Credit Suisse today celebrated the inauguration of a sports facility together with Jai Vakeel Foundation, India’s largest and oldest non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of intellectually disabled children. The inauguration is part of an annual bank-wide ‘Community School Transformation Day,’ with nearly 1,000 Credit Suisse staff volunteering their time to enhance the learning environment at 5 schools in underprivileged communities in Mumbai (Worli and Powai), Pune and Bengaluru. The schools include those run by Jai Vakeel and Cochlea, another long-term non-profit partner of Credit Suisse. Around 4,000 students will benefit from the ‘Community School Transformation Day.’
Credit Suisse’s support for Jai Vakeel and its ‘Community School Transformation Day’ are an integral part of the bank’s larger Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in India. In 2018, these CSR initiatives enabled more than 20,000 disadvantaged children to access quality education, provided more than 8,000 school children with nutritious mid-day meals, prevented malnourishment of over 7,500 ‘at risk’ infants and enabled close to 200 differently abled children to access non-formal education. The bank’s social sustainability efforts also include prevention of deforestation in around 600 acres of forestland in parts of the Western Ghats and the establishment of livelihoods for close to 400 forest dependent families. CSR investments are complimented by a culture of volunteerism that is promoted at the highest levels of the bank. Last year, over 2,400 Credit Suisse volunteers collectively devoted more than 16,177 hours across multiple CSR events in India, impacting 36,000 beneficiaries.
The Jai Vakeel sports facility was inaugurated byMickey Doshi, CEO India, Credit Suisse, with staff from the bank’s Worli office joining students and teachers for a day of interaction and engagement in sports and other recreational activities.
Mr. Doshicommented: “We all know the benefits that come from sports and physical activities in improving quality of life and overall cognitive health. Jai Vakeel’s new sports facility offers special needs children a safe environment to play and learn, while encouraging social inclusion. At Credit Suisse, we want to create a more inclusive future where people can access and develop key skills and resources to thrive in society. I am proud of our staff who have come here today in the true spirit of volunteerism, to contribute their time and energy towards enhancing our local community.”
Archana Chandra, CEO, Jai Vakeel Foundation, added: “Through this new sports facility, we are excited to provide students with a safe place for fun, laughter and learning. Our Foundation has struggled to achieve our vision of building awareness and empathy for individuals with intellectual disabilities. However, with the help of organizations such as Credit Suisse – who was one of our first long-term supporters – we have come a long way. This state-of-the art sports facility made possible by Credit Suisse’s generous support will enable us to continue to strive for the inclusion of intellectually disabled individuals by maximizing their potential.”
The indoor portion of the sports facility features soft sports flooring and padded walls, and boasts basketball hoops, badminton nets and football goal posts. The outdoor sports area has over 9,600 square feet of artificial turf that is home to a playground with swings (including some that are wheelchair friendly), slides and seesaws. An outdoor stage for performances has also been created. All spaces are barrier free, safe and accessible for all abilities. Around 700 students at Jai Vakeel’s Mumbai campus in Sewri will be able to benefit from these facilities on a daily basis.
Jai Vakeel Foundation serves the needs of 3,000 individuals annually, including the 700 students at its Mumbai campus and 40 students at each of its rural branches in Talegaon and Deolali. Through its Pediatric Neurology Medical Camps in rural Maharashtra, Jai Vakeel provides assistance to over 2,300 students each year.