Philanthropy and generosity are vital for creating a more equitable society. India has seen a rise in philanthropy in recent years, with the country’s wealthy increasingly donating large sums of money to social causes. According to the recently released Hurun India Philanthropy List 2023, Indian philanthropist Rohini Nilekani has emerged as the most generous woman in the country.

Donation of Rs 170 Crore

The 64-year-old Nilekani donated Rs 170 crore in 2022-23, making her the only woman to rank among the top 10 philanthropists in India. Her cumulative donations along with her husband Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, amounted to Rs 360 crore for this period.

The Nilekanis ranked 8th and 10th on the list compiled by Hurun Research Institute. Their generous donations reflect their strong commitment to philanthropy. They have also signed the Giving Pledge, committing to give away at least half of their wealth to charity.

Advocating for More Philanthropy

Rohini Nilekani has been vocal about the need for more Indian philanthropists to step up. She expressed her wish for more of India’s wealthiest people to sign the Giving Pledge. This pledge, started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, commits billionaires to donate a majority of their wealth to charity.

In her blog, Nilekani pointed out that the richest 2000 families in India have enough wealth to comfortably sustain their families for seven-eight generations. She lamented the lack of Indian signatories to the pledge so far.

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Focus on Ecosystem Building

Rohini Nilekani made her Rs 170 crore donation with a focus on ecosystem building. Her philanthropic initiatives are focused on sustainable development in India.

Some of her major causes include water conservation, sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, education, governance reform and support for arts and culture.

Prominent Female Philanthropists

After Rohini Nilekani, the other top women philanthropists were Anu Aga of Thermax who donated Rs 23 crore and Leena Gandhi Tewari of USV who donated Rs 23 crore.

While men dominate the philanthropy space in India, it is heartening to see prominent female philanthropists emerging. Women like Rohini Nilekani are leading by example and paving the way for others.

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Rohini Nilekani’s Background

Rohini Nilekani has an interesting background before she embarked on her philanthropic journey. She grew up in a middle-class family in Mumbai. After marrying Nandan Nilekani, she co-founded Infosys in 1981 and invested Rs 10,000 of her own money into the venture.

As Infosys grew exponentially, she amassed her own personal wealth independently of her husband. Rohini has worn many hats – she’s an author, journalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and environmentalist.

A Legacy of Generosity

Rohini Nilekani’s Rs 170 crore donation makes her India’s most generous woman philanthropist. Her continued advocacy for more philanthropy from India’s ultra-wealthy is commendable.

She has highlighted the urgent need for wealthy citizens to give back more to society. With her generous donations and emphasis on ecosystem building, Nilekani has set a positive example for other philanthropists in India. Her legacy of generosity will hopefully motivate more citizens to follow her footsteps.

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