Nita Ambani Talks about Reliance Foundation and Women Empowerment

“Empowered Indian women means a stronger and better India,” says Nita Ambani, the Founder and Chairperson of one of India’s largest charitable institutions, Reliance Foundation. She was talking to an audience at the 2015 Indian summit of Women in the World, the renowned organization working for different causes about women and envisioning a transformational change in the world. An overwhelmed Ambani, who was asked to address the crowd about her CSR and philanthropic activities took to stage and shared candid stories about her childhood, her work, and her passion to serve.

She has led the activities of Reliance Foundation for more than half a decade now, providing healthcare and education to underprivileged population of India. Established in 2010 to provide an impetus to the various philanthropic activities of India’s largest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, Reliance Foundation has impacted the lives of more than four million people across India, in more than 5,500 villages and urban locations. Insisting that empowerment is not about oneself, but about uplifting millions of women in the country, Ambani says that her organization has positively impacted about 2.2 million women in the rural areas of the country.

As a child, she loved to dance, so she took Bharatanatyam lessons. As an adult, she wanted to teach and impart knowledge to others, so she became a teacher. And now, as the head of a foundation that strives to serve humanity, she has provided clean water and sanitation to hundreds of thousands of women. And she does not stop at that; providing employment so that these hapless women do not spiral back to poverty is another function of Reliance Foundation. Mrs. Ambani, who is the better half of India’s richest man, MukeshAmbani, believes that women should be given the power to make their own choices, and only then, will development follow.

In India, close to a million girls are killed before they are even born every year in the country, half of the female population are married off before the age of eighteen, and seventy percent of this population are not a part of the workforce. All this paints a grim picture of the state of women in the country, which is why Reliance Foundation is exploring new avenues to help and serve people so as to forever change these statistics into positive facts. The Foundation has been able to reach the nooks and corners of the country and create leaders like one Ms. Prakash Kaur from Jalandhar who has acted against female infanticide. She now runs a home for more than seventy young girls who were abandoned by their parents. Examples like this have set a precedent to the Foundation’s work, which Mrs. Ambani takes pride in.

“Supporting women is all about repaying the debt that I owe to my sisters. Supporting women is neither CSR nor philanthropy, it is our moral responsibility. A world with equal opportunities, a world where women can make their own choices, where India is at the forefront of change – that is what I aim for. It’s time for action, let’s make the dream real,” she signs off.

The 2015 India summit of Women in the World took place in New Delhi on November 20, 2015 where Nita Ambani delivered this speech on women empowerment.


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