By Shweta Aggarwal
Blending philanthropy with sports and women empowerment, billionaire Nita Ambani, the woman behind the unfolding success story of the Reliance Foundation, has provided a new resonance to the art of giving. Recently, business leaders and celebrities applauded and toasted Mrs Ambani at a glittering function in New Delhi where she was conferred the 2023 Global Leadership Award for Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility. The board of directors of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), an influential platform for promoting India-US economic ties, lavished praise on her myriad contributions in promoting women’s empowerment, sports and education in India.
“At Reliance, doing good and giving back has always been a way of life. Long before CSR became a norm, Reliance has been fulfilling our CMR, our Corporate Moral Responsibility. It has now transformed into our philosophy of WE CARE. We care for the planet. We care for humanity. And we care for our nation,” said Nita M. Ambani, Founder and Chair of Reliance Foundation who was presented the award by John Chambers, Chairman, USISPF.
“Today, I accept this award with humility and gratitude, on behalf of my entire team. I represent the beating heart of Reliance, our beacon of hope and empowerment – Reliance Foundation, through which we have touched the lives of over 71 million people,” said Nita Ambani, the wife of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
Mr. Chambers was unstinting in praise of Mrs Ambani. “One of the most important awards that an organization can give is for social responsibility and philanthropy. It’s so important for people who have been successful in life to give back and create platforms for others to succeed. One such person is Nita M. Ambani, who epitomizes this example of altruism and through her work in Reliance Foundation has been exemplary in the fields of arts, sports, culture, and education.”
“Nita M. Ambani is someone who believes that the work is never done and that there is so much more left to accomplish. At a time of hard power globally, she has shown us the reach and impact of soft power, especially in preserving and promoting India’s rich tapestry of arts and showing us that sports is a vital tool in nation-building,” said USISPF President and CEO, Dr. Mukesh Aghi.
Mrs Ambani, on her part, commended USISPF for its leadership in deepening the natural bonds between India and US.
The reception was attended by luminaries, including Olympians, Abhinav Bindra, India’s first individual Gold Medalist, and ace shuttler, former world number 1, and Olympian Bronze medalist, Saina Nehwal, and eminent director, playwright, screenwriter Feroz Abbas Khan.
An acclaimed philanthropist and businesswoman, Mrs Ambani, through the Reliance Foundation, has impacted the lives of millions of Indians through education, arts, sports and healthcare. Her contribution in arts and culture was recently recognized when she became the first Indian to be elected as Honorary Trustee on the Board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In the past year, the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) opened in Mumbai to widespread critical acclaim. NMACC has quickly become a buzzword for world-class performing and visual arts as well as an incubator for the finest Indian talent.
Nita Ambani highlighted Reliance’s outreach to the Indian youth through sports. “We have reached out to millions of Indian youth through sports. Sports is the ultimate unifier,” she said. Nita Ambani also showcased the foundation’s role in nurturing young talents such as Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
She celebrated the successful return of the Olympic movement to India and announced the country’s bid for the 2036 Summer Olympic Games. “We brought the Olympic movement back to India after 40 years. After 128 years cricket will make an entry into the Olympics in Los Angeles,” she added. “India will bid for the 2036 Summer Olympic games and we will work relentlessly for this goal,” Ambani said. paralympic athlete Sheetal Devi, who became the world’s first armless archer and won a gold medal.
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