Alok Bhartia, the chairman of Dakshin Foundry (Bangalore) mentioned a peculiar change in the manner the donations are being made. “More of hard resources are contributed instead of cheques these days”, says Mr Bhartia, who is also the chairman of Sri Bajrang Jute Mills.
The six philanthropists featured in the list are Subhash Chandra (Essel Group chairman), Muthalampet Mahadevan (chairman of Oriental Cuisines), Sanjay Lalbhai (Arvind Limited managing director and chairman), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Info Edge India chairman), Rajiv Mehta (managing director of Surat Diamond Jewellery), and Anand Mahindra (Mahindra Group chairman).
Media mogul Subhash Chandra is prominent in this list as he has facilitated books, mid-day meals, and other tangible assets to the needy children in remote parts of India. This is not a common norm in the philanthropic world where donations are made through funds. Alok Bhartia explains “Instead of monetary help which can be misused, it’s better to donate resources that can be used and recycled”. Alok Bhartia is himself a dedicated benefaction-maker who provides infrastructural support to a hospital in Bangalore. His donations include life-support systems, dialysis machines, and neo-natal ventilators.
Anand Mahindra has also spent millions on the education of girls and generation of livelihood for the tribal farmers. A joint venture with Danone has helped him provide clean drinkable water in rural India. Additionally, with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Anand Mahindra is setting up a technological after-school support for poor children from slums. Another one of his charity foundations, called Araku, helps turn wastelands into coffee plantations.
Some entrepreneurs are aiding the environment as well. Along with his wife Rohini, Nandan Nilekani is making sure that people lacking basic sanitation are given proper training and implements to keep their residence and neighborhood clean. Similarly, Tata Trusts is walking the digital path. Over 88,000 villages have been covered by this trust to teach more than 25,000 women how to use the internet. With the help of an internet connection, these women will be able to net-bank and retrieve agricultural information. This movement will impact 100 million lives by 2021.
The unusual pattern has been observed all over the country. Perhaps the philanthropists have realized that monetary donations barely make an impact on the deprived and it feels too easy. Philanthropy has evolved beyond than just dropping funds into a charity of your choice. Now, a better way to deal with poverty is to make efforts on a personal level. It’s a good initiative as it’ll motivate everyone to make personalized efforts when planning a charity, not just for the sake of doing it.