Consultancy Cognizant has committed itself to a multi-pronged approach to support flood relief and longer-term rehabilitation measures in the city of Chennai, India. The firm will donate $10 million in direct funding, as well make $30 million available in grants and loans to assist the recovery needs of its employees and business partners.
The annual northeast monsoon in November–December 2015 in India have resulted in the ‘2015 South Indian floods’, which affected the Coromandel Coast region of the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and the union territory of Puducherry. Hundreds of people have been killed, almost 2 million have been displaced and damages and losses have been estimated to exceed $3 billion. In particular, the city of Chennai has been hit hard by the floods.
To assist the people of Chennai with flood relief and rehabilitation, IT consultancy Cognizant, one of the city’s largest employers*, decided to support the community with a donation of $40 Million. The funding will be divided in a $10 million donation targeted to help the residents of Chennai and $30 million in assistance (grants and loans) to meet the immediate and longer-term recovery needs of employees and business partners.
The $10 million donation will consist of direct grants to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund, as well as grants provided to NGOs, charitable and relief organisations that are providing healthcare, housing and other support in Chennai and direct health initiatives and other community programmes. The $30 million in assistance will be granted to Cognizant employees in the city, as well as to as other individuals who support Cognizant’s Chennai operations, in the form of grants and loans. In addition, the firm will provide a portion of the funds to healthcare teams to provide medical care, consultation and disease prevention to its employees and business partners.
“Corporate support must play a vital role in providing immediate relief and helping to rebuild Chennai. Chennai is home to tens of thousands of our employees and their families. We are committed to helping with the large challenge of rebuilding the city and addressing the health, safety and housing needs of the residents of Chennai,” explains Gordon Coburn, President of Cognizant. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of our employees, clients and business partners and are working with them to direct their support to impactful relief causes. We encourage the larger Chennai business ecosystem to join us in the effort to quickly recover from this disaster.”
In addition to the $40 Million funding assistance, the firm also plans to sponsor and fund additional initiatives through Cognizant Foundation, which leads the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in India, and Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led, grassroots volunteering programme.
* The firm employees more than 60,000 employees at its 11 facilities in Chennai.