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Bharti Foundation announces major initiative – ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ - to improve household sanitation in Rural Punjab

- Adopts Ludhiana District, Plans to invest upto Rs 100 Crores to construct toilets for rural households and schools across the district -

  • ● Programme inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s call to corporates in his Independence Day speech to join the cause of rural sanitation
  • ● In addition, to build toilets for girls in Government schools in rural Ludhiana where no such facilities exist
  • ● Group companies - Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel to support the programme

New Delhi, August 18, 2014: Bharti Foundation, the development arm of Bharti Enterprises, today announced a major initiative – ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ - to improve rural household sanitation facilities in Punjab. Inspired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s call to the corporate sector in his Independence Day speech to strengthen Government’s initiative on this score, the Foundation has decided to adopt the Ludhiana District – home district of the Founders - as its focus area for improvement of rural sanitation. As part of this programme, the Foundation will invest upto Rs 100 crores in constructing toilets while reaching out to every rural household lacking such facilities in the District, over the next three years.

In addition to rural household sanitation, the ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ will also invest in improving sanitation facilities in Government schools in rural Ludhiana by building new toilets for girls, where no such facilities exist. Lack of proper sanitation facilities, particularly for girls in rural schools has been an important factor leading to large scale drop outs, thereby negating the substantial improvement in enrolment that the country has achieved in recent years. These initiatives will be supported by the two group companies – Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Infratel Limited.

Commenting on the initiative, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Foundation, said, “Lack of private sanitation facilities in rural households not only constitutes a major cause of embarrassment for the women, but also points to a much wider problem of rural hygiene and cleanliness. ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ will help cover a long felt gap in rural hygiene infrastructure in Punjab, besides contributing to the larger National Mission of ‘Swachh Bharat’ in its own limited way. It is our commitment that no single household or school in rural Ludhiana will be without a toilet by the end of this tenure.”

Bharti Foundation provides free education to underprivileged children in rural areas. Its Programs (Satya Bharti Schools, Satya Bharti Learning Centres, Quality Support Program) presently reach out to over 52,000 children from socially and economically challenged backgrounds, with special focus on the girl child. The flagship Satya Bharti School Program offers free quality education through 254 (Primary, Elementary and Senior Secondary) Schools and employs approximately 1600 teachers from the local communities. These schools provide free mid-day meals, books and uniforms to all the children. As an organisation, Bharti Foundation has always been conscious of the importance of promoting the cause of health and hygiene amongst students and accordingly provides for separate toilet facilities for boys and girls in its schools, which in turn has proved to be a major factor driving girl child enrolment. Presently, around 50% of the students in these schools are girls.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation, said “Improvement in private rural sanitation facilities will have a positive impact on public health in the long run. Separate toilet facilities for girls in village schools can bring down dropout rates drastically to help leverage the current rural school infrastructure better. Hailing from Ludhiana, we are extremely delighted to be contributing towards such an important cause having direct implication on the quality of life in rural areas of the district. I will be personally involved in monitoring the progress of the Programme.”

Some of the recent initiatives of the Bharti Foundation include:

» Satya Bharti Learning Centres:

Bharti Foundation has introduced the remedial / bridge courses program in close partnership with ‘Educate A Child’ - a global initiative. The program aims at bridging the education gap of out of school children and mainstream them into regular schools. The first phase of the program has been deployed in partnership with the Government of Rajasthan. Currently, 344 Education Volunteers are engaged in teaching 5,930 enrolled out of school children of which 50% are girls, at 320 Satya Bharti Learning Centres. As of now, over 1,290 children have been mainstreamed, with the total impact reaching up to 7,221 children.

» Quality Support Program:

This initiative envisages working with the government system and improving the quality of schools through need-based interventions. Bharti Foundation has taken learnings and best practices from the Satya Bharti Schools to the Government schools for improving the overall quality of schooling experience. The program aims to partner the Government schools and work along with its leadership and teachers to support them in their journey towards excellence. Currently, 16 government schools are supported through this model across Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Out of these, nine schools are under active implementation reaching out to 4,558 students and 180 teachers. For the remaining eight schools, the program initiatives is in progress.

About Bharti Airtel:

Bharti Retail Limited, is part of Bharti Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups, which owns and operates neighborhood stores called Easyday and compact hypermarket stores called Easyday Market. Easyday stores are one-stop shops that cater to every family’s day-to-day needs. They bring together a wide range of relevant goods, high quality products and great in-store experience and service – all under one roof. Easyday Market range up to 55,000 sq. ft. and offer thousands of products displayed in a consumer-friendly manner that brings both entertainment and ease to the shopping trip. For more information, please visit: