Kanwal Rekhi of the TIE Foundation in California’s Silicon Valley sees India as ‘a first-rate nation with third-rate systems’. Rekhi and other non-resident Indians have been focusing on social venture philanthropy as a way of giving back to India. CAF India plans to identify innovative schemes in India that may be of interest to them and other philanthropists.
CAF India, along with the Rockefeller Foundation, is embarking on a ‘demand-oriented’ approach to philanthropy. ‘The purpose is to produce a bank of innovative ideas,’ according to Lincoln Chen, Rockefeller Foundation Senior Vice President. CAF India hopes to bring together ideas and investments for social purposes and to create a network of philanthropists and NGOs that will in time grow beyond social investment into social partnership. They see this as a way of removing the road blocks to India’s development.
At the first meeting under the new scheme, several leaders in ICT for development wished to look at language-based software, Indian language-based browsers and connecting rural schools to the Internet.
CAF-initiated dialogues will be held in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad through this year and early next year.