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Nilekanis pledge half their wealth for philanthropy

Bengaluru, DH News Service Nov 20 2017, 20:48 IST
Infosys co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani. DH Photo

Infosys co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani. DH Photo

Infosys co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have decided to pledge half of their wealth for philanthropy.

With this, the Nilekani family has become the fourth Indian and second tech magnate from Bengaluru to join The Giving Pledge, the philanthropy movement started by US billionaires Bill Gates, his wife Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in August 2010.

Nilekani family's net worth is currently pegged at $1.7 billion (approximately Rs 11,000 crore).

Since resigning as chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India in 2014, the billionaire has been involved in various causes such as Ekstep, founded by the couple to address learning challenges in primary education.

Incidentally, all the other Indians in the list are based in Bengaluru. Earlier, Wipro Chairman Azim H Premji, Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, and P N C Menon of Sobha Developers have pledged half of their wealth for the cause.

The addition of the Nilekanis takes the total number of members of this elite network of donors to 171 from 21 countries.

"On the flip side, we see that inequality is increasing sharply in most countries. We see the young and the restless in this interconnected globe, unsure of their future, wanting more but anticipating less. We see a growing politics of polarisation, of divisions, of brinkmanship. It is as if the world holds its breath," Nilekani and Rohini said in a jointly signed letter.

After focusing on the US, in February 2013, the pledge went global with the addition of signatories from Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the UK.

The pledge, however, does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations. The pledge asks only that the individual give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes or charitable organizations either during their lifetime or in their will.

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