Villagers in Pedda Bidda in Andhra Pradesh, India, inspect the devastating damage caused by Cyclone Hudhud

“It’s been almost one and a half years since Cyclone Hudhud hit our village and destroyed everything,” said Janni Sanyasamma, who lives in the rural village of Pedda Bidda in Andhra Pradesh, India.

“We lost our homes and lost hope. Today we feel fortunate to have a roof over our head, along with all the basic amenities like water, electricity and proper sewerage and sanitation.”

Ms Sanyasamma’s family is one of many in Pedda Bidda who have recently received the keys to a new home, built by the charity Habitat for Humanity India in partnership with HSBC.

In the aftermath of a disaster, what a human being needs is hope

Like lots of communities in eastern India and Nepal, Pedda Bidda was devastated when Cyclone Hudhud struck in October 2014. The severe storm left a trail of destruction, killing people and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate to relief camps.

HSBC donated USD500,000 to Habitat for Humanity India to help recovery efforts. The charity provided temporary shelter and sanitation for the people of Pedda Bidda as well as rebuilding homes. In addition to HSBC financial support, 115 people from the bank’s Global Service Centre in the city of Vizag volunteered to help rebuild the village.

In February and March 2016, villagers in Pedda Bidda were handed the keys to 63 new homes built with HSBC support. The brick buildings were constructed using environmentally friendly materials and techniques. They include solar energy units and energy-efficient biomass stoves.

Andy Maguire, HSBC’s Group Chief Operating Officer, said it was important to not just rebuild the village but to create a model that could be replicated in the future – with homes built to high standards and having access to modern amenities.

Habitat for Humanity India works with low-income, marginalised families to build homes and to raise awareness of the need for adequate housing and sanitation.

Rajan Samuel, Managing Director of Habitat for Humanity India, said: “In the aftermath of a disaster, what a human being needs is hope. Through its Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Programme, Habitat for Humanity India is resolved to rebuild people's faith and give them a chance to live with dignity.”

The tie-up with Habitat for Humanity India is one of many HSBC partnerships with charities around the world. In 2015 the bank contributed a total of USD205 million to charitable programmes and HSBC employees volunteered 304,555 hours in community activities.

Building work on new homes in the village begins (Images: Habitat for Humanity India)

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