The Bharti Foundation Transforms The Lives of India’s Underprivileged Children
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – India boasts of some of the world's best engineering and business schools that are a challenge to get into. Yet, there is a big disparity in the quality of schooling in its rural areas. Looking to improve rural education for underprivileged children is the Satya Bharti School Program, an initiative of the Bharti Foundation. The Program is focused on primary and secondary education, currently operating in 249 primary schools and five senior secondary schools across the villages of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The schools give children the opportunity to learn, hopefully transforming their lives and giving them access to better paid work.
Launched in 2006, the Satya Bharti School Program provides free quality education to these vulnerable children, with a special focus on girls. Apart from free education, the schools also provide free mid-day meals, textbooks, notebooks, shoes and other school-related items to all the students. In addition to its focus on education, the Foundation has started, ‘Satya Bharti Abhiyan’, to improve sanitation facilities in rural Ludhiana and another project called ‘Nyaya Bharti’ to provide legal and financial assistance to the deserving vulnerable who are under trial, languishing in jails across the country for minor offences.
The Bharti Foundation understands that joining a new school can be challenging for some. To help bridge this gap, it focuses on a holistic development for schools, where it shares the best practices from its Satya Bharti Schools to the government schools. It also collaborates with the principals and teachers of the government schools, to help build on the existing wealth of knowledge, skills and passions of the teachers. By encouraging an integrated approach to learning, the Foundation is creating a better way to teach.
The success of the Foundation’s holistic teaching method is reflected in Dharma Ram’s story, which started at a Satya Bharti School when he was six. Dharma comes from a poor home, where he and his family live in small mud-house. His parents struggled to make ends meet; his father worked in gruelling conditions at a stone mine, while his mother was battling the last stages of cancer. At the Bharti Foundation school, Dharma Ram’s life changed, and now, aged 15, he is at a government school that falls under the Bharti School Program. He has done extremely well at school, including winning several medals at state level and benefitting from this holistic development approach that was integrated in both schools he attended – primary and secondary.
Dharma says, “At both my schools I learnt that Science, Sports and Art are all leaves of the same tree of knowledge. My teachers at Satya Bharti School helped me overcome all obstacles in my foundation years. At my government school I was given opportunities to excel. Though I miss my mother terribly, I know she is somewhere shining with pride, brighter than all my medals.”
Photo Credit: Bharti Foundation