In the last couple of weeks, with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates visiting the country, Philanthropy has become a buzz word and millions of rupees have already been pledged towards social causes.
The most recent announcement has come from drugmaker Piramal Healthcare. The group said that it would launch a new charitable foundation that would get a grant of up to Rs 200 crore.
Last week, GM Rao, chairman of infrastructure group GMR group, committed Rs 1,540 crore towards the group’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm GMR Varalakshmi Foundation.
The new foundation by Piramal Healthcare will be separate from the existing Piramal Foundation and will most likely be launched in the next financial year. It will put to use the funds (Rs 200 crore) approved by Piramal Healthcare’s board of directors as part of its CSR initiative.
The foundation, which is yet to be named, will focus on the same area of work – education, healthcare, developing leadership skills and Indian ethical values – as Piramal Foundation. Piramal Foundation, which is about six years old, is funded through the personal incomes of the Piramal family.
The foundation spends nearly Rs 100 crore every year towards various social causes. The foundation, in association with ISKCON, provides midday meals to about 50,000 children every day in Maharashtra. It trains teachers and administrators of government schools, provides drinking water in villages, and runs free healthcare programmes through mobile vans.
Piramal Healthcare, although a mid-sized firm, is flush with funds after selling its domestic branded business for Rs 17,000 crore to American drugmaker Abbott Laboratories last year.