Our Journey

Our Team

Our Directors

Our Vision

To create an inclusive world where there are opportunities for everyone, there is no poverty; everyone has access to quality health care and education.

  • Making people aware of the social issues in their communities and encouraging them to stay invested and connected to these causes thus inspiring them to make a change.
  • Ensuring their contributions are directed effectively towards addressing the most pressing issues.
  • Setting the highest standards of integrity.

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

2010

The Beginning of the Journey

UWC OPENS IN THE CITY
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

2011-12

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

2013-14

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.

2015

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.

2016-17

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. 

2018-19

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.

ADVITYA THAPA

HEAD OF PROJECTS

ADVITYA THAPA

Advitya is grateful for the platform that UWC has given him to do what he truly loves to do – it converts his areas of interest in the development sector into actual projects. His goal is to change the hyper-consumerist attitude and the lack of regard to their consequences in society. He has a diverse set of hobbies: bird watching, biking, photography, composting and visiting places of historical significance. He hates bad movies, the current fashion trends, and Justin Bieber.

ANUPAMA NARAYAN

HEAD OF CSR

ANUPAMA NARAYAN

Anupama finds her work in UWC gratifying as it meets her passion for helping other people. She does not like people with attitude issues, so she would like to eliminate ego and negative thoughts in general. In fact, she would like to take the world back to how it was centuries ago so that we could use our awareness today to do it all right. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and being adventurous to explore the world.

BABU V

FINANCE & ACCOUNTS

BABU V

Babu loves how service-oriented UWC is, especially due to its involvement with NGOs and schools. He would like to improve the current education system to create equality across sectors in society. He loves playing cricket. His goal is to be like Captain Cool and remain calm and composed always.

EVANGELINE PEARL J

ASSISTANT MANAGER - PROJECTS & VOLUNTEERING

EVANGELINE PEARL J

Meet Evangeline Pearl J. She is passionate about the genuine work that UWC does to make the world a better place, one step at a time. In particular, she would like to make people kinder and happier. She thoroughly enjoys eating food, to the extent that she wishes she could download food from her devices. She also loves reading and writing fiction when she has time.

JONATHAN BRITTO

MANAGER – PROJECTS

JONATHAN BRITTO

This is Jonathan Britto! He loves the circular structure of UWC, where everybody is equal. He also loves meeting new people; if he had a superpower, he would like to be the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. He likes playing football and spending time with animals but hates studying. He wishes society would revert to the olden days, where we all lived in the forest without technology.

KARTHIKA DAMODARAN

SENIOR MANAGER - PROJECTS

KARTHIKA DAMODARAN

Karthika believes ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’. She enjoys the freedom in UWC to do what she wants to do to have a meaningful impact on society. Her passion for social work and learning has helped her gain expertise in the sector for the past 6 years. Her hobbies include trekking, painting, and reading. If she had a superpower, she would love to absorb power from others.

KRISHNARAJ T

EXECUTIVE - FINANCE & ACCOUNTS

KRISHNARAJ T

Krishna is a simple soul who cares about preserving and reviving the environment. He feels extremely satisfied that he's able to play a role in uplifting lives through his work at UWC. If Krishna could turn back time, he says he would help provide better irrigation for his village in Thoothukudi so that it doesn't run dry. On weekends, you can catch him smashing boundaries at the cricket field, playing chess or reading.

MARGARET CLARA

CLUSTER MANAGER – BORN LEARNING CAMPAIGN

MARGARET CLARA

Meet Margaret! She loves that UWC enables her to form a strong foundation for many NGOs and connect them to the corporate sector. She enjoys the exposure to the different fields in her job as well. If there was one thing she could change about society, she would encourage people to stress less and keep their inner child alive. This is evident through her aversion to vegetables! She would love to listen to music and just teleport through life.

MEENAKSHI RAMESH

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MEENAKSHI RAMESH

Meet the captain of our ship, Meenakshi. She loves that UWC is actually making change at a grassroots level and is passionate about expanding our impact footprint in the coming decade. She is a founding trustee of Citizen Matters Chennai, an online magazine for increasing citizen engagement in solving urban civic issues. She has also spent over 7 years with Pratham Education Foundation, India’s largest not-for-profit in education. On weekends, you can find her singing and reading. Challenge her to a quizzing match only if you dare.

