Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani has pledged Rs 60,000 crore through his foundation to social causes, joining the rank of global billionaires who have pledged part of their wealth to charity.
“This is one of the largest transfers made to a foundation in Indian corporate history,” Adani said in an interview with Bloomberg. The pledge also marks Adani’s 60th birthday and the birth centenary of his father.
The Adani Group’s philanthropic efforts span healthcare, education, sustainability, community infrastructure and more across 18 states.
Adani said the pledged funds will go towards healthcare, education and skill development across India. “We will invite three expert committees in coming months to formalize strategy and decide allocation of funds in these three areas,” Adani told Bloomberg in an interview. The committees will have members from the Adani family in supporting roles, he said.
“At a very fundamental level, programs related to all these three areas should be seen holistically and they collectively form the drivers to build an equitable and future-ready India,” Adani said in a statement. “Our experience in large project planning and execution and the learnings from the work done by the Adani Foundation will help us uniquely accelerate these programs.”
“This contribution from the Adani family intends to draw upon some of the brightest minds that have a passion to make a difference in the Adani Foundation’s journey to do more towards fulfilling our ‘Growth with Goodness’ philosophy.”
The Adani Foundation operates Adani Vidya Mandirs in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh that provide free education, meals and transportation to underprivileged children, according to its website. The foundation also offers subsidized education through its own schools in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
It operates the Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, a public-private partnership, in Bhuj and the GK General Hospital in Kutch that also caters to the poor. Other initiatives include mobile healthcare units and rural clinics in remote villages.
Among other initiatives, the foundation runs the SuPoshan project to target malnutrition and anemia among children, adolescent girls and women. And it imparts skill-based training centers and is pushing community initiatives including water conservation and drinking water projects.
Adani’s pledge drew praise from Azim Premji, chairman of Azim Premji Foundation and founder-chairman of Wipro Ltd. and who has himself committed $ 7.5 billion worth of fortune to philanthropy.
“Gautam Adani and his family’s commitment to philanthropy should set an example that we can all try to live Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of Trusteeship of Wealth at the peak of our business success and need not wait for our sunset years,” the Adani Group statement quoted Premji as saying.
“The challenges and possibilities of our country demand that we work together as one, cutting across all divides of wealth, region, religion, caste, and more. I wish Gautam Adani and his Foundation the very best in this important national endeavor, ”Premji said.
Harsh Goenka, chairman of the RPG Group, tweeted, “This indeed is a wonderful move … He joins the list of legendary givers Ratan Tata, Azim Premji…”
Disclaimer: Adani Enterprises is in the process of acquiring a 49% stake in Quintillion Business Media Ltd., the owner of BQ Prime.