A 73-year-old billionaire may have just made the single largest donation to charity in Indian history.
Azim Premji is the chairman of Wipro Ltd., the fourth-largest IT service company in the country. Though the company started by his father in 1945 had humble beginnings as a small vegetable oil manufacturer, Wipro is now worth billions.
Premji himself is ranked as the second-richest man in India, according to Bloomberg, but he has created more of a name for himself through his giving—an astonishing philanthropic legacy.
Earlier this week, Premji announced that he would be giving $7.5 billion to the Azim Premji Foundation. Since launching the education-focused charity in 2001, this contribution brings Premji’s total donation amount to a whopping $21 billion.
His donations are particularly noteworthy due to recent reports that India’s wealthiest citizens (anyone with a net worth over $55 million) are donating less money to charity than they did five years ago.
Premji, on the other hand, was responsible for 80% of the nation’s “large” private donations (donations of $1.4 million or more) in 2018, according to CNN.
Furthermore, he was the first Indian citizen to sign The Giving Pledge, a campaign which was launched by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet in order to encourage the world’s richest people to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.
The Premji Foundation says that they plan on using their founder’s latest donation to launch a new university in northern India and more than triple certain branches of their education workforce.
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