The Bharti Family, which owns India’s largest telecom firm Airtel pledged a part of their personal wealth for philanthropic purposes. The Family has decided to pledge 10%, which is about Rs 7000 crores, 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.
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 is led by a full time CEO and COO, the Foundation’s team of over 200 professionals and 8000 teachers work across multiple programs in the areas of education of 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 18,000 toilets in Punjab’s Ludhiana making it an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district benefitting 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.
“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,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, Bharti Foundation.
“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,” he added.
“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,” he said.
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, said Bharti.
“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,” said Making the announcement, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation.