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  Social Responsibility

Healthcare
Published on: July 23, 2020, 5:58 p.m.
Persistence pays rich dividends
  • Persistent professionals mentor the scholars on an ongoing basis

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India
I

n India, volunteers working for Persistent Foundation have found, poor awareness and superstitions have transformed a curable condition like facial cleft lip and palate into a stigma. The Foundation, set up by the Pune-headquartered Persistent Systems in 2009 to formalise its CSR activities that it had begun 14 years earlier, works in three thrust areas, education, health and community development.

A complete cure for cleft lip demands a series of surgeries, along with treatments like speech therapy for a continued period of time, as Yogita Apte, project manager – CSR, explains. The Foundation has joined hands with expert organisations to create awareness about facial clefts by reaching out to schools and anganwadis in rural areas to offer this support to children from economically challenged backgrounds.

With the aim of breathing new life into healthcare for both young and old people, Persistent has concentrated on healthcare for children, women and senior citizens as a key focus. It implements its programmes for them in partnership with hospitals and NGOs who share its objectives. In the past two decades, these programmes have helped over 10,000 people.

Paediatric surgeries – which include operations for foot correction, urological, orthopaedic, cleft lip and palate are one of the prime areas of support, improving the patient’s way of living drastically. The broader methodology, encompassing both curative as well as preventive initiatives, has evolved the Foundation’s approach into a more holistic one. “Our health initiatives have benefited more than 160,000 lives through 27-plus unique projects,” Apte says.

The idea of ‘Giving back to Society’ has been central to Persistent Systems’ core values and overarching mission, according to its chairman and managing director Anand Deshpande, who founded the company in 1990. The CSR platform is only an extension of the work philosophy that embodies the company.

Persistent Foundation is now active across five regions in India – Pune and Nagpur districts, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Goa where Persistent offices are situated. In exceptional and critical times, it has gone beyond these geographical limits too. In a broader spectrum, its CSR spread covers nearly 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations.

In its second focus area of education, the Foundation’s flagship ‘Kiran Girls Scholarship Programme’ enables girls from low socio-economic strata to pursue graduation studies in computer science and information technology with the aim of enabling them to become confident, skilled and highly employable individuals. These scholars are mentored by Persistent professionals on an ongoing basis in addition to a residential mentoring programme which is conducted twice a year. Upon graduation, almost every one of the 316 mentored girls has got placed in reputed IT companies, including Persistent Systems.

The third focus area, community development, encompasses areas like livelihood generation, skill development, environment conservation and supporting infrastructure development for community needs.


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