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    These business leaders are an inspiration all year around, will continue donating even after Festival of Giving


    Festival of Giving, too, is a people driven movement.

    For these business leaders, wealth is just a way of giving back.
    On Mahatma Gandhi's 151st birth anniversary, a week-long festival of philanthropy, DaanUtsav, starts with initiatives across the country to mobilise resources for those in need. Like Gandhi’s freedom movement, this too is a people driven movement.

    The joy of giving may be over now, but these business leaders will continue their philanthropic efforts all year around.

    Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, 5F World I Lighthouse Communities Foundation & Uma Ganesh
    For Nataranjan, wealth is just a way of giving back.Agencies
    For Nataranjan, wealth is just a way of giving back.

    “We first started doing serious philanthropy at Zensar Foundation and by 2014, I decided this had to be my life's work. A cause close to our hearts is sustainable livelihoods leading to "sampoorna" communities. Our daughter, too, fully supported us. It helps that my daughter has not taken a dollar from us from the age of 16 as she went on to do her MD PhD in Cambridge and then Harvard and now has her own lab at Sloan Kettering. To me, wealth is just a way of giving back.”

    Meera Shenoy, Founder-CEO, Youth4Jobs & Not Just Art

    For Shenoy, wealth should not be equated just with money.Agencies
    For Shenoy, wealth should not be equated just with money.

    “I have been reflecting on this for some time. How can one sleep at night knowing that 62 people in the world have more wealth than 3.4 billion? My ‘aha’ moment came when I spoke to one of our alumni, Harsh, who came to us having lost his job because of an accident injury. We placed Harsh in a gaming company and a year later, he told me he had so much money that he now helps children who have no money for books, slates and so on. My focus is on education and employment of youth with disabilities. To me, wealth should not be equated just with money. We should think, for example, of time as capital which we can give to others.”

    Parag Agarwal, ex-Global CFO Health, Reckitt Benckiser & wife Deepshikha Agarwal
    Agarwals promote animal rights and welfare.Agencies
    Agarwals promote animal rights and welfare.
    “It has been a thought for the last several years that we need to share our wealth, and the conviction grew stronger over the years. The thought of giving away a specific number of 50% came in the course of a meditation session. We have decided to dedicate our life and our philanthropic capital during our lifetime to promote animal rights and welfare. We believe that we have been lucky and it’s a moral obligation to share our wealth with those who are vulnerable. And the voiceless animals are the most vulnerable. Giving in some form – in money or in kind – has been practised in our home for many years. Our children have grown up hearing about how important giving is. We took the effort to explain to them that they will be secure even after this decision – but even this explanation wasn’t needed.”

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    Martyr Love

    Saina Nehwal Rs 6 lakh

    The Olympic bronze medalist made news when she received threats from Maoist groups after she donated Rs 6 lakh — Rs 50,000 each — to the families of the 12 Central Reserve Police Force jawans killed in an encounter in Chhattisgarh in March. She decided to make the contribution on her 27th birthday. The badminton star has, in the past, made sizeable donations for various causes, earning her a number 18 spot in a 2016 list of ‘Most charitable athletes’.

    Cause and effect: Nehwal said that she was pained by what happened to the jawans and this was a small contribution to the families who have “suffered irreparable loss”.

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