Philanthropy, social entrepreneurship and charity initiatives have blossomed across India. To celebrate the spirit of giving, we highlight some meaningful projects and the pro bono legal work that helped make them possible.

Vandana Chatlani reports

In August, Mansi Shah and Abhishek Tatiya opened Happy Feet Home, India’s first children’s hospice. Located in Mumbai, the hospice provides free emotional, psycho-social and spiritual support to children with life threatening or life limiting illnesses. It also offers respite and bereavement support to the parents of such children. The hospice aims to create a safe space where children can live life to the fullest even if only for a few months. Economic Laws Practice helped the hospice team by drafting the intake form; the form to be signed by parents or guardians, consenting to the activities offered and releasing the home from legal liabilities; and the appointment letter for a nurse at the home. Partner Sujjain Talwar, associate partner Aakanksha Joshi and associate Kanisha Vora drafted templates for these documents that can be used long term by Happy Feet Home and modified for use by other homes providing similar therapeutic services or palliative care.

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), an international independent philanthropic organization that promotes children’s health, education and welfare, in collaboration with soap maker Unilever, in 2014 launched a project to reduce mortality among children below the age of five in the state of Bihar. The project will attempt to change cultural norms about hand washing among 9 million school children and their families. “While this seems like a simplistic intervention, CIFF’s research indicates that only 1% of mothers in the target area washed their hands and that hand washing with soap is a proven, direct intervention to reduce diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia,” says Zia Mody, the managing partner of AZB & Partners. Fellow partner Bahram Vakil and associate Richa Choudhary advised CIFF on structuring the grant for the project in line with India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2011; explored several options with CIFF before finalizing the manner in which to disburse the grant; and drafted and negotiated the grant documents.

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