Our Journey

Our Team

Our Directors

Our Vision

United Way envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives.

Our Mission

United Way of Chennai commits to mobilizing the caring power of communities through sustainable and impactful interventions.

We work with compassion and integrity towards inclusive and equitable solutions in education, health, livelihood and environment.

Our History​

United Way Chennai is part of the global United Way network that is operating in more than 46 countries and in 7 states across India.

A decade of change and impact – we’re grateful for the immense support from our donors and partners. We invite you to take a walk down memory lane with us by scrolling below.

Our Journey


The Beginning of the Journey

Part of United Way Worldwide, a global non-profit movement that channelizes the giving power of corporates to create an impact in the neediest communities


Establishing our CSR & Volunteering verticals

Provided assistive devices & employment opportunities to the differently-abled
6 AVAZ devices worth Rs. 40,000/- each was donated to children of Vidya Sagar, a center for special education. 100 differently-abled individuals trained and placed in companies such as GE, Hinduja, Kotak Mahindra etc
Organized the first CEO Run in Chennai

34 CEOs ran for nearly 2 km at IIT Chennai, raising 45 Lakhs for causes supported by United Way Chennai


Striking collaborative partnerships​

First Budget Meet organized

Speakers included Mr. PN Vijay along with Mr. Nandkumar Surti and Mr. Sankaran Naren. Raised Rs. 30 Lakhs with 11 corporate sponsors

Organized our First Dream Madras Exhibition

To commemorate Madras’ 375th birthday, students from different schools exhibited their ideas about their perspective of Chennai. In the following year, we partnered with TOI to organize UWC’s first public performance with Ms. Shobana

10,000 runners participated in The Wipro Chennai Marathon

Included international participants from Uganda, Dubai, Algeria, and Ethiopia. A number of physically challenged persons were seen running, including India’s first blade runner, Major Devender Pal Singh.


Pitching in to turn it around

UWC’s First Day of Action held;

The largest day of volunteering in the state with more than 10,000 volunteers participating in clean up campaigns, spreading awareness on cleanliness and hygiene.

Championed Flood Relief Efforts during the 2015 Chennai Rains

We partnered with 8 corporates and 18 NGOs for the Flood relief program. Corporate volunteers distributed 24,000+ packets of food, 25,000+ liters of water, 3 lakh+ soya milk packs, 1000+ packets of Oats, 3000+ mats and blankets, 4000+ kgs of rice, Essentials like medicines, candles, Odomos mosquito repellent cream, sanitary napkins, and Items for rehabilitation – clothes, provisions, utensils, etc. We helped 4,00,000 affected people.

Piloted the first WaSH program in Sholinganallur Govt. Higher Sec School

Constructed a girl-friendly toilet block fitted with incinerators for sanitary napkins as well as two group hand wash stations and a ground-level reservoir. Made provisions for water filtration & re-use and conducted awareness sessions on menstrual hygiene.


Creating a Culture of Giving

Kickstarted the Anganwadi Programme with ICDS & UNICEF

Enables underprivileged children aged 0 to 6 to become ready for mainstream schooling through pre-school education, immunization, and nutrition in Anganwadis. UWC partnered with the HT Parekh Foundation, ICDS & UNICEF to pilot the program in 10 Anganwadis in tribal areas.

Happy Hands initiative was born

2000+ Volunteers from various colleges and corporates across the city taught 10,000 children in Govt. & Panchayat Union schools about the need & importance of safe handwashing habits. As part of United Way Worldwide’s Day of Action Competition 2017, UWC won the Greatest Scale as well as Best Photo Award. 

Set up the first Child-Friendly Court Room in Madras HC with UNICEF

Courtroom trials are intimidating and to ensure that children have a non-threatening experience during trials, United Way Chennai in partnership with UNICEF & IIT Kanpur, conceptualized and created a child-friendly courtroom in the Madras High Court. 


Growing in leaps and bounds across verticals

Expanded our scope of work

Benefitted the differently-abled by creating opportunities for a better quality of life through scholarships & micro-entrepreneurship. Tackling the water crisis through source augmentation and ensuring safe/affordable drinking water for poor communities.

