Following the path of philanthropy, Cofounder and Non-Executive Chairman of Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have joined the ‘Giving Pledge’ by promising to donate half of their wealth to it. Though it is just an moral commitment, not a legal agreement, still it is an appreciable move. The Giving Pledge is a community of world’s wealthiest individuals and families where they donate more than half of their wealth to charitable causes either during their lifetime or in their will. The initiative was started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010.

The current net worth of Nilekani family is $1.7 billion which is approximately Rs 11,000 crore. They are the fourth Indian signing up for this cause. Before them Wipro chairman Azim Premji, Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Sobha Developers Chairman Emeritus PNC Menon have already joined this noble mission.

In a statement, the Nilekanis explained why they joined the Giving Pledge movement. They said: “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 polarization, of divisions, of brinksmanship. It is as if the world holds its breath. What should we do at this time? That is a question every citizen must ask. Those of us who have wealth beyond all our wants must ask that very sharply. Wealth comes with huge responsibility and is best deployed for the larger public interest. So what must the super-wealthy do?

Nilekanis’ letter was uploaded on The Giving Pledge website which read,”We thank Bill and Melinda for creating this unique opportunity to realize a moral aspiration inspired by the Bhagwad Gita – Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana, Ma karma phalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani.” “We have a right to do our duty, but no automatic right to the fruits from the doing. It is critical that we do not slip into inaction fearing that we may not be able to reap a direct reward. It is to this ideal that we pledge.”

Bill Gates welcomed the Nilekani couple with a greeting tweet on Monday.

Later Nilekani also replied back to Bill’s tweet complementing his wife Rohini.

2nd page of the letter

The Nilekanis are running a public charitable foundation named Arghyam, which works in the areas of domestic water and sanitation. Also, they have started an open learning platform called Ekstep which provides children a collection of learning resources in literacy & numeracy. Since last 20 years, they have been participating in numerous philanthropic activities.

We wholeheartedly appreciate the couple for their noble move and hope that this will also inspire other wealthy people to come forward and work for the betterment of the country!

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