INDIA. Delhi Duty Free has announced a corporate social responsibility project in which it is developing a school and skills centre for children with mental and physical challenges.

The project comes as part of the retailer’s continued support of USR Indu Samiti, a local partner of the Lotus Flower Trust (LFT) in India.

Life-changing projects: Delhi Duty Free has worked with the Lotus Flower Trust since 2014

The LFT is a UK based trust and through its local partners in India funds the building of schools and homes for destitute children in remote, rural and often environmentally challenging areas of the country. LFT works with local people, utilising local labour and materials, and its aim is to bring education and dignity to some of the poorest children in the world.

The Delhi Duty Free- funded school and skills centre will both be located in the state of Uttrakhand, and are the first of their kind in the area.

A residential school for children of all abilities in Uttrakhand currently houses 70 young people.

The skills centre will enable children to develop skills which will help them to earn their own livelihoods and to reintegrate with their families, the retailer said. Skills taught at the centre range from candle making, beauty services and IT to the production of garments using a range of sewing and knitting machines.

All products are sold locally and help to finance the running costs of the residential school.

Delhi Duty Free and Lotus Flower Trust recently held an annual planning meeting. From left to right, Founding Trustee and TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen, Delhi Duty Free CEO Luke Gorringe, LFT Chair Sarah Branquinho, LFT CEO John Hunt, Delhi Duty Free Head of Legal Parveen Gupta, and Delhi Duty Free HR Head Siddhartha Jain.

“Through our collaboration with LFT, we have been able to provide life-changing projects for children from some of the poorest and most marginalised sectors of the community,” said Delhi Duty Free CEO Luke Gorringe.

“We will continue to engage with children and the local community in Uttrakhand, and help LFT to deliver lasting change. We believe corporate social responsibility should continue to deliver tangible benefits to communities and we are closely monitoring the progress of the projects funded by Delhi Duty Free, while measuring the impact they are having on both the children and their local community.”

As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, Delhi Duty Free has also worked with the Himalayan School Society. It established the Him Jyoti School in Dehradun, Uttrakhand, which provides free boarding school education to high academically achieving girls from impoverished local families.