Sarosh Ghandy

Letters From The Chairman

Letter From The Chairman (2015-16)

I am happy to be able to tell you that Parinaam has had another very successful year in 2014-15. This has been possible because of the generosity of our donors who keep encouraging us on all our projects and the untiring and dedicated efforts of our wonderful employees who don’t seem to think that any target is unachievable.

We have continued to focus on the four main projects that we worked on last year but with added gusto, and the performance of our team has been impressive. In Diksha, our financial literacy program, we trained 107,000 women, which is nearly 45% of the number we have trained since the inception of this program. Not only was the number trained impressive but we had the satisfaction of being able to certify 84% of those trained against 82% certified previously.

Our Urban Ultra Poor Program (UUPP) has also made great strides in 2014-15. We grew to 14 communities by the end of the year and have catered to the needs of nearly 5000 people. The attrition rate from the program after 3 months has dropped from 27% to 11%. I have every hope that it will drop to a low single digit percentage during the present year. The percentage of members employed under UUPP is also quite satisfactory - 75% are employed. The remaining 25% are a cause of some concern to us, not because jobs are not available but because they do not seem to be motivated to get employed. During a survey that we carried out of the members who attended an ‘Employment Mela’ that Parinaam had organized during the year, a disturbingly large number said that they had refused jobs offered to them because “they did not feel like working!” We have to find ways of motivating them better.

The Academic Adoption Program is in danger of being oversubscribed! The total number of children enrolled in the program, as of March 2015 was 198, out of which 106 were enrolled during the year 2014-15. In addition, another 102 have been enrolled since April 2015. These children are being educated in 23 different high-quality schools and are being sponsored by 70 generous sponsors. Mere words are not enough to express our gratitude to all of them for the sacrifice they are making to give these underprivileged children new hope and a new life. Mallika and her team have done a tremendous job in enrolling some of the best schools in Bangalore so that these children can get the best possible education. The job is unending and we have ‘Miles to go before we sleep; Miles to go before we sleep!’ We need to enrol more schools and more sponsors to keep the program successful.

As part of the Higher Education Scholarship Program, we have distributed a total of 165 scholarships, of which 101 were distributed during the year under review, 2014-15.

While I applaud the work done by Mallika and her very dedicated team, none of this would have been possible were it not for the very generous organisations that have supported us financially throughout the year. We are truly indebted to the Citi Foundation; Caspian Impact Investment Advisor; Sequoia Capital; the MetLife Foundation; the HSBC Bank; the Aditya Birla Group; the World Bank; DSP Black Rock; KPMG; Ujjivan Financial Services and many, many other donors.

The recent change in the Companies Act which mandates that 2.0% of the profits of business organisations under a certain category be spent on Corporate Social Responsibility projects has opened up a great opportunity for Parinaam to harness further financial support, to expand the work that it is doing. We are hopeful of reaching out beyond Bangalore to other parts of the country, keeping in mind that we cannot allow quantity to jeopardise quality. Those that are familiar with Parinaam’s work, applaud the quality of our work and our holistic approach. We cannot afford to allow any slippage to occur in this.

We are confident that with your support we will be able to contribute further to bring joy and happiness among the underprivileged in our country.

Sarosh J. Ghandy
Chairman, Parinaam Foundation
May 30th, 2015