They Are No Billionaires, Yet These 26 Indians Have Pledged 50% Of Their Wealth To Charity

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The whole world recognises Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as two of the wealthiest influentials in the planet. However, very few are aware that Gates and Buffet pioneers the list of 154 billionaires who have pledged to donate more than half of their riches to charity.

In 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates joined hands with Warren Buffet to launch and commit to the Giving Pledge, which mandates them to posthumously give away 50% or more of their wealth to a wide variety of social causes, ranging from poverty alleviation to environmental conservation.

Over the years, billionaires and millionaires around the world have come forward to join the Giving Pledge. From India, prominent personalities like Azim Premji, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Rohini Nikelani also enlisted themselves in the list of signatories.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

Living My Promise pledge in India

“If billionaires are hailing the idea of such a pledge, why not offer a similar opportunity to hundreds of Good Samaritans among affluent Indians?”, thought Girish Batra, an active participant of Kailash Satyarthi’s annual Daan-Utsav (Joy of Giving Week).

Around August-September last year, Girish floated the idea among his social circle of do-gooders. A few of them instantly consented to come on board. Together, they launched the #LivingMyPromise pledge which encourages well-to-do Indians to set an example in sacrifice and sharing.

“We created a website and invited like-minded individuals to join our platform. Many of them have their own NGOs and welfare trusts, while others are actively involved in the developmental sector. It didn’t take long for our list of pledge-takers to grow substantially,” Girish shares.

Some of the important signatories

Prominent personalities including famous actor Rahul Bose have pledged with #LivingMyPromise, along with families and couples who connect deeply with the cause.

“I shifted to the development sector around four years ago and ever since then, I have nurtured the idea of donating at least half of my wealth to charity at some point in life. So when I came across the #LivingMyPromise pledge, it took me just a second to commit to it. I knew that finally, my longstanding wishes would see an assured outcome,” reveals Atul Satija, a young social entrepreneur.

“Our needs are very limited, but our wants know no end,” he adds. He believes that a lot of people from a privileged background harbour the compassion to serve the needy. “If you truly want to give back to the society that nourishes you, there is no better time to start than today,” Atul urges everyone to be a part of the #LivingMyPromise pledge.

“You don’t take anything with you”

Rushabh, an author, businessman and philanthropist, thinks that kindness should be the only religion. A few years ago he had already pledged eleven of his vital organs. “I further promise to give away at least 50 per cent of my wealth to those who are less fortunate, to be able to lead a life well deserved,” he resolves.

“It was an instinctive decision for me to join the pledge as soon as I came to know about it on Facebook. When I shared my wish to my family, I received overwhelming support from my teenage son and my wife,” he shares.

Rushabh strongly believes, “In the end, you don’t take anything with you. It’s better that you put it in a good cause before it’s too late.”

The couple who pledged to students in poverty

All their life, Uma Kathyayini and her husband Javali Ramantha have worked as engineers with the state government of Karnataka. After retirement, the duo decided to start the GHVS welfare trust to provide financial assistance to poor but meritorious students in Gubbi, a township around 90 km from Bengaluru as well as within Bengaluru itself. They were one of the leading signatories of the #LivingMyPromise pledge.

“In my youth, I had received financial support from well-wishers to pursue my engineering degree, so I thought I should give it back to the students who need it now. That’s how GHVS trust came to fore,” informs Kathyayini.

One morning while leafing through the newspaper, Kathyayini came across a news about #LivingMyPromise. The idea really moved her, and before long, she and her husband registered for the same, to donate over half of their wealth to their trust. She is now content that her sacrifice would be able to help the society even in her absence.

