Interview with Amit Chandra: How is philanthropy in India changing?

Charles Keidan

How has the scale of philanthropy changed in the last decade in India?

Philanthropy in India is coming full circle. A century ago the country was economically struggling but at the forefront of global philanthropy owing to families like the Tatas and Godrej. Those economic struggles only started ebbing after liberalization in the 1990s. While that unleashed a lot of wealth creation, it was not accompanied by a corresponding giving back to society. The last decade has been different as clear leaders of India’s philanthropic movement emerge. They are bold in setting targets for how much they want to give and what problems they want to solve, and in many cases they are deeply involved in solving them. This is extremely encouraging for the future of the country.

Which people and causes benefit most from philanthropy in India?

As Bain’s 2015 report[1] shows, education and child welfare are the most popular causes. Around 54 per cent of high net worth donors gave to education and 41 per cent to child welfare in the period covered by the report. But there are other areas that need support. Only around 25 per cent gave to disability, for instance, and only 11 per cent to environmental causes.

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