Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini will donate 50 per cent of their wealth under Giving Pledge- a movement initiated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. So the Indian techie billionaire couple have pledged to giveaway half of their $1.7 billion wealth – that is huge!

Following the footsteps of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, Biocon chairman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Sobha Developers Chairman Emeritus PNC Menon – the Nilekani couple are the forth Indians to sign up for ‘The Giving Pledge’. Nilekani’s wealth is estimated at $1.7 billion, mainly derived from their stake in Infosys, co-founded by Nandan Nilekani. So half of that money is a significant amount which will be directed towards philanthropy and charitable purposes. The Giving Pledge movement was initiated by Bill Gates in 2010 and so far, it has seen as many as 171 wealthy philanthropists across the world sign up for the cause.

The Indian economy is widely unbalanced and unequal, as the income inequality in the country has reached the level where the richest 1% population is holding 22% of the country’s income. So in the statement where the Nilekanis declared their pledge, they explained the main reason for joining the Giving Pledge. They said: “We see that inequality is increasing sharply in most countries. We see the young and the restless in this interconnected globe, unsure of their future, wanting more but anticipating less. We see a growing politics of polarization, of divisions, of brinksmanship. It is as if the world holds its breath. What should we do at this time? That is a question every citizen must ask. Those of us who have wealth beyond all our wants must ask that very sharply. Wealth comes with huge responsibility and is best deployed for the larger public interest. So what must the super-wealthy do? We thank Bill and Melinda for creating this unique opportunity for so many people to realise a moral aspiration.”

 

Now giving away half of your wealth, that isn’t easy at all. Marking this, Bill Gates welcomed Nilekani’s pledge saying, “I’m amazed by how Nandan Nilekani has lent his entrepreneurial passion to philanthropy. I’m delighted to welcome him and his wife Rohini to the Giving Pledge.”. This isn’t the first time that Nilekani has made donations, in fact, they gave away all money to build the IIT Bombay hostel. And he has also set up the Indian Institute for Human Settlements with the aim of solving urban challenges for India. But certainly, the Giving Pledge will count as most significant one from the Nilekanis.