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Billion dollar charity

Tejeesh Nippun Singh Behl     November 24, 2017

Sunil Bharti Mittal & family's pledge of giving away one tenth of their wealth, or Rs 7000 crore, makes him this year's most generous.

For the previous three years, Azim Premji had been the most generous, with his 2015 charity amount of Rs 27,514 crore, still the highest amount pledged for donation by a single individual in a year.

Mittal's announcement comes close on the heels of the recent announcement by Nandan & Rohini Nilekani pledging half of their $1.7 billion wealth - roughly Rs 5,500 crore - to The Giving Pledge, founded by billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates & his wife Melinda.

Of course, in line with the general trend, Mittals' charity will focus on education, by setting up the Satya Bharti University offering free science & technology education to the poor. Education, in fact was the top charitable cause last year in India, with the highest amount donated for it, at Rs 818 crore.

India, whose ranking in The Giving Index improved 10 places, from 91 to 81 in 2016, also tops the list of countries with the highest number of people - 265 million - donating money.

According to Bain, Indian philanthropic activity, while still lagging behind global peers, has seen a six-fold increase in 5 years - from Rs 6,000 crore in 2011 to Rs 36,000 crore in 2016. Hurun India, which considers Rs 10 crore as the minimum qualifying amount as a charitable donation, pegs the total philanthropic amount for 2016 at Rs 2,334 crore.

Sources: Hurun, Bain

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