Efforts For Good take

While globally the Giving Pledge is being acknowledged by billionaires, India is yet to see large-scale participation from rich businessmen and industrialists for a similar cause. Ironically, India happens to be a country with a stark economic disparity – housing a few of the world’s richest as well as a major portion of the world’s poorest population. In such a scenario, Efforts For Good urges more and more individuals to come forward and commit to the #LivingMyPromise pledge to envision a better and more poised future society.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Jaipur Vet’s Free-Of-Cost Prosthetic Limbs Are Helping Amputee Cows, Horses & Dogs Walk Again

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India has seen remarkable progress in the domain of prosthetic limbs, so much so that fully automated bionic arms and legs are readily available at affordable prices for the public. The land of the famous Jaipur foot has made unprecedented advancement in upgrading these products to global standards. However, have you ever wondered what happens to the speechless and helpless animals who lose their limbs? For most stray animals and even pets, accidental loss of a limb or inborn defect leads only to a lifetime of agony and physical disability.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

“For instance, in a cowshed full of productive cattle, if one cow fractures its limb, we have to amputate it immediately. Four years ago, there was nothing more to be done beyond that. The cow, in most cases, would be neglected by the owner or caregiver thereafter,” narrates Dr Tapesh Mathur, a veteran veterinarian surgeon from Jaipur.

He is perhaps better recognised as the creator of ‘Krishna Limb’ – India’s first prosthetic limb for animals. The Krishna Limb is a brainchild of Dr Mathur himself who manufactures these in his personal workshop and provides to amputee animals, completely free of cost. Though he is based in Jaipur as a surgeon at the government animal hospital, Dr Mathur has managed to help over 90 animals from all over India, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Krishna Limb For Animals

A prosthetic limb for Krishna the calf

The designs of the prosthetic limbs are customised according to the animals – be it a cow, horse, dog, cat or others. Nearly four years ago, the basic framework was originally invented for a calf named Krishna.

“People would bring accidentally wounded cattle and other animals to me. In most cases, an amputation is necessary in case of a major fracture or infected limb. But I used to wonder what happens to the amputated animals. Once, during my visit to a nearby Goshala, I spotted these helpless animals lying uncared in a corner. Owners start overlooking them since they no more remain productive,” Dr Mathur reveals.

Around this time, a calf named Krishna was brought to Dr Mathur, who had to be amputated.

Determined to help the timid animal stand on his feet again, he came up with the very first prototype of a prosthetic limb and fitted it to Krishna. It took the little calf a few weeks to get adjusted to the device, but once he did, he was bouncing around in happiness.

Little Krishna’s delight touched Dr Mathur deeply and prompted him to start making prosthetic limbs for animals, investing his personal savings. He coined the term ‘Krishna Limb’ for these prosthetic limbs, after his first successful effort with Krishna the calf.

Krishna Limbs For Animals

Dr Mathur provides the limbs free of cost

Dr Tapesh Mathur and his wife Shipra Mathur started the charitable trust – Pen Media Foundation, with their own savings, which welcomes financial contribution from beneficiaries and well-wishers, and the collected funds are invested in the limbs. “But we never demand a penny from the owners whose cattle and pets we help out,” Dr Mathur clarifies.

The limbs cost around Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 depending on the animal, but all the money comes from the Pen Media funds.

From cows, horses, dogs to parrots

The present design of the Krishna Limb is a result of a series of upgrades from the very first one. Now the team is adept in customising prosthetic limbs for different animals upon request. “We generally work with cows, horses and dogs but have started receiving applications for other animals as well. Recently, we got a request for a limb for a pet parrot. We are still working on the design,” he shares.

Krishna Limbs For Animals

Their working procedure is quite straining since it is impossible to transport an amputee animal to Jaipur from some remote part of the country. So, Dr Mathur personally visits the amputee animal with his team, records all necessary details of measurements and mould the Krishna Limb accordingly. Later, during a second visit, the limb is attached to the animal.

Checking the progress of the animals

Fitting the animals with a prosthetic limb is no cakewalk, as the animals fail to understand its use and feel uneasy with an external attachment. That is why a 15-day physiotherapy training is mandated for the animals to get accustomed to the polypropylene limb and start walking again.

Krishna Limbs For Animals

“Earlier, we found some cases of carelessness where owners did not practise the physiotherapy as per our advice, and the prosthetic limb became only an impediment to the animal. So, now we compulsorily make the owners sign an affidavit where they pledge to look after the animal after the limb attachment. We also ensure to take feedback from them after a month or two,” shares Dr Mathur.

Want to see your dearest pet jump and leap around happily again? You can contact Krishna Limb and place a request at 09928015504.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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