First HSBC Team Volunteers On Saturday Build In Flood-Affected Kalyan, India
Bank also donated nearly US$ 100,000 to HFH India’s tsunami reconstruction program
KALYAN, 12th July 2006: What does bank staff do on a weekend? In the case of HSBC staff members, they went on the Habitat for Humanity India’s Saturday Build on the first weekend of July.
It marked the first time that HSBC is taking part in the build, led by Archanna Das, assistant manager, corporate social responsibility. Nine volunteers from HSBC worked in Paushepada village, Kalyan. The district of Kalyan was badly affected in the July-2005-floods that swamped Maharashtra state. The disaster claimed about 1,000 lives and destroyed 10,000 homes.
After a briefing by Debie Gonsalves, a Habitat representative, the volunteers were greeted by Subash Raichura, the new president of Rotary Club of Kalyan. Mr Raichura shared about the successes of Habitat-Rotary Club partnerships and looked forward to more fruitful cooperation in the future.
Habitat and the Rotary Club are also involved in a 100-house project for flood victims in Raita village, Kalyan. Some 75 houses were dedicated in June.
The HSBC volunteers were then divided into two teams to paint the external and internal walls of four houses. A local painter from the village supervised the work, which included whitewashing the houses.
Lunch was prepared by the villagers for the volunteers who resumed work after their meal. The HSBC team expressed interest in continuing with Saturday Build after the end of the monsoon season in September.
“The Habitat Build inculcated the quality of team dynamics, attracting people to come together and work for a common cause. The presence of the representatives from Habitat made the build more fruitful and engaging with the community,” said Ravikrishna R Iyer, rewards officer, HSBC
“Employee volunteering in HSBC has grown over the years; breaking barriers of hierarchy, mindset, language and geography. The Habitat Build was an experience, which brought together employees and community towards a noble cause. We look forward to engaging with Habitat for house building activities involving more HSBC colleagues,” said Das.
Although it is the HSBC volunteers’ maiden effort in Saturday Build, the bank has previously supported Habitat’s tsunami reconstruction program in India. HSBC has donated 4.5 million rupees (about US$97,900) to build 30 houses in tsunami-hit Chinandikuppam and Pondicherry, as well as support the activities of the Habitat Resource Center: Building & Training in Pondicherry.
HSBC’s contribution came from the brokerage commission earned by HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India (HSCI). Come end-September, senior executives and staff from HSCI are scheduled to volunteer on a Habitat build at Pondicherry.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member and a principal member of the HSBC Group. The HSBC Group has over 9,500 offices in 76 countries and territories, and assets of US$1,502 billion at 31st December 2005, making it one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. It is committed to corporate social responsibility, focusing on environmental and educational programs as well as disaster relief.
The Saturday Build is a program under Habitat’s US$1.5 million Maharashtra Flood Response Initiative that aims to build least 1,000 houses for flood-stricken families. Teams from the US Consulate had also volunteered for the weekend build on consecutive Saturdays since 1st April.