India's Wealthy Not Likely to Join Giving Pledge, NGO Official Says

India’s billionaires are not likely to join the pledge to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime or after death, according to the head of a non-governmental organization in India.

U.S. billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are in India to try to convince rich Indians to sign up for The Giving Pledge, an initiative which originally aimed to encourage 400 U.S. billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. Gates and Buffett have since expanded the initiative to include Chinese, and now Indian, billionaires.

>> Bill Gates Targets Extending Giving Pledge Scheme Toward India

The Giving Pledge could get rich people in India thinking of becoming more philanthropic but Gates and Buffett are not likely to convince a lot of the Asian country’s billionaires to join just yet, according to Amita Puri of Charities Aid Foundation India, as reported by Shefali Anand in the Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time blog.

“It takes a couple of generations before they reach that stage of saying that it’s time to give it away,” Anand quotes Puri, who noted that the majority of India’s wealthy is young and that the prevailing culture in the country dictates that the rich pass on their wealth to family instead of donating it.

Puri adds that India’s wealthy are already involved in various philanthropic initiatives, but not to “the extent that they could.”

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.