Friday, December 3, 2010

Charitable donations...

Azim premji, one of India's richest men, recently made a $2 billion gift to his charitable organization.
Donating and giving are not alien to our society, but in the Indian set up people are more prone to donating and helping out others in the same community or people they are more in touch with. So it won't be uncommon to see people who are part of cultural clubs, donate to causes or schools within their same community (community refers to the sub group of people who come from the same geographic location and speak the same language) on a smaller but regular basis.
It is also very common to see some financially well-off people help some not so privileged ones who they interact with on a daily basis. I have seen people pick up tabs for life long education of children of their domestic helps or chauffeurs which is pretty cool in my opinion.
Religious donations are a big part of the set up in India too, people go out of their way to make donations to temples or the religious places of worship that they have faith in - which in turn run various charitable trusts whose funds are derived from the donations from the devotees. This temple near Hyderabad, alone gets Rs 10 billion (about $223 million) annually in donations
Unlike here in the US, where the tax structure is such that it encourages the ultra rich to make huge charitable donations - the Indian tax set up doesn't give too many incentives, so it is very nice to see the rich taking initiatives like these and leading the way for others to follow and help the ones not so fortunate.
quick stat - About 41% of the population in India lives below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day.

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