2023 at Reliance Foundation: a story of strength and determination towards building a better nation
The year 2023 has been a year full of special moments through the many lives we have touched with Reliance Foundation’s various programmes contributing towards building a better nation. We are spurred by the impact on people’s lives and humbled by the lessons we have learned this year.
This year has been a rollercoaster in ways more than one, we shared stories of - our nation’s spirit of sports; stepping up to support our people during disasters; showcasing the spirit of We Care through various volunteering initiatives; a new partnership with global leaders to empower rural women entrepreneurs; spirit of service through Anna Seva; partnering with organisations to host dialogues on the future of various sectors we work towards; taking a stock of our nation’s journey towards UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; our various uptakes in the arts and culture domain and much more. These stories for us are moments of building a glorious legacy for our future generations, enabling them to recognise the spirit of working with communities to create a positive impact.
In 2023, through our innovative approach towards addressing some of India’s pressing development challenges, we have touched millions of lives across villages and urban locations across our nation.
Here are some of the moments that defined the year 2023 for us at Reliance Foundation
We are proud of our Founder Chairperson and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, Mrs Nita Ambani for her monumental contribution towards hosting the IOC Session at the NMACC in October. The IOC Session was hosted in India after 40 long years and was held in Mumbai for the first time and was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Mrs Ambani’s efforts towards Reliance Foundation being aligned to build the success of Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) in India was another remarkable feat for us this year.
This year we also supported athletes at the Asian Games 2022 where India finished with a medal tally of 107 medals. Out of these 12 medals were won by athletes supported by Reliance Foundation, these winners added another feather in our cap. Reliance Foundation aims to revolutionise sports in India and provide a platform to young athletes to build a career in the sport of their choice.
India’s Journey Towards the SDGs
Hosting several dialogues and being a part of many intellectual discussions positioned us as thought leaders in the development sector. We started with presenting and hosting a special panel on using Data for Development at the Raisina Dialogue 2023 in March 2023, we also launched a publication ‘Micro Matters’ on data for development at this event. Then came our flagship annual event hosted alongside the UNGA in New York in September 2023, this event was held in partnership with UN India and ORF.
As the world came together during the UNGA week to deliberate on accelerating pace on the 2030 agenda, a publication ‘Ideas, Innovation, Implementation: India’s Journey Towards the SDGs’ that brought this message to life was released. In another dialogue hosted for the same event, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was a part of the panel that discussed on ‘South Rising: Partnerships, Institutions and Ideas’.
Building stronger rural communities
Through the past year our work across rural communities ranged from building climate resilience to enabling strong value chains; from empowering women entrepreneurs to supporting capacities through knowledge and skills for farming and fishing communities reaching several millions of rural communities. These included technological innovations and digital information services.
Our learnings translated into publications and discussions including a conference on ‘Shaping Perspectives on Practice and Policy for Millets in India’, a call to build on the momentum in the International Year of Millets. We were humbled this year by recognition of 'Best NGO Farmer Impact Award' at the International Nutri Cereal Convention, flagship event of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) during the year. It was also a matter of pride, that two Farmer Producer Organisations we have mentored, won top national awards at the CII FPO summit spurring us to redouble our efforts.
Reliance Foundation Scholarships: How dreams got wings
Our Education programme has given budding minds in India an opportunity to fulfil their career aspirations with the Reliance Foundation Scholarships. This year, 5000 students were awarded with the Reliance Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships and 100 students were awarded with the Reliance Foundation Postgraduate Scholarships.
We also accepted applications for the 2023-24 cohort for both the scholarships. Reliance Foundation Scholarships are definitely carving their way into becoming India’s most sought-after scholarships and adding to our rich legacy.
Bridging the divide
This year, Reliance Foundation worked towards closing the gender digital divide in India and enable women to fully participate in the global economy. Winners of Round Two of the WomenConnect Challenge India were announced, several social sector organisations were selected for a grant to address barriers that limit women’s access to technology.
The United States government partnered with Reliance Foundation to reach and support women entrepreneurs, farmers, women-led micro enterprises and collectives, and self-help groups to provide mentoring support from experts and practitioners across India. Our contribution towards addressing women’s rural entrepreneurship and efforts to bridge the gender digital divide has been another momentous achievement in 2023.
We Care, We Volunteer
Our volunteers are our strength, two important campaigns – Plant4Life and Kahani Kala Khushi along with many other initiatives celebrated the spirit of volunteerism across the Reliance Family. The nation-wide Plant4Life campaign kickstarted on 5th June 2023, World Environment Day, through this we have planted over 5,00,000 saplings with the support of 50,000 volunteers.
Our volunteering and spirit of service that run through the veins of Reliance, led to over 1.4 lakh people being served hot meals and given food kits as a part of Anna Seva on the occasion of our Chairperson, Mrs Nita Ambani’s 60th birthday.
With the inauguration of NMACC in March 2023, India witnessed her newest cultural destination that also gave rise to a one-of-its-kind art and craft exposition called ‘Swadesh’. An important component of our Art and Culture programme, Swadesh celebrates unique and iconic Indian regional artforms that Reliance Foundation has supported over the years.
Swadesh sarees have been adorned by our Chairperson at various occasions including the White House State Dinner. Our Chairperson attended a special preview of The Met’s ‘Tree & Serpent’ - a landmark exhibition supported by Reliance Foundation.
Through this historic exhibition, we shared with the world over 125 exquisite objects from ancient India and the incredible stories they tell.
Supporting communities through disasters
Through Reliance Foundation’s robust Disaster Management programme, we have stepped up time and again to support communities through various disasters in the year. During the unfortunate train accident in Odisha, we announced a 10-point relief measure that is still supporting the people affected by the tragedy.
Apart from this incident, with help from the local communities, NGO partners and a strong network of Reliance volunteers we have supported communities affected in the Biprjoy cyclone, Raigad landslide at Irshalwadi village and the very recent Sikkim floods. Our efforts in Disaster Management have truly kept us grounded and prepared for the thought that the world is not a perfect place, but we can take one small step each day to make it better for those who really need our support.
As 2023 comes to an end, what we do wish to take forward in the coming year is the same positivity, resilience and strength we have imbibed in everything we do at Reliance Foundation towards transforming lives.
2023 has been a momentous year in many ways. However, it is our hope and commitment that bind us to grow from strength to strength, year on year.
Looking forward to a memorable 2024 to give us an opportunity to transform more lives and serve the people of our nation to build a better nation.