ROSHNI A

ASSOCIATE - PROJECTS & DOCUMENTATION

ROSHNI A

Roshni lives by the motto, "as you sow, you shall reap" and wishes to shape young minds in social justice and equality. She is excited to be a part of UWC because of the opportunities to explore, learn, grow and to her highest ability and potential. If she could travel back in time, she would love to fix the issues that plague our generation today. On weekends, she can be found with a romantic novel and a cup of piping hot coffee.

ROSHINI JACOB

CONSULTANT - DOCUMENTATION & COMMUNICATION

ROSHINI JACOB

Meet Roshini, with an I! She is our in-house master word spinner and channelizes her spirit animal (The Blue Whale) in all things she does. She loves that UWC gives her an opportunity to contribute to positive change on-ground. An ardent environmentalist, she tries to adopt sustainability in all aspects of her life. At the end of a long week, she loves to read the newspapers of the week, play with her cat, "Killi" and generally catch up on sleep!

SHRUTI GANESH

MANAGER – MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

SHRUTI GANESH

Shruti is a strong believer in “Building a Better Tomorrow". She advocates for how small things can make a big difference and encourages everybody to look beyond their own lives to do anything they can to drive positive change. She loves laughing until her stomach hurts and listening to music until her earphones stop working. When you meet her, be sure to bring ice-cream with you!

VIDHYANAYAGI B

ASSOCIATE - SOCIAL MEDIA & EVENTS

VIDHYANAYAGI B

Meet Vidhya! She's a chirpy girl who loves making people around her laugh. She is thankful that she gets to learn something new every day at UWC and loves the vibrant team here. She hates judgemental people and believes "no comments until you have walked a mile in their shoes". If you see her with a paintbrush or a book that means the weekend is here!

VIJAY SENTHIL

SENIOR MANAGER - PROJECTS

VIJAY SENTHIL

Vijay joined UWC because it gives him an opportunity to develop himself and improve his professional career while repaying his debt to society. He advocates for responsible consumption and conscious use of resources in his daily life. He enjoys traveling, & meeting new people. He loves watching movies and traveling. If he had a superpower, he would like to read others’ minds.

VIMAL ANAND

MANAGER – PROJECTS

VIMAL ANAND

This is Vimal Anand B. He is our Project Manager. He is passionate about creating a better environment and society for all. In UWC, he has really liked the projects he has worked on so far. He would like to change the divisions on the views of religion in society. He is interested in photography, cycling, fishing, and traveling. If he had a superpower, he would like to be the Wolverine from X-Men Origins.

MA ALAGAPPAN

Chairman

MA ALAGAPPAN

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

AMARNATH REDDY

Vice-Chairman

AMARNATH REDDY

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

LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

Founder Member

LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

He is the Emeritus Vice Chairman of Cognizant and Chairman ICT Academy, CHILDS Trust Medical Research Foundation. He has served as Chairman of NASSCOM. He keenly supports higher education and research and promotes entrepreneurship.

MAHALINGAM SETURAMAN

Member

MAHALINGAM SETURAMAN

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.

MADHAVAN NAMBIAR

Member

MADHAVAN NAMBIAR

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.

D CHANDRASEKHAR

Member

D CHANDRASEKHAR

He is a distinguished alumnus of IIT-Madras in Metallurgy. He is the Founder-President of Madras Dyslexia Association and Founder and Present Secretary of IIT Madras Alumni Charitable Trust.

PRAKASH KATAMA

Member

PRAKASH KATAMA

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.

SATYA PRABHAKAR

Member

SATYA PRABHAKAR

He is the Founder & CEO of Sulekha, one of India’s leading digital consumer brand and technology platform for local services. He is a distinguished Alumnus by NIT, Trichy and recognised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for entrepreneurship.

SABINA NARAYAN

Member

SABINA NARAYAN

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.

ANURADHA OZA

Member

ANURADHA OZA

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.

PRAMOD KUMAR

Member

PRAMOD KUMAR

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.