Nita Ambani is the founder and chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, a well-endowed organization that supports and funds several development programs across India. Nita Ambani has led the foundation since its inception in 2010. Reliance Foundation has spent billions on diverse range of projects like Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Arts, Culture & Heritage and Urban Renewal.
Nita Ambani has always had a passion for education, because her first job after marriage was of a schoolteacher. Ambani believes that every child is a reservoir of talents and given the right environment and impetus they will blossom holistically.
Nita Ambani led Reliance Foundation Schools:
Reliance Foundation runs 13 schools in Koparkhairane in Maharashtra and has more 15000 students. Reliance Foundation School is a K-12 English Medium CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) School with an aspiration and commitment to provide an enjoyable and enriching educational experience to children – one that inspires and facilitates them to realize their full potential and fosters their holistic development. When Nita Ambani had gone to visit floods hit Uttarakhand in northern India for rebuilding homes and schools, she asked the affected children what do they want in their new school and everyone came up with different ideas but one little girl came and sat next to her and said “a separate toilet for girls.” And therefore she feels that these small things make a huge difference in the future of education in India.
And from then onwards she decided that there has to be proper school facilities not just in urban areas but also in rural areas. Nita Ambani has said that wherever Mukesh Ambani puts up a plant, she puts up a school. Nita Ambani and the foundation started with Patalganga, which is in Raigad district in Maharashtra. They have two schools there. The school is open to the entire community. From Maharashtra they went to Gujarat. In Jamnagar when Mukesh Ambani had opened a refinery, Nita Ambani started a school for 3,000 children. All employees of Reliance study in the school right from the farmers to the watchman’s children. And they are getting good education there at CBSE (Central Board for Secondary Education) education level.
Nita Ambani led Dhirubhai Ambani International School:
The thought behind building Dhirubhai Ambani International School was that Nita Ambani was dissatisfied with the kind of schools where the child was not at the center of everything. She felt there was too much emphasis on studies and not enough on non-academics. She wanted a holistic education and international education keeping in mind that we are Indian. So Ambani dreamt of an International school in 2002 where she kept working day in and day out. Nita Ambani would wake up early and go to the school. In the first five to six years, she knew every child by name. Her involvement hasn’t flagged though. She leads workshops to get the teacher buy-in about the values the school should cultivate within them first and then pass them on to children.
Nita Ambani however says she has another job to do – a school for the needs of special children (which is coming up near DAIS) and, perhaps, a University. She wants to get into higher education. She wants to get into university. She wants to get into things like liberal arts, engineering and dance.