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Mittal, Agarwal are Forbes' philanthropy heroes
March 05, 2009 18:58 IST
Indian telecom czar Sunil Mittal and NRI businessman Anil Agarwal are among the four Indians featuring in the list of '48 Heroes of Philanthropy' compiled by business publication Forbes.
The other two Indians are Shiv Nadar, the chairman of HCL Technologies [Get Quote], and Rohini Nilekani, who supports many NGO activities. She is the wife of Infosys Technologies' [Get Quote] co-founder Nandan Nilekani.
"Many opened up their checkbooks to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake and the Myanmar cyclone in May. Many more donated to health, education, cultural and other causes," Forbes said in an accompanying report.
"The global financial crisis is hammering fortunes all over Asia, but the past year was still a good one for philanthropy as tycoons and more modest donors tried to maintain their charity commitments.
The list features 44 individuals, four each from India, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, besides another four from Australia and New Zealand.
Founder of Japanese ceramic components maker Kazuo Inamori, Singapore's Chew Hua Seng, who is the founder of Raffles Education and chairman of South Korean chemical firm Choi Sin-Won are also part of the list.
Writing about Sunil Mittal, who is the chairman and group chief executive of Bharti Enterprises, the magazine said he set up the Bharti Foundation in 2000 and contributed $22 million. Elder brother Rakesh oversees the foundation which focuses on education.
"The Satya Bharti School programme covers 17,000 children and 600 teachers in 158 schools. It has also set up telecom-technology colleges on the campuses of the Indian Institutes of Technology in New Delhi and Mumbai, and it has funded 26 computer centers and more than 100 libraries aimed at poor children, especially girls," Forbes noted.
According to Forbes, 55-year-old Anil Agarwal, the chairman of mining major Vedanta Resources, has pledged $1 billion to build a new university in Orissa.
About Shiv Nadar, the publication said he started the SSN Trust in 1994 and its "30 million dollars endowment is used mainly to fund SSN Institutions, which are aimed at providing affordable higher education, offering $1 million in scholarships each year".
Forbes said Rohini Nilekani, 49, along with her husband has pledged $5 million to Yale University, where both their children are students, to start the Yale India Initiative -- an India studies programme.
Last year, she had donated $1.2 million to various causes, the magazine added.