Piramal Foundation Joins the $14 million Dasra-Kiawah Trust-USAID Alliance

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MUMBAI: Dasra, India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation, hosted the Dasra Philanthropy Week (DPW) from 5,6,7 March 2014, in Mumbai. Supported this year by USAID, Omidyar Network, BNP Paribas Wealth Management and Vodafone Foundation, the event brought together more than 600 philanthropists, corporates, foundations, impact investors and policy makers to solve pressing social and developmental issues faced by our country especially around adolescent girl empowerment.

Dasra launched a five-year, $14 million initiative in collaboration with USAID and Kiawah Trust, which was announced at the Dasra Philanthropy Week 2013 last year. Piramal Foundation joins the mission that seeks to achieve systemic change by fostering innovation, improving outcomes and reaching scale to improve the reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child health and empower adolescent girls in rural and urban India. Over the next four years, the Alliance expects to touch the lives of over 1 million girls, mothers and children.

Nandini Piramal, Executive Director, Piramal Enterprises Ltd. spoke about the partnership “There is a growing realization that complex and seemingly insurmountable social problems cannot be solved by individual organizations or a single stakeholder group. It requires different parts of the ecosystem such as funders, government, non-profits, corporates and media to work collaboratively to create long-term social change.”

She further added, “The Piramal Foundation is focused on developing innovative solutions to address India’s most pressing problems which we see as critical roadblocks towards unlocking India’s economic potential. One of Piramal Foundation’s primary healthcare initiatives (Piramal Swasthya) addresses issues related to maternal healthcare which is the common goal of this alliance.”

“Work around adolescent girls in India has typically been isolated and scattered and there has been little or no collaboration among stakeholders. The Dasra Alliance aims to alter this approach and build a collaborative ecosystem in order to foster, drive and deliver knowledge, innovation, funding and achieve impact at scale.” said Lynne Smitham, Co-Founder of Kiawah Trust.

“Today, I am extremely delighted to announce the expansion of the Alliance with another valuable and well respected partner, the Piramal Foundation.  The Piramal family is one of the most respected names in India, both for their business as well as their philanthropy.  Given the foundation’s stature and innovative approach to corporate philanthropy, the participation of the Piramal Foundation as a partner in this Alliance leads the way for corporate foundations to engage effectively in ending preventable child and maternal deaths.” said John Beed, USAID’s mission director for India.

Smarinita Shetty, Director at Dasra mentioned, “Along with USAID, Kiawah Trust and Piramal Foundation, we plan to develop and strengthen engagement with the private sector to drive greater impact for adolescent girls in India. Given Piramal Foundation’s stature and innovative approach to corporate philanthropy, their addition as a partner in this alliance allows us to showcase the manner in which corporate foundations can engage more effectively and develop solutions at scale.”

Dasra Philanthropy Week, founded in 2010 and in its fifth edition this year, featured a high profile gathering of over 600 leading philanthropists, business and social change leaders. As Dasra’s partner, BNP Paribas Wealth Management hosted a discussion on Next Gen philanthropy by interviewing Roshni Nadar Malhotra. For the past seven years BNP Paribas Wealth Management has awarded major philanthropists, the BNP Paribas Prize for Individual Philanthropy. In 2013, Mr. Shiv Nadar, founder of the Shiv Nadar Foundation was the recipient of the BNP Paribas Prize.

Stephane Honig, Head of Indian Markets, BNP Paribas Wealth Management spoke at the event, “For BNP Paribas Wealth Management our engagement with Dasra further demonstrates our commitment towards individual philanthropy. BNP Paribas Wealth Management was amongst the first global private banking institutions to consider helping clients to give back to the society as a part of its core mission. In 2008, a dedicated department was set up to assist our clients in their philanthropic endeavors either through personal advice or through our Fondation de l’Orangerie.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management is also strongly committed to support initiatives that raise awareness and increase dialogue. In order to increase the awareness amongst our clients, we launched few key initiatives like the BNP Paribas Prize for Individual Philanthropy and the BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index, in partnership with Forbes Insights.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management is the world’s 7th largest private bank, present in some 30 countries, and we consider advising our clients on individual philanthropy as part of our civic engagement to the society.”

The day also placed the spotlight on social change stories, insights from Bain & Company on ecosystem building, presentations on Dasra’s upcoming research; including the launch of Domestic Violence Report – No Private Matter. The report found that Domestic Violence accounts for 50% of all reported crimes against women in India. One in every three women is sexually, psychologically and physically violated by her male partner. Another startling fact that the report highlights is that violence in India kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 years as cancer.

Flavia Agnes, Advocate and Co-founder of Majlis Legal Centre mentioned, “Remaining silent on domestic violence gives impetus to the crime. Officially, domestic violence accounts for 50% of all reported crimes against women; however there is gross under-reporting of these crimes.” Speaking on solutions, she added, “If these victims of violence are aware of their rights and can get easy access to justice, then we will be one step closer to tackling the issue. Trained and sensitive state stakeholders will give confidence to women to fight against violence and live a life with dignity.”

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Other launches included the book on impact assessment – ‘Measuring and Improving Social Impact’ by Rice University Research Professor, Marc Epstein and Swigert Endowed Chair at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration, Kristi Yuthas. The book presents the value of building impact assessment into CSR for greater social impact and is the perfect guide to The Indian Companies Act of 2013.

Conversations with leading local and global philanthropists led to sharing of their perspectives on giving. Bringing the day to a grand finale were video keynote addresses by Jennifer and Peter Buffett from NoVo Foundation, who shared the passion behind their giving journeys, rationale for supporting adolescent girls initiatives and advised on creating lasting change.

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