Reversing & rehabilitating flood-affected Kerala

Through our relief efforts, such as distributing 300+ NFI kits, building 50+ transient shelters, cleaning up almost 100 wells, restoring school and community plants, we benefitted more than 4 million people.


Decade of change

Gaja Cyclone - Relief & Response

As many lost their homes and livelihood during Gaja Cyclone, United Way of Chennai with the assistance from United Way Bengaluru and corporate partners, successfully refurbished schools, reconstructed numerous shelters, and furnished over 600 families with fishing nets and livelihood support. 

Child Friendly Police Stations

Child-friendly police stations create a welcoming environment for the children of dedicated police officers who often work extended hours. This setup ensures the safety of children in the presence of their parents while shielding them from exposure to ongoing investigations. 

Battle of the Buffet

In 2019, the United Way of Chennai, in collaboration with Chennai Mission, organized the yearly fundraising gathering “Battle of the Buffet” which witnessed the participation of nearly 100 NGOs, collectively raising Rs. 1.13 Crores to support their innovative and deserving programs. as part of Daan Utsav Week. The event featured a Stand-up show by Alexander Babu, followed by a musical performance by renowned playback singer Srinivas.  


A year of resilient change


In partnership with the Greater Chennai Corporation and AGS Health, United Way of Chennai implemented the Miyawaki program to create a small forest on unproductive land of 395.43 square meters located at OSR (TVH Avenue, Sholinganallur) which significantly reduced the area’s carbon footprint. 

Water Body Restoration

In partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation, United Way of Chennai successfully restored 2 lakes of 7.5 acres and 10.5 acres in Tamil Nadu that were on the brink of depletion. These lakes were assessed, rejuvenated and restored. The initiative inspired the local community to take responsibility for safeguarding the water bodies and also empowered them to make use of the newly developed amenities in the vicinity. 

Trans Kitchen

In collaboration with Wells Fargo and Swasti, United Way of Chennai made a dedicated commitment to enhance the socio-economic well-being of 15 transgender individuals by promoting sustainable livelihood activities and establishing a thriving kitchen managed by trans individuals. This initiative significantly empowered the transgender community. 


Standing with the community

Elephant Fencing

In partnership with the Department of Forestry, Tamil Nadu, United Way of Chennai erected a 2.5-kilometer steel rope fence that is friendly to elephants in the villages surrounding elephant habitats along the Jawalagiri Forest Range, Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary, located within the Hosur Forest Division of Krishnagiri District. This initiative has effectively decreased casualties resulting from human-elephant conflicts. 

Pediatric Ward - Lawley Hospital

The Covid-19 pandemic bolstered our capabilities in providing essential infrastructure support to hospitals. The United Way of Chennai undertook the renovation of the Pediatric ward and ICU at Lawley Hospital in Coonoor, supporting them with vital medical equipment. This assistance has significantly improved the tribal communities’ access to prompt and high-quality healthcare services. 

Street Vendor Support

The United Way of Chennai extended essential one-time financial assistance to street vendors, domestic laborers, and daily wage laborers who had been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This support played a crucial role in sustaining their households during the lockdown and paved the way for them to recommence their livelihoods. 


Year of empowerment

From Rolling Beedis to a Sustainable & Dignified Livelihood | Thirumathi Vazhai Naar initiative

Through a rural entrepreneurship program, we established banana fibre product manufacturing centres, offering an alternative means of livelihood for 150 women involved in beedi rolling in the most economically vulnerable rural communities of Tirunelveli District. This support has not only enhanced their economic well-being but also bolstered their social empowerment. 

With Empowered Girls Comes Empowered Generations

‘Riding the Waves,’ a collaborative initiative between the United Way of Chennai and the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, empowered 50 girls between the age group of 15 to 21 from coastal communities in Kovalam, Chennai, and Calicut, Kerala, to equip them in open water swimming and bolstered their life skills. 

Covid Express

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on both lives and livelihoods, with numerous families enduring the loss of one or more members, often including the sole breadwinner. To aid in this crisis, the United Way of Chennai initiated the ‘COVID Express’ program, benefiting 118 families spread across 11 districts in Tamil Nadu through the provision of livelihood support and scholarships. This assistance has effectively ushered in a fresh start for these families. 

