Strengthening its presence in India, BAE Systems announced the signature of a long-term partnership agreement with Smile Foundation. The partnership with Smile Foundation will enable BAE Systems to support development programmes in the areas of primary education and healthcare in rural and urban communities across seven states of the country.
Through the partnership, BAE Systems has committed support to the educational mainstreaming of over 1000 children aged between 6-16 years across seven rural and urban locations in six states nationally under Mission Education programme of Smile Foundation, in Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. Further, the Company will help establish and operate a purpose-built Mobile Medical Unit called Smile on Wheels equipped with the latest equipment, trained personnel and supplies to serve selected underserved population clusters of Bengaluru city. In the first year of operations, the outreach of the Mobile Medical Unit is estimated at over 20,000 people.
Dean McCumiskey, Managing Director and Chief Executive, India, BAE Systems, said, “Our partnership with Smile Foundation is an expression of our commitment to make a positive contribution to the development priorities of the communities where we live and work. Smile Foundation has an impressive track record of catalysing meaningful and sustainable change
in the lives of millions of children and families across both urban and rural India and we are delighted to join forces with them to establish a national footprint for our Corporate Responsibility programme in India. Employee volunteering is an integrated aspect of our commitment and we are looking forward to contribute our time and skills and work in the communities.”
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation, said, “The design of our partnership with BAE Systems not only strengthens our flagship programmes of Mission Education and Smile on Wheels but also enables us to expand their reach. The long-term nature of our engagement with BAE Systems signals the company’s focus on community investment and is a positive trend in corporate support to national priorities.”
In addition to positively impacting the chosen communities, the programme is designed to build capacity at the grassroots level by partnering community based organizations (CBOs) in these areas. As part of the partnership, BAE Systems will support the school infrastructure, teaching staff and classroom material requirements for children in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, Pune in Maharashtra, Subarnapur in Odisha, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, and Lucknow and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, with a greenfield site in Haryana. BAE Systems’ support to Smile on Wheels will enable underserved urban communities in Bengaluru to avail doorstep access to a team of doctors and nurses and state-of-the-art medical equipment and facilities such as X-Ray, ECG, IV fluid transmission and basic pathological testing. The programme also envisages setting up referral linkages with local hospitals as well as a establishing a Community Health Fund to become self-sustaining over the long-term.
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