Habitat India Updates: December 2013 – January 2014

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IndiaBUILDERS Night: Celebrating Thirty Years of Building the Lives of Families in Need
indiabuilds dance display indiabuilds dinner
In celebration of its 30 years of service to the nation, Habitat for Humanity India organized a charity gala dinner hosted by the IndiaBUILDS Advisory Committee headed by Mrs. Rajashree Birla and Mr. Pramit Jhaveri. The event gathered owners and CEOs of major corporations and organizations, high net worth individuals, and influential celebrities who have been supporting Habitat for Humanity – leading the movement of building homes and developing communities in India. Over three decades, Habitat in India has served more than 49,000 families with decent shelter. The event also marked 30 years of Habitat in Asia-Pacific.

Luxury and limited edition items, and high valued experiences such as ‘A day with John Abraham, Dinner on a cruise with R. Madhavan, a Pashmina flat, Essex vintage car, and paintings by well-known artists like Badri Narayan, Bhavani Katoch, Bose Krishnamachari were auctioned to raise funds for Habitat’s disaster response projects in Uttarakhand and Odisha. Auction items were provided by John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, R. Madhavan, Chef Ajay Chopra, Pashmina Developers, Studio 3, The Westin Mumbai Garden City, Marine Solutions, Indigo, Maharani Jewels, Jade, Image Consulting Business Institute, Mati Moksha, and Veethika.

Smt. Rajashree Birla unveiled Habitat India’s coffee table book that paid tribute to significant donors and corporations that contributed to Habitat India’s work over the last 30 years. She then presented recognition plaques to key contributors in an awards ceremony.

Mrs Birla ” I believe that a house is the primary need of every human being. A house transcends just shelter. The sense of security that it gives paves the foundation for leading a life of dignity, for imparting values and education, to the children and a meaning to life. It at once provides the opportunity to every individual to unleash his or her potential. When we were looking at organizations that could help us take our mission forward, Habitat for Humanity was clearly the frontrunner. So we began our tryst with Habitat in a small way more than a decade ago.”- Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, IndiaBUILDS Advisory Committee.
Ayala Purab Pooja

“In the Asia Pacific, we are setting our goals high. Through a new vision called “IMPACT ASIA, we hope to dramatically raise our capacity to be able to serve 15 million people by 2020. We have already shown our ability to scale up dramatically in recent years so we see no reason why we can’t continue. This is what it will take to make a significant difference in the problem of poverty housing”.

– Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Council

“I’ve been associated with Habitat for Humanity since I was very young. The first build I did was around 1997 in Americus Georgia, the headquarters of Habitat for Humanity. As an ambassador, I’m able to use my time, talent and influence to create awareness on the need for shelter, especially in India where the need is so great”.- Purab Kholi, Habitat Celebrity Ambassdor “As a celebrity one is often asked to lend their name and support to organizations and various charities. I have to say, this one is very different. Because not just are you lending your name, you actually get very hands-on through building and interacting with the very people you’re trying to help, face-to-face”- Pooja Bedi, Habitat Celebrity Ambassdor
The event was supported by Citi, Reliance Industries Limited, National Association of Realtors, Sanjay & Falguni Nayar, United Phosphorus Limited, Cisco, Exxon Mobil Company India Pte Ltd, Tata Housing Development Company Ltd., Pashmina Developers.
Uttarakhand Families brave a severe winter with the aid of Habitat winter kits

In Uttarakhand affected district of Pithoragarh, the maximum temperature in winter is approximately 20 degrees Celsius and minimum temperature shooting down to 0 degrees Celsius. To save those families whose homes were destroyed during the Uttarakhand disaster from life threatening weather conditions, Habitat for Humanity India provided 101 families with winter kits.

These kits included sweaters, shawls, quilts, blankets and woollen mats. Thirty percent of beneficiary families comprise women-headed households.

Habitat beneficiary Radhima Devi said with a smile on her face, “The winter gear material provided to us will last for the next 5-6 years and will protect us from the bitter cold during these years. We are thankful to Habitat India and its staff.”


winter kits

Schools across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore including Podar International School (Kalyan & Nerul), Pathway (Noida), Suncity World School (Gurgaon) and Vanasthali Public School (Noida) participated in art contests to raise funds for re-building schools in Uttarakhand.

Right: A student’s depiction of shelter using ice-cream sticks and tissues.


611 families in Cyclone Phailin 13 affected villages of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were provided with Emergency Shelter Kits
Goa gears up for the 3rd edition of the Goa Marathon on Feb 9, 2014

In its 3rd edition this year, the Goa Marathon shall feature four runs – the 21 km Half Marathon, the 10 km Run, the 5 km Dream Run and the School Run. The marathon, being organized by El Shaddai and Habitat for Humanity India in partnership with the Goa Athletic Association and the Corporation of the City of Panaji, shall draw the participation of several professional distance runners and local celebrities. All donations will be used to build safe and decent homes for 20 families from marginalized communities in Assanora and Saoncale villages of Goa.

