INDIACSR News Network
BANGALRE: A number of business leaders and philanthropists met in Bangalore to discuss a range of issues related to philanthropy. A group of Indian business leaders met wealthy American and Microsoft founder Bill Gates on June 1, 2012 over a private dinner meeting at Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore. The philanthropy meeting was co-hosted by a Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the statement of Azim Premji Foundation, the meeting was focused on sharing ideas on philanthropy and not about any pledges.
The group expressed belief that philanthropy and social service are integral to the development of any society.
The objective of the meeting was to create an awareness and involvement among the wealthy Indian business leaders to help the society at large through philanthropy in social works and developments. Health care, sanitation, education, water and agriculture were identified as focus areas for major improvement for philanthropic action.
Some of the well know industrialists and philanthropists who attended the meet, apart from the hosts, were Infosys Vice-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan, UID Chairman Nadan Nilekani, Rohini Nilekani, GVK group Chairman G V Krishna Reddy, Tata group Vice-Chairman Cyrus Mistry, Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Piramal group chairman Ajay Piramal, Jindal Steel & Power Chairman & MP Naveen Jindal, Apollo Hospitals ED Suneeta Reddy, Wockhardt group Chairman Habil Khorakiwala, Poonawala group Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, Rajashree Birla, leading investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla and Narayana Hrudayalaya Founder Devi Shetty.
The meeting was held in complete secrecy with a total ban on media. The Gates Foundation issued a statement saying, “This is a private discussion of philanthropy and social service in India. It is an opportunity for a great group of philanthropists to share ideas and experiences about giving with each other. Out of respect for their privacy, we will not be sharing the names of attendees.”
The general agreement about philanthropy among the attendees was that if wealth and education are not shared, they are useless. Most participants shared their experiences and the challenges faced while pursuing the act of charity.
“All of us are doing something or the other to help the society. But these are oasis of excellence and ‘how to scale up such work’ emerged as the greatest challenge from the discussion,” the source said.
To this effect, Premji and others emphasised that the PPP (public private partnership) model is the most effective mode for a wholesome approach to philanthropy.