News East West
Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia, who has joined hands with Canada’s largest charity World Vision to launch an initiative in Punjab to better the lot of school-going girls, says he also plans an adoption centre India soon.
Called Daughters of India Initiative, this joint programme by Nav Bhatia and World Vision will first build washrooms in Faridkot district of Punjab.
Bhatia was appointed the ambassador for Daughters of India Initiative last November.
In the first phase of the initiative, 60 washrooms will in 20 schools in Faridkot district this year.
“In fact, the first lot of washrooms will be ready by June this year,’’ says Bhatia.
“I have become part of this initiative because over 63 million girls in India are not enrolled for schooling by their parents because of the lack of toilets – or washrooms. I happy that something is being done to address this problems faced by poor girls,’’ explains Bhatia who also owns Canada’s top Hyundai dealership.
The initiative would be extended to other places later.
“World Vision approached me seven months ago to help them with their initiative in Punjab. They came to me because of my association with the Toronto Raptors team and also because I am a Punjabi. In November 2016, they made me their ambassador for their India initiative on girls,’’ says Bhatia.
As the ambassador of Daughters of India Initiative, Bhatia is helping World Vision raise funds for its implementation.
“I have given them the commitment to raise $200,000 by November 2018. We have already raised almost $70,000 and we are in the process of raising more funds so that we achieve our goal before the deadline,’’ he says.
Bhatia says he has personal reasons to join Daughter of India Initiative because “ I have seen the plight of poor girls in India. There are so many horrific stories everywhere. I just want to help these poor girls whichever way I can help.’’
Explaining the `personal reasons’ for joining Daughter of India Initiative, Bhatia says he and his wife adopted a year-old orphan girl from India in 1991.
“We adopted our daughter Tia Bhatia who was just a year old orphan in a Delhi orphanage. We brought her to Canada. Today, she is a young lady and doing very well in life. She has given us so much happiness in life that I cannot narrate it. Our life has become very fulfilling because of Tia,’’ says Bhatia.
Interestingly, Tia Bhatia was in the cast of Salman Khan’s 2014 film Dr Cabbie.
Bhatia says he and his daughter are also planning to work with World Vision and the government to start an adoption centre in India to take care of orphan kids.
“My daughter is very passionate about the idea of an adoption centre in India because of her won life story. She wants to work for poor orphan girls and she wants others to join her in this initiative. She has created her life story – titled Tia Bhatia Adoption Story – and put it on YouTube. In it, Tia passionately narrates why adoption is such a beautiful thing,’’ narrates Bhatia.