Bharti Pledges $1.1bn to Boost Philanthropy


Emma Okonji with agency report

The Bharti Family, which has built one of India’s leading business enterprises, and operates Bharti Airtel telecommunications company in different countries of the world, including Nigeria, saturday pledged 10 per cent of their personal wealth for philanthropic purposes, which includes the setting up of Satya Bharti University, a world-class University to offer free education to deserving youth from economically weaker sections of society.

The family decided to pledge 10 per cent of their wealth, including three per cent of their stake in group flagship Bharti Airtel, towards supporting the activities of Bharti Foundation, the group’s philanthropic arm, which is one of the few professionally-managed philanthropic bodies in India.

With the commitment, the 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.

Announcing the commitment, the Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Chairman, Bharti Foundation, Sunil Bharti Mittal, 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.”

According to him, “As 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 under-privileged 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,” Bharti Mittal said.

Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, 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.”

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.

The Foundation’s team of over 200 highly motivated professionals and approximately 8,000 teachers, work across multiple programmes in the areas of education, with about 240,000 underprivileged children in rural India. Bharti Foundation has also supported the creation of Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and 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 programmes, the prominent being scholarship for Indian students studying at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Bharti Foundation is regarded as a leading contributor to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that is addressing the sanitation needs of poor households in the country. The Foundation has built about 18,000 toilets in Punjab’s Ludhiana making it an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district benefitting about 90,000 people.

The Foundation has also 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. It also intends to add leading global industry partners, like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and SoftBank among others.

KOMNET Holds Ministers’ Camp Meeting

Koinonia Ministerial Network (KOMNET), a platform where ministers of God come together to fellowship and inspire one another, will be holding the next edition of its Annual Camp Meeting from today.

According to the statement from KOMNET’s International President, Apostle Tony Olukoyede, this year’s edition with the theme Heaven Rules, will be featuring Bishop Humphrey Erumaka (Wordbase, Lagos) as the Guest Speaker. He will be ministering alongside the International President and other seasoned ministers of God.

The meeting, which is scheduled to take place at the PurposeLife Retreat Centre along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will end on Tuesday November 28, and will also be featuring a seminar on 4 Streams of Income and other special workshops.

4 Streams of Income (an initiative of Purposetoday Network) is a faith-based personal development training programme aimed at helping people discover the four basic streams of income that are at their disposal, and stirring up their potential for the fulfillment of their purpose in life.