Support the Goa Marathon by registering or by donating online.

Habitat supporters raise funds through the Delhi Marathon

Twenty-five Copal Amba employees participated in the Delhi Marathon 2013 that aimed to provide corporates with a platform to support causes of their choice. Participants donated towards Habitat’s disaster relief work in Uttarakhand. Sonam, an HR personnel with Copal said, “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life and support the needy people, run a marathon”.

750 students and parents from Rajhans Vidyalaya School run to raise funds for Uttarakhand

On 12th January 2014, nearly 750 parents and students of Rajhans Vidyalaya School, Andheri ran for Habitat for Humanity with the objective to repair a school in Uttarakhand. Deepshikha Srivastava, Principal of the school briefed parents during the Prize distribution ceremony on Habitat India’s work across the country. The marathon and a ‘Rupee for a Roof’ campaign organized by the school will raise funds to re-build schools and homes affected by the Uttarakhand disaster.

Global Village Volunteer shares her build experience
Jennifer Isely led a team of Global Village volunteers on a two week build in Kottamedu Village, Pondicherry. She shares her build experience:”My journey began with Habitat 6 years ago when I decided to go on my first build to Anchorage Alaska. That’s where I fell in love with their program. The next year I took 12 brave big-hearted volunteers to work in a village outside of Pondicherry. I came back to Pondicherry in 2013, to lead my 6th team and I was fortunate to get to go back to the original village I took first team to, to visit and see the progress and finished homes. We arrived in the village, and before long word spread and many came to see us. Once they realized it was me from the original village, lots of hugging and kissing ensued, and chants of “Praise be to Jennifer!!” They told me how they always wondered if we remembered them, and if I would ever return. I told them yes I remember saying that and I NEVER forgot them, and I needed to come back and say hello and you are remembered…your love and kindness and acceptance was beyond my imagination”!!

I am SO honored to be a part of something so big, and how just one person’s intention started a ripple effect that will never be forgotten or broken. As Christmas approaches I am reminded of why I do such trips with Habitat. It’s to stretch myself, create awareness, and touch lives in ways I could never have imagined! I am blessed beyond blessed and grateful to be a part of something always bigger than myself”.

130 Volunteers from Daimler build alongside Habitat Homepartners
Over 130 employees from Daimler, volunteered at a Habitat build in Uthtiramerur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu. Volunteers worked alongside individuals from marginalized families who have been allotted land by the government, to construct Habitat homes. Selvam, a Habitat beneficiary shared his gratitude towards the volunteers: “It has been such a great support that I have received from the volunteers. I have saved a lot of money with volunteers coming and supporting me in completing the concrete work in my house. I feel blessed and have no words to express my gratitude. I thank all those who supported me today and will remember them all for my life”.
Upcoming Women’s Build: Join Us
women's build

A low-income woman is more likely to live in an unsafe and substandard house, without access to services, on land that makes her vulnerable – whether to natural disasters, eviction or exploitation. There is also a higher likelihood that she will suffer from poor health; the area in which she is living is unhygienic. Land tenure laws often deny women the ability to possess land.

Wanting a house with a door that can lock is the wish of many low-income women around the world. Living in a safe, decent home on land that provides security for the whole family is a major step in helping improve lives. This provides choice and opportunity for women – they are able to leave the home to earn an income and hold their ground when decisions are made.  This International Women’s Day (8th March) join Habitat India in our commitment to provide  women with the choice and opportunity to live in a safe, decent home.  Women from around the world will volunteer aside women from low-income families, enabling them to build safe, decent and affordable homes.  This global Women’s BUILD will take place in Delhi, India from March 1 – 9, 2014.

Habitat is grateful for the generous contributions of Standard Chartered Bank, Deltin Group, Smt. Rajashree Birla, iGATE, Kanta Atmaram Foundation, Mrs. Sabira Merchant, Mr.Ramesh Iyer, Mrs. Sheila Kripalani, Mr. Kirubaharan Gnanaraj, Mr. Nimit Mehra, Mr. Neeraj Roy, Mrs. Raunaq Roy, Mr. Dharmesh Datta, Dr. Neeraj Sheth, Podar International School (Kalyan, Nerul and Nashik) and Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri
towards our mission during this reporting period.We are also grateful to all corporates and groups including Hanyang University Korea Team, Exxon Mobile, Intuit, Daimler and others who volunteered on builds during this reporting period.


Habitat for Humanity India | 301-A, Everest Chambers, Marol Naka, Andheri Kurla Rd, Andheri (E), Mumbai – 59 | Phone: +91 22 29209851

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Habitat is a registered charitable trust registered under the provisions of the Public Trust Act Registration #700 dated 19/1/2005 in the office of the Sub Registrar of Assurance, Mehrauli Tehsil, New Delhi.

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