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Bharti Family Declares Rs. 7000 Crore of Personal Wealth to Charity

By: DT News Network
November, 28, 2017

The Bharti Family pledged a part of their personal wealth for philanthropic purposes. 

The Family has decided to pledge 10% of their wealth, including 3% of their stake in group flagship Bharti Airtel, towards supporting the activities of Bharti Foundation, the Group’s philanthropic arm, one of the few professionally managed philanthropic bodies in India. With this commitment, the Bharti Family envisions to significantly step up the scope and reach of Bharti Foundation’s activities, and further enable the Foundation to develop and execute innovative development models to support the aspirations of India’s underprivileged including students of Satya Bharti Schools. 

Set up in the year 2000, Bharti Foundation has grown in scale and stature, and evolved well beyond customary cheque book philanthropy to design and implement innovative development models, particularly in the area of education. Led by a full time CEO and COO, the Foundation’s team of over 200 highly motivated professionals and approx. 8000 teachers work across multiple programs in the areas of education of approx. 240,000 underprivileged children in rural India. Bharti Foundation has also supported the creation of Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology & Management at IIT Delhi, Bharti Centre for Communication at IIT Mumbai and Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB Mohali.   The Foundation has also instituted a number of scholarship programs, the prominent being scholarship for Indian students studying at the University of Cambridge, UK. 

Bharti Foundation is a leading contributor to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that is addressing the sanitation needs of poor households in the country. The Foundation has built approx. 18,000 toilets in Punjab’s Ludhiana making it an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district benefitting approx. 90,000 people.  Bharti Foundation has now undertaken another similar initiative to make Amritsar District in Punjab ODF with a target to build 50,000 toilets in collaboration with the Punjab Government.  With this, Bharti will become the first corporate to facilitate ODF status for two districts in the country. 

Announcing the commitment, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, Bharti Foundation, said, “Today is a major milestone in the journey of the Bharti Family. Being first generation entrepreneurs, we feel absolutely privileged that this nation gave us the opportunity to imagine and build world-class businesses. Bharti’s DNA has always been about creating a deep positive impact on society through our businesses, and we are proud to have contributed to the India growth story.” 

“Firm believers in Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of Trusteeship, we have always reckoned that ownership of business is a social responsibility, and wealth creation cannot be an end in itself. Even when we were small in size and relatively modest with our business goals, we always aspired to be part of the wider nation building process.” 

“We feel grateful every day for our good fortune and feel the instinctive and overwhelming urge to give back to the society and create opportunities for others. Bharti Foundation has done some exceptional work for uplifting the underprivileged and it stands out as a shining example of how professionally managed development arms of businesses can build innovative and sustainable models that make real and measurable difference on ground. We hope in the years and decades to come, Bharti Foundation will be able to unlock its full potential as a change agent and enable millions of fellow Indians fulfill their dreams.”

Today, Bharti Foundation also announced its plans to set up Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology to complement its existing programs in the area of education. The University will have a strong focus on future technologies like AI, Robotics, AR/VR, IoT, in addition to offering degrees in Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Management. It will be a non-profit centre of excellence and will offer free education to a large number of deserving youth from economically weaker sections.  It will also promote and fund advanced research with global linkages. It intends to add leading global industry partners, i.e. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and SoftBank among others. 

Making the announcement, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation said, “Having built a successful model for primary and senior schooling under Satya Bharti Schools, Bharti Family plans to build Satya Bharti University - a world-class institution, to support the higher education aspirations of India’s youth. Our aspiration is to develop it into a centre of excellence not just in India but globally.”

INITIATIVES OF BHARTI FOUNDATION

Education Initiatives

Satya Bharti School Program

Under the Satya Bharti School Program, the flagship initiative of the Bharti Foundation, 249 primary/elementary Schools and five senior secondary schools have been built and started in villages across Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. These schools reach out to over 45,687 underprivileged children and employ over 1,650 teachers. Focusing on the girl child [49% girl students] and the weaker sections of society [76% of children from SC/ST/OBC Communities], the program is one of the largest end-to-end education initiatives by a corporate group in the country.

