Forbes Asia today announced its ‘Heroes of Philanthropy’ list for the fourth year running, with four Indians among the top 48 philanthropists.
• Billionaire Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies takes the brightest children from the poorest villages of rural India and sends them to boarding school, noted Forbes.
• Another tycoon, India’s biggest philanthropist Azim Premji of Wipro, transferred nearly $2 billion of his wealth last December to an irrevocable trust that focuses on education and children’s health and nutrition.
• Infrastructure-based GMR Group founder Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao, 61, pledged $340 million in March, his 12.5 percent personal stake in the business and one-eighth of his family’s share, through an irrevocable endowment to the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. It works primarily to educate and train poor youths in 20 locations in India and two in Nepal.
• Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi leverages on his star power to give back through his foundation. The 34-year old has donated $3 million to date and helped raise $25 million to support education, health and disaster relief.
The list picks some of Asia-Pacific’s largest givers to society. Four philanthropists were picked from each of the 12 markets in the region, Forbes said.
The list seems to be a mix of those with grand visions that are sustainable as well as those who’ve used their positions of power to popularise causes as well as issues.
“Some are big tycoons, even billionaires, who have a large vision of how best to help society and have donated millions of dollars to back up that vision. Others are little-known citizens who are extremely generous with their limited funds.
“Our goal is not to rank the biggest givers by dollar amounts or percentage of assets, those figures would be impossible to collect. Instead, the aim is to call attention to a mix of notable people and causes throughout the region and to encourage more giving,” explained Forbes Asia Senior Editor John Koppisch.
With inputs from PTI