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Updated: February 20, 2013 01:40 IST

Azim Premji pledges more to philanthropy

Special Correspondent
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Azim Premji
Azim Premji

Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Ltd., pledged on Tuesday to contribute more to philanthropy. Mr. Premji, who donated 8.7 per cent of the Wipro stock in 2010 — valued then at $2 billion — to the Azim Premji Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, said he would contribute to the growth of the Foundation.

“I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged,” Mr. Premji said in a statement.

He said the workforce of the foundation, which employs about 800 persons across the country, would be “scaled up” to 4,000-5,000 people in about five years.

He said the foundation, which was focussed on promoting education, particularly at the primary school level, but which also funds the Azim Premji University, is aimed at providing opportunities to the “disadvantaged”.

Referring to the recasting of the management of the company, Mr. Premji said: “The developments of the past two years have given me confidence in our institutional strategy,” he said.

However, even as the company went ahead with the changes, Mr. Premji said, he was “committed to transferring more of my wealth to scale up the Endowment of the Foundation.”

Mr. Premji, who took over the family business in 1966 following his father’s death, recalled the “significant influence” his mother had in shaping his attitude to philanthropy. Despite being a medical doctor, she chose to help build and run for 50 years a charitable hospital for children afflicted by polio and cerebral palsy, in Mumbai.

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I applaud Mr. Premji's gesture. Here is an intelligent and capable individual who turned a common commodity company into a global IT force. With the type of governance India has, that stymies entrepreneurial spirit, he had the fortitude to enter the arena of IT and make it a success. Unlike the socialist system, where people preach about distribution of wealth, a person taking advantage of the circumstances has created wealth. If only more people in India, particularly the educated people with means, become creative entrepreneurs and create wealth to self and to the society through high wage jobs then the society as whole gets a lift.

from:  Jayaram
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 21:23 IST

A much needed gesture, and an example, from an individual who benefited from the existing production and distribution system. It is the duty of all such individuals who benefited out of our present system, to improve the system in order to make it a more equal opportunity provider for all.
I can feel some individuals thinking that they would follow if they make as much wealth as Mr.Premji. But, we do not need so much wealth, as Mr.Premji, to start doing the same. We have the other commodity, Time. All of us have time in our life, and each one of us has to decide a monetary figure that will be enough for our life requirements and a little more for a rainy situation. Once this figure is reached, we should spend the rest of our time towards improving the system, to make our society a more equal opportunity provider for all.

from:  Satish
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 16:16 IST

A great Indian! A great person!!

from:  Rajkumar
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 09:49 IST

How generous! I admire and respect folks like Mr. Premji.

By the way, would the Hindu obtain and publish a list of other donors (if any!) of this
proportion? I bet those billionaires are busy making more - however they can!

from:  Pransukh M Patel
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 08:41 IST

Wonderful, Mr.Premji. We do feel proud of you that India has a son of this stature and scale to show the wealthy lot a path towards holistic view of the underprivileged world and be the torch bearer. More than any fame, this should bring you immense satisfaction personally. Hats off Sir- Hats off. A piece of suggestion - you should embark on finding the youth of the present day from the rural parts of India who has the will power to back you up for taking these dreams and efforts forward. I being from such a rural part of our country and being also influenced by western wealthy men, find extremely satisfied with your thoughts and actions. We pray for your long health and good deeds. Do let us know if you need any support from us (rural graduates) living in urban jungles with our heart and mind still in our villages of our childhood. Mothers are always mothers. Specially in India and Indian tradition - a SYMBOL OF SACRIFICE, A SYMBOL OF LOVE, A SYMBOL OF PATIENCE. God bless you sir.

from:  Sridhar.G
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 08:31 IST

gr8!

from:  umesh bhagwat
Posted on: Feb 20, 2013 at 06:32 IST
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