"I started my business in clean energy as the effects of the activities of mankind were visible while I was growing up. Rampant urbanisation, industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources has affected both flora and fauna of our planet. New Delhi, the city I call my home is considered to be one of the most polluted in the world and I could see its impacts on our everyday lives. Human development and industrialisation cannot be stopped, efforts can be made to study and mitigate and develop new technologies which can help us in living in a sustainable manner.
A lot of research funds are required to carry out these studies and local schools & universities need to be encouraged and funded to take on these studies. A lot of emphasis also needs to be given on encouraging local sustainable practises and generating the energy locally.
I pledge to devote my energy and resources towards this goal of encouraging sustainable development and towards leaving this planet a better place than I had inherited."
"Have been a recipient of the most precious gifts: the love of my parents, a good education, and a life that has - so far - afforded the opportunity to follow my passions. What one would call an all-round ovarian lottery and it behooves me to pay forward. For a while now, I have believed that there is no ‘other’ - that we are all in this together. This promise is a chance for me to walk that talk. The one thing that has been a perennial driver is the dream to see a fairer world and I hope to partake meaningfully in manifesting that vision.
In my growing up years, money was hard to come by, which gave me the opportunity to develop an intimate understanding of what money can enable and what a lack of it can constrain. That experience also meant that I never fully grew out of the ‘scarcity mindset’ that was a residual side-effect. This promise is an attempt to heal my relationship with money and internalising that not only do I have enough; but, more importantly, I am enough.
Finally, I consider myself a misfit in general and tend to find refuge in the camaraderie and community of like-minded people."
"We have been fortunate in many ways. But there are many who are not so lucky and we strongly believe that the lucky owe an obligation to those who are not lucky. Mahatma Gandhi said that we hold our monies in trust for others. The fact that there is extreme poverty around us is morally objectionable and we cannot sit around doing nothing about that. We don't have the means to solve all the world's problems, but we can definitely do our small bit to help reduce some of them.
We are passionately involved in a variety of causes related to education (including sex education), leadership development, free markets, mentoring, persons with disabilities, healthcare, performing arts and the environment. Our children have also played a large role in shaping some of our interests.
When we sat with them to discuss this pledge, they willingly supported it. We also strongly believe in teaching people to fish, instead of just giving them fish. That is why we look at sustainability in many of the initiatives that we are involved with."
"Luck, the hard work of others and the benevolence of others plays such a large part in our success that we can hardly call it 'ours'. The family we are born in and the talents we are born with fall clearly within the domain of luck. Then we build on the work of countless others (including many from the past) and are supported in countless ways by others. Under these circumstances, it seems more than fair that we should share at least half of what we have for a larger cause."
"After returning from the US in 2011, we have happily invested significant amount of our time and money in serving the children and senior citizens of our country.
Something keeping us awake at night – “Why is a student committing suicide every hour if education is the key to success?” In the digital era, we believe there is a need for "quality" education. We want to help children stay relevant in the world of growing uncertainty and become the best version themselves.
While developing design thinking and creativity skills for underprivileged children, we realized that they aren’t even allowed to dream in the first place! So we ran a large social initiative with many NGOs to capture dreams of 15,000 children visualizing the future of India and curated India's first ‘Book of Dreams’ that carries a foreword by Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi.
By pledging to give away 50%+ of our wealth, we aim to continue making a difference in the lives of India’s future (children) as well as provide the love, respect and care that our senior citizens truly deserve. We hope to inspire others with this life-long promise."
"We are making the pledge for we genuinely believe that the ‘more you give, more you receive’. And, the receipts need not be financial. We also believe that it is not correct that philanthropic support should be publicized. However, we are persuaded that our pledge may possibly influence some more to think and maybe act in a similar direction.
We believe in the power of quality education in transforming lives and families. It has been true in our own case. Sadly, this is lacking for most of the children who come from the bottom of the pyramid in India.
We have been directly involved in teaching under-privileged kids and supporting select NGOs that are working to improve quality of education in government schools. Government schools at present are synonymous with children from not-well-to-do families.
We are acutely aware that the problem is huge and we can only make a tiny difference. But, we see ourselves as that proverbial ‘squirrel’ that helped in building Ram-setu. Hopefully, there will be more such squirrels!"
"The reason for my decision of giving 50% of my wealth is that I believe that my various goals of life are now met with and even if I bequeath my wealth to my family (as a natural course), they either not need it nor they value it. Whereas, there is a widening gap between economic strata in the society and many deserving need only a little help to change their lives."
"When I started The Foundation, I didn’t consciously calculate I would give over 50% of my income to the cause of raising and educating children from marginalised areas so that 17 years down the line they would shape the model of development they felt was best for the lands they came from. It was simply an urge to raise and hopefully equalise developmental indicators in those marginalised areas to reflect what we see in parts of the country that have progressed satisfactorily. It so transpired that, especially in the first 7-8 years I had to fund the program largely with my own resources. That has lessened over time but in totality my contribution has been and perhaps even exceeded half of what the program has needed. I am a single man and don’t have the financial obligations that nurturing a family entails. The kids (and by extension, their parents) are my family. And the model of The Foundation is to see a more equal and more crucially, a more equitable India. I can’t think of a better way to spend the money I earn as an actor and a director. It certainly gives me the sweetest sleep at night!"
"I believe that all I have got in my life is because of the goodness of others – the doctor who brought me into this world, my parents who nurtured me, my teachers who inculcated the knowledge and values in me, my wife who supported me, friends who were there for me. After providing financially for my wife and kids to lead a reasonable life, I would like to do what I can to make the world a better place, and hence am signing up to this."
"YOU COME INTO THIS WORLD WITH NOTHING, YOU LEAVE WITH NOTHING (EXCEPT POSSIBLY FOR BLESSINGS FOR YOUR SOUL).
While exploring the nooks and corners of life, one realizes that the most important mandatory acquisition, to live a teflon-coated journey through life's vicissitudes, is your 'Dharma' balance -The balance of unsolicited gratitude that comes your way from people, esp. strangers, whose lives you have impacted and brought joy, This is possibly more valuable and useful than even a billion dollars in the bank.
Sharing your divine grace (not so much money but also your thoughts, experiences , network and time) is the best multibagger investment I have ever made. Inspiring other souls to enrich their lives ( be it in PE , backpacking, marathon, cycling meditation,entrepreneurship or philanthropy) has helped discover nuances in the meaning of my favorite word 'Serendipity'
When you look around, all parents assiduously save for their progenyy and family. However ironically, the wealth, more often than not, goes waste. Either the inheritors are fighting over it or feeling jealous over the allocation or have no use for it or worse,it goes to their heads and leads them into a wastrel life filled with vices or hubris. So might just be prudent to use it to improve life of others and bequeath 'Dharma' balance into accounts of your family. And since its your hard earned wealth, it may just prudent to give most of it away while alive and enjoy the bliss yourself.
In a country like India, it is impossible for the government alone to eradicate poverty, The only solution is for private philanthropy to dedicate capital to focused efforts which provide education,skills, health and dignity to people less privileged than us.
Hence happy to publicly announce the living pledge. Am sure there are so many like me, who avoid the limelight and are reluctant to come public. The prospect of inspiring others, esp. those who may not have thought of afterlife and/or purpose of life, to do the same, should be sufficient rewards to overcome all trepidation."