Bill Gates, Ratan Tata & Azim Premji in Bangalore on 1 June for Philanthropy Meet


BANGALORE: Some of India’s richest will congregate here in Bangalore on June 1, 2012 at the invitation of Azim Premji, Ratan Tata and Bill Gates to talk about philanthropy and its impact on society.

The by-invitation-only event is such a hush-hush affair that no details of it are available; neither is the guest list. Wipro said that as this is a personal initiative of their chairman, they had no information to offer.

While Gates and Premji have already pledged a substantial portion of their wealth to philanthropy and spoken at length on the need to give back to society a large chunk of their multi-billion-dollar wealth, Tata’s is a new name on this list though the Tata Group’s charitable initiatives are among the country’s oldest.

Berkshire Hathway chairman Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who started the “The Giving Pledge” initiative in 2010, held a similar meeting in New Delhi last year at which Premji was a prominent speaker.

At the Delhi meeting, unlike the American soirees of Buffett and Gates, none of the Indian billionaires and millionaires present promised to give away a chunk of their wealth. Gates had then said that the event had not been held to specifically ask people to pledge their money to philanthropic causes, but to “inspire a continuing dialogue in India”.

The Giving Pledge website says that it “is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to give most of their wealth to philanthropy”.

Among the 81 who have done so are Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder; Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor; Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman; Vinod Khosla, venture capitalist; George Lucas, filmmaker; Pierre Omidyar, eBay chairman; and Ted Turner, media mogul and CNN founder.

The site says that the pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. It does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations.

It further says: “While The Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds.”

(Times of India)

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