Western philanthropic ideals may not work in India

Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has just pledged to give a quarter of  his fortunes to charity, according to a recent report in The Economic Times.  It’s been just a few months since Warren Buffet and Bill Gates went to India to cajole the country’s wealthy to give and help society. However, Jhunjhunwala has specifically said that his motive was different, stating that it came from his father and his faith.

While organized philanthropy is common in the U.S., the motives for giving are widely varied in India. Even as an “Indianness,” unites the country’s 29 different states and multitudes of differing cultures and languages, there is no concept of organized philanthropy. Benevolence mostly comes in the form of an individual’s experiences in life and sometimes through religion.