According to a mythological story, ‘Once gods, demons and humans went to Lord Brahma and said to him – ‘Lord! Let us progress, be happy and become successful – give us advice for this, what should we do?’ Brahma ji said- ‘The’. Again he laughed and said – understood? The Gods said – We should suppress. The demons said – We should have mercy. Manav said- We should donate. The nature of Gods is sensual, hence they should suppress the senses. Demons are violent, hence they should behave with kindness and humans have a tendency to over-accumulate, hence charity is appropriate for them.
The above story came to my mind after seeing the list of donations made by Indian billionaires released by Edelgive Hurun India. According to the list, Shiv Nadar, founder chairman of HCL Technologies, has emerged as the most generous businessman by donating Rs 2,042 crore during the financial year 2023. He donated an average of Rs 5.6 crore daily, which is 76 percent more than what he donated in FY 2022. In FY 2022, he donated an average of more than Rs 3 crore daily. Overall, 119 leading Indian businessmen donated Rs 5 crore or more in FY23. He also donated Rs 8,445 crore to charity. This is 59 percent more than the donation made by him in the financial year 2022. Wipro’s Azim Premji stood second. He donated Rs 1,774 crore in FY 2023, which is 267 percent more than his donation in FY 2022.
Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries was at the third position. He gave Rs 376 crore towards charity. He donated largely through the Reliance Foundation, which mainly focused on education and healthcare. Nikhil Kamat of Zerodha emerged as the youngest donor in this list. The Kamat brothers, ranked 12th in the list, donated Rs 110 crore during the year. The list shows that Rohini Nilekani of Philanthropy remained at the forefront among women donors by donating Rs 170 crore during the year. She stood 10th in the list. After them, Anu Aga (at 40th position) and Leena Gandhi (at 41st position) are present. Aga and Gandhi each donated Rs 23 crore. Seven women philanthropists were included in this list. A total of 14 Indians donated more than Rs 100 crore during the year, whereas a year ago the number of such Indians was only 6. Similarly, the number of Indians who donated more than Rs 50 crore increased to 24, which was 12 a year ago. 47 Indians donated more than Rs 20 crore during the year.
Education was the most preferred area for donating. 62 donors donated a total of Rs 1,547 crore for education. After this, Rs 1,345 crore was donated for art, culture and heritage and Rs 633 crore was donated for healthcare. Mumbai remained at the forefront in terms of donations for charitable works with 39 people. After that, New Delhi stood at second position with 19 persons and Bengaluru stood at third position with 13 persons. Other philanthropists in the top 10 include Kumar Mangalam Birla, Gautam Adani, Bajaj family, Anil Aggarwal, Nandan Nilekani and Serum Institute of India’s Cyrus and Adar Poonawala.
It is said in ‘Neetimanjari’ that the one who donates wealth among humans is blessed and he is praised by men like Indra and good women. The best giver among men is the one who helps a poor beggar by giving him money.
In fact, there are many forms of donation – food donation, water donation, clothing donation, land donation, house donation, gold donation, bed donation, weight donation, pind donation, health donation, cow donation etc. These donations have their own importance, each has its own deity and each has its own mantra, which is to be remembered at the time of resolution, but there are some such donations for which no money has to be spent, such Donations are also of no less importance, such as donation of sweet words, donation of love, donation of assurance, donation of livelihood, donation of shade, donation of labour, donation of time, donation of forgiveness, donation of respect, donation of knowledge etc.
Regarding charity, it is said in our scriptures that the human life is successful only for the one who donates selflessly as per his capacity with devotion. The above donors have donated as per their capacity. Donate as per your capacity, no matter what kind it may be, because in the end the donation will be helpful.
– Irwin Khanna (Chief Editor, Dainik Uttam Hindu)