Although billionaires aren’t exactly known for their giving spirit, there are a few how have committed a major part of their fortunes to charity. Wipro founder Azim Premji is one such philanthropist.
- Azim Premji Foundation is one of the five largest private endowments in the world and biggest in AsiaRecently,
- Premji committed Rs 1,000 crore or $134 million through his foundation for Covid relief workThe 75-year-old philanthropist IT czar’s net worth is estimated to be $7.1 billion by Forbes
- Azim Premji, the billionaire investor, engineer, philanthropist and the founder of Wipro has so far committed Rs 1.45 lakh crore or $21 billion to his eponymous philanthropic foundation – Azim Premji Foundation.
- He is the only Indian billionaire who fits the bill to be counted among the league of global billionaire do-gooders such as Bill Gates, George Soros and Warren Buffett who have made similar pledges with their wealth.
**After his last bequest to his foundation in 2019, Azim Premji Foundation emerged as one of the five largest private endowments in the world and biggest in Asia. In March last year, Premji announced that all earnings from 34% shares of Wipro, worth Rs 52,750 crore or $7.5 billion will be added to an endowment fund which supports his charitable foundation. After this addition, earnings from as much as 67% of India’s fourth-largest software maker were committed to the charity. The Premji family and entities owned by them hold as much as 74.02% in Wipro.
Premji isn’t stopping anytime soon and is one of the rare entrepreneurs in India who do not fail to rise up to the occasion especially when it comes to giving. When Covid-19 pandemic struck, the 75-year-old IT czar committed Rs 1,000 crore or $134 million through his foundation. While Wipro Limited committed Rs100 crore or $13 million, Premji’s engineering services company Wipro Enterprises Limited donated Rs 25 crore or $3.3 million.“These sums are in addition to the annual CSR activities of Wipro, and the usual philanthropic spends of the Azim Premji Foundation,” the company said.
Talking about FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of relief package for migrant labourers and farm sector, Wipro founder earlier suggested that the government provide at least Rs 7,000 for three months to such people.”Expanding MGNREGA may be the most import move. We must universalise and double PDS ration for 3.6 months, and distribute it free through doorstep delivery, along with cooking oil, pulses, salt, masala, sanitary pads and soal in advance to all.”
Premji said that immediate steps are needed to help the rural sector. “Emergency cash relief of Rs 7,000 a month should be provided for at least three months (without biometric authentication) to each poor household/or migrant worker.”
by Manu Kaushik