Friday, October 8, 2010

Ideas to Ponder: "The man who dies rich dies in disgrace"

|"The man who dies rich dies in disgrace." Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie Was very right in saying the above line. And these lines didn't come out of his mind, but from his heart...

Many billionaires have realized the same: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were in China last week to promote philanthropy, and they are expected to come to India in April. They are busy in creating a huge movement among billionaires of the world, for creating world's largest possible philanthropic fund! They are asking these billionaires to donate about half of their money for something which is greater than their lives. 

Here are some facts on India's billionaires:
  • There were 127,000 Indians with more than $1 million in investible assets in 2009, and they were collectively worth $477 billion. (Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2010) 
  • Forbes magazine shows that India has a record 69 billionaires. The 100 richest Indians are worth $300 billion.
We still don't know on whether this act of giving by billionaires is a pure act of giving or an act to salvage their emotions from the feeling of exploiting their own society for creating this wealth over the years! Because, if we simply look into the facts then we will find that, most of these (Indian or others) billionaires  have created their fortunes in areas like —real estate, mining, retailing, telecom and oil. And all these areas have been weakly controlled by any governing agency. 

India is country with very huge income inequality, were withing a 1 Km. radius we could find people with income gap as huge as million times! Whatever be the reason behind this income equality existing in the society, one thing is very clear —This philanthropic move has the potential to do something in very short time what no government in the underdeveloped countries like India can do in years by themselves.

Point here is the way this philanthropic sum is going to be invested. And there is no better investment in the societal future than the investment in education. Recent government spending figures say that, Indian government spent about $8 billion in education in the year 2009, and if we make an assumption that the 100 top billionaires of India (having wealth ~ $ 300 billion) donate about 10% of their wealth, then total philanthropic sum comes out to be approximately $ 30 billion! Which is enough to invest for coming 4 years in education, beside the government investment at present levels. It can impart a big boost to the social upbringing, even greater than what government could have achieved with the same level of increase in its spendings; considering the fact that most of government investment is generally consumed by corrupt cockroaches present in every part the country.   

It is Fourth of the many posts that I have written under "Idea to Ponder series" (you can visit all of them here). Stay updated, get updates via email: Click here.

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow him on twitter.
More Recent Posts:

  • Share On Facebook
  • Tweet This Post
  • Digg This Post
  • Save Tis Post To Delicious
  • Share On Reddit
  • Share On LinkedIn