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

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

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Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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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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