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Bharti Foundation’s ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ helps make Rural Ludhiana open defecation free, contributes to Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission

Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley meets and felicitates beneficiaries, lauds their support towards building a cleaner India

Bharti Foundation to launch Satya Bharti Abhiyan in Rural Amritsar in partnership with the Government of Punjab

  • ● Approx 18000 toilets constructed by Bharti Foundation and handed over to rural households in over 1000 villages and urban Ludhiana District; 87,000 individuals benefit from the initiative
  • ● Separate toilets for girls also constructed in 14 Government run village schools under the initiative to encourage girl child education
  • ● Ludhiana (rural) becomes the second self-declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ District of Punjab
  • ● Initiative supported by grants from Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Infratel Limited

New Delhi / Ludhiana, July 15, 2017: Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, today announced the completion of the ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’, its rural sanitation initiative to promote the eradication of open defecation in Ludhiana.

This is a major milestone for the initiative under which, approx 18,000 toilets have been constructed by Bharti Foundation and handed over to rural / urban Households across Distt. Ludhiana. This also makes Ludhiana (Rural) the second self-declared ‘Open Defecation Free’ District of Punjab.

Satya Bharti Abhiyan is one of the largest private sector supported interventions designed to contribute to Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission. Over 87,000 individuals, in particular women and children, in 1000 villages across Distt. Ludhiana have benefited from this initiative. In addition to rural household sanitation, separate toilets for girls have also been constructed in 14 Government schools in rural Ludhiana to encourage girl child education by ensuring that this basic infrastructure is not a barrier to them attending schools.

The occasion was graced by Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance, Defence & Corporate Affairs, who met and felicitated some of the beneficiaries and village leaders, and lauded them for their support towards building a cleaner India. Other eminent dignitaries present on the occasion included Shri Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister, Punjab; Shri Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Minister for Water Supply & Sanitation and Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, Government of Punjab.

Commenting on the milestone, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation, said: “We are proud to have contributed in our small way to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission and improving the quality of life of our fellow citizens. However, the biggest driver of this successful intervention has been the participation of the local communities in helping spread the message of sanitation. Ludhiana and the state of Punjab have today set a shining example for others to follow and I thank the State Government and the local administration for their valuable support and encouragement.”

The Satya Bharti Abhiyan was launched by Bharti Foundation in August 2014 as a response to the call given by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, urging corporates to join the Government’s efforts in sanitation and health under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

Way Forward – Phase two

In addition, Bharti Foundation today announced plans to launch Satya Bharti Abhiyan in Distt. Amritsar (Rural) in partnership with the Government of Punjab to construct over 50,000 toilets.

In addition to providing sanitation solutions by constructing toilets for rural households, the Satya Bharti Abhiyan also focuses on increasing awareness among the rural population through Information, Education and Communication (IEC). Through IEC, beneficiaries are sensitized on the importance of using a toilet and towards adopting healthy sanitation practices for a cleaner and safer environment. Diverse channels of communication, ranging from interactive banners to energetic rallies and Gram Sabhas helped the Foundation spread awareness among beneficiaries on the proper usage and maintenance of toilets.

Recognizing that lack of awareness is a major hindrance to the cause of sanitation, the students of Satya Bharti Schools carried out awareness campaigns and actively reached out to community members in the vicinity of the schools located in villages across six different states. They helped increase awareness on the benefits of hygiene and sanitation as well as on the correlation between household toilets and good health.

About Bharti Foundation:

Bharti Foundation was set up in the year 2000 as the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises. It implements and supports programs in the field of primary, elementary, senior secondary and higher education. The Foundation provides free and quality education to underprivileged children across rural India through its flagship initiative - the Satya Bharti School Program. It also enhances the schooling experience in Government Schools under its Satya Bharti Quality Support Program and Satya Bharti Learning Centre Program. In the year 2016, the Foundation completed 10 successful years of the Satya Bharti School Program.

In addition to its primary focus area of education, the Foundation initiated ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’ in 2014, to improve sanitation facilities in rural Ludhiana and ‘Nyaya Bharti’ in 2015 to provide legal and financial assistance to deserving underprivileged under-trials languishing in jails across the country for petty offences.

Bharti Foundation is reaching out to approximately 2,00,000 students through over 1,700 schools/centres, engaging 7,100 teachers across 13 Indian states through its initiatives in the education sector. In addition, the programs have impacted over 1 million community members across rural India since inception. These programs have already been recognized as one of the largest private enterprise initiatives of the country in the education sector. Satya Bharti Abhiyan has also achieved the distinction of having delivered over 17,500 individual toilets, directly benefitting more than 87,000 beneficiaries in the villages of Ludhiana. The Abhiyan is now extending its outreach to the urban areas of Ludhiana.

Other Education Initiatives:
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 323 Government schools directly impacting 1,24,856 students and 5,133 teachers across seven states of India.

Satya Bharti Learning Centre Program:

Bharti Foundation operates a remedial/bridge courses program with aim of bridging the education gap of 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, 290 Education Volunteers are engaged in teaching 2,363 out of school children, of which 47% are girls, enrolled at 223* Satya Bharti Learning Centres. Till now, 23,676 children have been mainstreamed, with the total impact reaching up to 29,756 children.

* 942 centres have been closed as most of the OOSC’s in these villages have been mainstreamed (number included in overall impact); in some villages the count of OOSC’s have dropped to such a low figure that it has gone below the minimum numbers required to run a centre, as per Government norms; of these, 58 Centres were closed due to of non-availability of qualified Education Volunteers.

Other Initiatives:
Nyaya Bharti

'Nyaya Bharti' is one-of-its-kind corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative by Bharti Enterprises, one of India's most respected business groups. The primary objective of Nyaya Bharti is to provide aid to underprivileged undertrials who are first time accused of petty offences and require financial and legal assistance to apply for bail and release. It also extends assistance to poor convicts undergoing imprisonment for petty offences due to their inability to pay petty fine imposed by the court. Nyaya Bharti's Governing Board is headed by Justice A.S. Anand (Retired Chief Justice of India). The Nyaya Bharti initiative aims at providing legal assistance and creating awareness about the undertrials' legal rights while complementing the legal aid work being undertaken by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and State Legal Services Authority (SLSAs) set up under statute legislated by the Parliament. Under this initiative 43 bail orders have been obtained and the release of 38 underprivileged undertrials has been affected.

Satya Bharti Abhiyan:

On 18th August 2014, Bharti Foundation launched Satya Bharti Abhiyan, an initiative to improve sanitation facilities with rural Ludhiana as a focus area. Under this initiative, the Foundation has provided individual toilets in the villages of the District, fulfilling its objective of leaving no rural household across Ludhiana without a toilet. Till now, the Abhiyan has provided over 17,500 household toilets directly benefitting more than 87,000 beneficiaries in rural Ludhiana. In addition, it has helped in improving sanitation facilities in Government schools by providing a separate toilet for girls in 14 Government schools of rural Ludhiana as identified by Department of Education (Punjab). The Abhiyan has entered phase II of implementation by extending its footprint in the urban areas of Ludhiana.