Abirami M

Assistant Manager - Programs

Abhinaya Ravee

Associate - Partnerships


Associate - Volunteering

Bala Satkurunathan

Head - Partnerships

Deensha PG

Lead Specialist - Programs

Dhayanithi Palani

Senior Manager - Programs


Assistant Manager - Finance

Gladys Hepzibah T

Senior Manager - Program & Documentation

Jenisha Violet Sherlin K

Program Coordinator

Josephin Stephi S

Assistant Manager - Partnerships

Keerthana B

Asst Manager - Government Liaison, Advocacy and Special Programs

Krishnaraj T

Manager - Finance

Larsen Michael

Senior Manager - Communications

Mani M

Manager - Infrastructure

Meenakshi Ramesh

Executive Director

Mohammed Dadaji

Lead Specialist - Partnerships

Muralidharan K

Program Coordinator

Nandhini P

Associate - Programs

Pasupathi P

Manager - Monitoring and Impact Assessment

Ramesh N

Assistant Manager - Procurement & Admin

Rosy Sujatha

Chief Operating Officer

Saranya M

Assitant Manager - Finance

Sam Daniel Rajakumar

Senior Manager - Partnerships

Sujith Thangappan

Manager - Program

Sudhir R

Head - Program

S Sri Lakshmi

Head of Finance


Manager - Programs

Tryphena Persis

Associate - Communications

Vidya Kumar

Senior Manager - HR

Yoganand R

Coordinator - Volunteering




He was the Former Executive Chairman of Murugappa Group. He is also the Honorary Consul of Hungary.




He serves as the Chairman and Managing Director of A.R. Foundations Pvt. Ltd.




She is a Leadership Development professional with 20+ years of international work experience in the fields of Diversity, Corporate Communications as well as Corporate Social Responsibility. Her experience spans geographies such as Asia, the UK, and USA. She is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government & is accredited by the Govt. of India as a CSR trainer.




She is the Joint Managing Director of KCP Limited where she has contributed towards varying levels of management. She particularly oversees new projects, financial and human resource management, and spearheads budgetary policies. She comes with over 2 decades of professional experience.




He has a 36-year record of public service as an IAS officer. As Secretary to the Govt. of India at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, he directed the design & development of some of India’s largest public-private partnership (PPP) projects. Currently, he is the Advisor of TCS & Chairman, Kerala Digital Advisory Board.




He had served TCS in a number of areas, finally serving as its CFO and Executive Director. He is currently on the Boards of a few Companies.




He was the CEO of TVS Electronics Ltd after serving as Sr Director-Operations for Nokia India Pvt Ltd. He is currently a Managing Partner at Asia Plastics and an active investor in the startup ecosystem.




He is a Senior Managing Partner at IIFL Wealth, oversees the wealth management function in the Chennai and Coimbatore regions. He brings over 3 decades of experience in capital markets with a specific focus on multi-asset class investment management & Advisory.




She is a community organizer and mobilizes group activities on diverse civic issues. She previously coordinated Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation’s design and community development of the IT Corridor and Adyar Poonga. Her professional background ranges from design and infrastructure to community development.




He is a business/social entrepreneur and a writer. Satya is recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of NIT, Tiruchirappalli and has master's degrees in Computer Science and Business from US. Satya is the founder and CEO of ProManage and Sulekha.com. He also manages Group e4, a non-profit that raises sponsorship funds for young chess prodigies of India. Satya is the author of Alfaaz ki Mehfil, containing curated translations of Urdu poetry.




He is the Executive Chairman of the R K SWAMY HANSA Group. He is immediate past Chairman & World President of International Advertising Association (IAA). He currently serves as Chairman of Asian Federation of Advertising Associations. He is honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), Rotary Club of Guindy and with many other reputable awards. He is the President, Hindu Mission Hospital, Chairman of Valluvar Gurukulam School Society, President of National Boys & Girls Education Society, and many other honourable social service organizations.