Satya Bharti Quality Support Program

The Satya Bharti Quality Support Program is an education initiative with Government Schools. Through this program, Bharti Foundation engages the school leadership, teachers, students and communities to enhance the schooling experience and strive for excellence. The approach focuses on identifying, integrating and optimising best practices from Satya Bharti Schools with the intent of encouraging innovation, participation, ownership and facilitating a sustainable change. Currently, the program is being run in 369 Government schools directly impacting 1,55,904 students and 5,804 teachers across  nine states of India. 

Satya Bharti Learning Centre Program

Bharti Foundation operates a remedial/bridge courses program with aim of bridging the education gap among ‘out of school’ children and mainstreaming them into regular schools. The first phase of the program was deployed in partnership with the Government of Rajasthan and was scaled up to Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, extending program reach to the remote blocks of all three states. Currently,  480 Education Volunteers are engaged in teaching  7,289  out of school children, of which  50% are girls, enrolled at 392* Satya Bharti Learning Centres. Till now, 26,196 children have been mainstreamed, with the total impact reaching up to 36,863 children.

* 1107 centres have achieved closure as most of the OOSC’s in these villages have been mainstreamed (number included in overall impact)

Higher Education, Scholarships and Research Programs

Bharti Foundation partnered with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2000 to set up the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management, IIT Delhi. The Foundation has also set up the Bharti Centre for Communication in partnership with IIT, Bombay. In addition, Bharti Institute of Public Policy, Mohali has been set up in a partnership between Indian School of Business (ISB) and Bharti Enterprises with Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (USA) as its partner school. The Foundation recognizes and awards exceptionally talented students to pursue studies at The Cambridge University, UK, through the Manmohan Singh Bursary Fund. 

The University of Cambridge and Bharti Foundation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) in September 2016 to conduct a corn / baby corn crop improvement research program in India. The program is scheduled to be funded through a grant from Bharti Foundation to the University of Cambridge. The grant will support a three-year research program carried out between Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences and the Cambridge Centre for Crop Science (3CS), Punjab Agricultural University and FieldFresh Foods. 

Other Initiatives

Satya Bharti Abhiyanis an initiative to improve sanitation facilities in rural areas to support Government’s call for building a ‘Swachh Bharat’. Bharti Foundation has committed an investment of up to Rs 100 Crores to construct toilets in rural households, which don’t have one, in Districts of Ludhiana and Amritsar. The program on the targeted scale will benefit over 1,50,000 individuals across the two Districts. In less than three years of its launch, approx. 18,000 toilets have been constructed and handed over free-of-cost to individual households benefitting approx 90,000individuals in over 1000 villages in Ludhiana District. In particular, women and children have benefited from the program as they are no longer forced to relieve themselves in the open. In addition to rural household sanitation, separate toilets for girls have also been constructed by Bharti Foundation in 14 Government schools in rural Ludhiana.  In Phase-II of the Program, the Foundation will be providing 50,000 toilets in collaboration with the Government of Punjab in Amritsar District.

Apart from providing sanitation facilities, the Foundation is also focused on bringing about behavioral change through various ongoing sanitation campaigns spread over six states in India. Through these awareness campaigns, over 3500 children of Satya Bharti Schools have inspired their parents to build toilets at home, and have worked as agents of change to bring awareness amongst the communities they live in. 

Nyaya Bharti initiative was launched in November 2015 to help deserving and underprivileged under-trials languishing in jails across the country for minor offences by assisting them with legal and financial assistance and also promoting awareness about every individual’s constitutional right to legal defense. It is a first of its kind national level corporate initiative in the country in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Vision of ‘Sabka Nyaya’ – Access to Justice for all. Till date 53 inmates have got bail/legal aid under the program.

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