With more than 32 million people of Indian origin globally, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Indians are the largest diaspora population in the world.
, a non-profit community of Global Indian leaders from diverse backgrounds and professions, decided to go deep into their contributions and have compiled a list of 100 Indian and diaspora leaders who are making a difference through their giving. The ‘2021 Philanthropy Leaders List’ includes philanthropists from India and from geographies with significant diaspora migration, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Australia. Several of these philanthropists stepped forward to give during the Covid-19 crisis.
Indiaspora Founder MR Rangaswami said: “It is incredibly inspiring to see so many philanthropists from our community who have translated their success into social impact.
“These leaders serve as an example of the importance of generosity and remind us of the many issues that need our attention.”
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With guidance from nine jurors and drawing from multiple sources, including reputed studies, earlier verified lists, and publicly shared documents, the list is a roll call of honour for Global Indians for their philanthropic contributions and engagement.
Sara Kalim, Director of Development at Somerville College and one of the jurors, said: “It was very gratifying to be a part of this effort, and I appreciated the careful consideration given to each honoree by those who were involved.
“As someone who works in the development space, I see first-hand how philanthropy can transform lives for the better. This list shines a light on the tremendous power of giving.”
The List includes names from various industries including technology, entertainment, finance, and the law, among others, who are using their philanthropy to address issues such as access to healthcare, quality education, water and sanitation, arts and culture, food insecurity, and employability.
Prem Watsa, Founder and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings and one of the honorees on the List, said: “Covid-19 taught us that businesses, nonprofits, government, and philanthropy all play a critical role in lifting the communities they serve and operate in during times of crisis.
“Indiaspora’s Philanthropy Leaders List serves as a reminder to the diaspora to continue the important work of giving even once the crisis abates so our communities can meet future challenges.”
Rohini Nilekani, Founder-Chairperson of sustainable water and sanitation nonprofit Arghyam, another honoree on the list, added: “I hope the will continue to give forward, and even more boldly. It is both inspiring and critical to resolve many old and emerging societal challenges in India.”
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Indiaspora’s new list is one of several of the organisation’s philanthropy-focused initiatives. Other initiatives include , an online giving campaign that raised more than $3.5 million in 2021 to provide , and the Philanthropy Summit, an annual event that brings together nonprofits, foundations, philanthropists, and others in the social impact space to share learnings regarding Indian and diaspora philanthropy.
Ashish Shah, Senior Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at Indiaspora, said: “This is a transformative moment for philanthropy.
“The purpose of our philanthropy work is to galvanize the Indian diaspora to elevate its level of giving in the next decade, and Indiaspora’s 2021 Philanthropy Leaders List is an important step towards building a culture of philanthropy.”