News / Asia

    Philanthropy Grows Slowly Among India's Wealthy

    Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Company, speaks at Wipro campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore (file photo)
    Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Company, speaks at Wipro campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore (file photo)

    Multimedia

    Audio

    An Indian billionaire's pledge to donate nearly $2 billion to fund education programs has raised hopes that more of the country's super-rich will follow his example. Rapidly growing wealth in India contrasts sharply with the widespread poverty in the country.

    Software tycoon Azim Premji's decision to transfer shares valued at around $2 billion in his IT company Wipro to a new charitable trust is the largest philanthropic donation by an Indian.  

    The money will go to a new charitable trust that funds rural education and other development programs. Premji, India's third richest man, said in a statement that he wants to contribute toward building a better society. Nearly one third of India's one point two billion people are illiterate.

    The donation has raised hopes that other wealthy Indians will follow in his footsteps.

    Experts say Indians have a long culture of giving, but much of it goes to household staff, the immediate community or the local temple.

    They say a culture of organized, charitable giving by rich Indians and corporations has been slow to develop, even though the number of super-rich is growing rapidly as the economy races ahead.

    India has 52 billionaires and over 125,000 millionaires. But philanthropy expert Priya Vishwanath, says barring a handful, large-scale giving has lagged among the wealthy.

    "If you consider high-net worth giving either the way it is practiced in the United States, or United Kingdom, I think India has a long way to go….for instance there are serious doubts whether the kind of pledges that Bill Gates or Warren Buffet have made, whether that kind of giving can actually take place in India," said Vishwanath. "But having said that, the examples of Premji are all encouraging signs of high net-worth individuals engaging with philanthropy."

    In India, individual and corporate donations made up 10 per cent of all charitable giving in 2009, compared to 75 per cent in the United States, according to a study by global consultancy Bains.

    Experts say since India's wealth has mostly been created in the past decade, many of the rich may not yet be ready to part with their money. But they say a changing mindset to philanthropy will happen sooner rather than later.

    There have been growing calls for India's wealthy to do more for poor people, whose lives have not been touched by the economic boom. Nearly 500 million people live on less than two dollars a day. Millions of children are malnourished and out of school.

    You May Like

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora