and to ensure their participation in their SHG activities and in enterprise creation, the Health Pillar was started as a pilot effort in partnership with the government.
After a lot of grass-root work, we understood that many problems were due to lack of information and people were not fully aware of their rights and were not exercising their franchise. To ensure that people exercise their right and make use of democratic set ups, and to focus on bridging the rural-urban divide and providing access to information, we started the Citizens’ Centre Enterprise. This has now evolved to an Income generating model also.
The Environment Pillar is a result of our association with Sweden which does a lot of activities in partnership with their government. We focus on natural resource management where our team helps create water sheds and check dams and on solid waste management where our team organises door-to-door garbage collection and segregation and recycling.
15. What is the impact of the holistic approach adopted by Hand in Hand?
The holistic approach makes people responsible and self-reliant. This is fundamental and is a powerful tool to combat poverty and the impact is phenomenal.
16. What is the accuracy of Hand in Hand’s data?
The data is calculated manually and consolidated on a monthly basis. Once in two years, social audit is conducted, through external agencies, to assess the validity of the MIS and take on the recommendations of the evaluation.
17. How is the governance in Hand in Hand?
Hand in Hand has a quarterly board meeting, decided a year in advance. Renowned and professional auditing firms are involved in auditing our book of accounts. This is followed by internal and external audit to ensure accountability of funds received.
18. Who are Hand in Hand India's and SEED Trust Board of Trustees?
to view Hand in Hand India's Trustees
to view SEED Trust Trustees
19. Who are Hand in Hand’s key executives?
Click Here to view our key executives
20. What is Section 25?
Helping Hands is a sister concern of Hand in Hand formed under the Section 25 Companies Act which focuses on solid waste management and supports farmer groups in watershed areas. It will not compete with Belstar but will focus on unique clientele and promote a green environment.
21. What is the role of Hand in Hand in consulting?
We intend to transfer Hand in Hand’s expertise in training to other states and countries. Since each state and country is unique in its own way, training modules would have to be tailor-made.
22. What is Hand in Hand’s registration number?
Registration no: 515/2010
23. What is Hand in Hand’s FCRA number?
FCRA no: 075820308