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

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

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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