Page 3 - Tata Trusts-Stories of Change
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Message from the Director, UNESCO








          The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a bold   The Tata Trusts shares UNESCO’s passion for enabling
          international framework of unprecedented scale that is   literacy and education, and we laud the Trusts for being
          guiding development efforts worldwide until 2030. The   a leading agent of change in the Indian philanthropic
          17ˆSustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their Targets   space. We recognise that operations in the social and
          cover themes as wide-ranging as eradicating poverty,   development sectors are often fraught with difficulty.
          achieving gender equality, providing quality education,   A lack of ground-level data, informal and ad-hoc
          combating climate change, building sustainable cities and   information networks, and insufficiently developed
          communities, and creating peaceful and inclusive societies.   grassroots management and delivery systems can act
          Efforts to achieve the SDGs must involve the widest   as severe impediments to programme implementation.
          possible range of stakeholders. We need to work together   TheˆTata Trusts, however, has worked tirelessly to address
          to ensure that no one is left behind.               these obstacles, leveraging the power of collaboration,
                                                              drawing on local knowledge and resources, and building
          Education is one of the greatest levellers of our time.   personal and community-level capacity in order to achieve
          Ensuring ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’ and   sustainable outcomes. The Trust’s interventions in the field
          promoting ‘lifelong opportunities for all’ (Goal 4) are   of education, and in other areas such as healthcare, rural
          among the most critical steps we must take in our journey   upliftment, poverty alleviation, clean energy and water
          to achieve the SDGs. Globally, the development discourse   management, continue to transform the lives of many
          tends to focus on lifting people out of poverty. But as our   thousands of Indians every day.
          work at UNESCO has convinced us, the challenge of lifting
          people out of illiteracy is just as great, and the rewards of   While the Tata Trusts operates at the national and
          doing so are as enduring.                           community levels, its commitment to global goals is
                                                              self-evident. Crucially, the organisation understands
          This is an area in which India has made huge strides. India’s   that the achievement of the SDGs entails a shift from
          Right to Education Act provides for eight years of free and   funding to sensitively planned impact investing. A multi
          compulsory education for children from age six to 14. As of   stakeholder approach is key to identifying and building
          2015, school enrolment of 90 per cent had been attained   on these investments. The Trusts have been eminently
          at the primary and upper primary levels. In the field of   successful at building partnerships with multilateral
          adult education, India’s national Saakshar Bharat Mission—  institutions, state and local governance bodies, and
          the largest adult education programme in the world—is   civil society or community-based organisations. Indeed,
          working steadily towards its goal of helping 80 million   over the 125-plus years of its existence, the Tata Trusts
          Indian adults achieve literacy.                     has emerged as a model for both Indian and global
                                                              philanthropicˆorganisations.
          There are other niche areas of education too, where India’s
          progress has been impressive. As UNESCO’s recent State   These ‘Stories of Change’ from the Tata Trusts offer a
          of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with   glimpse of the diverse contributions that individuals and
          Disabilities notes, Government-funded or Government-  institutions can make towards the attainment of the SDGs.
          recognised educational institutions are mandated to offer   This compendium also shows us how impact investing can
          inclusive education for children with disabilities. Moreover,   counter uncertainty, and help achieve lasting social justice,
          our latest Global Education Monitoring Report, entitled   empowerment and prosperity. I congratulate the Trusts
          Migration, Displacement and Education (2019), points out   for documenting their journey thus far, and wish them the
          that the Indian Government has taken a series of proactive   very best for future endeavours.
          measures to encourage the school attendance and
          education of migrant children.




                                                              Eric Falt
                                                              Director and UNESCO Representative
                                                              to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka






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