| Phinlanthropy—A Journey from A Human Being to Being Human
'We cannot live in islands of happiness, while the society is an ocean of distress', was the hard hitting message delivered by Rakesh Bharti Mittal , Vice Chairman, Bharti Group to the Ludhiana Management Association-LMA Members yesterday. Mittal made a spirited appeal to the Business Leaders to rise above their Ostrich like mindsets, take ownership for improving the society by investing their time, managerial expertise and financial resources. He emphasised that lasting change in society would happen only with proactive action by Business Leaders, in partnership with Governments. Mittal also asserted, that in the last few decades Business Men are setting standards in Philanthropy due to their enhanced wealth generation capabilities due to a strong correlation between wealth generation and the willingness to invest in social welfare. He maintained that our GDP Growth and the Promising India Story should trigger partnerships between Businesses and Governments, as Economic Growth is a Catalyst for Investments in Charity and Philanthropy. He asked the Business Leaders to make a Choice between taking ownership and voluntarily contributing to Social Causes or being made to do so by the Govt. through its regulatory framework, which would then deny them the privilege of being respected Corporate Citizens.
Mittal further elaborated the process that must be adopted for ensuring measurable outcomes on investments in Social Causes. He advised Members to first identify Causes that they want to invest in, and these could be education, health care, employability, sanitation or pollution. Post that they should allocate budgets, decide whether they would contribute to NGOs already in that domain, or prefer direct investment with the formation of foundations or trusts. He cautioned that investments made without measurable outcomes or transparency mechanisms are a waste, and one must monitor all philanthropic initiatives on multiple parameters to initiate lasting change in the society. He shared Bharti Foundations' initiatives in rural education through 250 Satya Bharti Village Schools from which 45,000 students had transformed into confident Change Agents, not only becoming employable but also taking responsibility for ushering community wellbeing. He added that the biggest dilemma is not to invest or not in philanthropy, but rather where to and how to invest in Philanthropy. He made a personal appeal to the business leaders of Ludhiana as a fellow citizen to invest before it is too late, as our rising population, though a demographic dividend, if not provided for could very well result in Demographic Disaster for our society.
President Kamal Wadhera expressed his gratitude to Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal for deliberating on Philanthropy, a subject that is perhaps perceived as a Drain on resources or treated as charity where one does not expect outcomes or transformation. He hoped that LMA Members would proactively adopt Philanthropy as a vehicle for transforming From' Human Beings to Being Human ' as envisioned by Mr. Rakesh Mittal. Dr. Paramjit Kaur, General Secretary LMA & Mr. S.S.Bhogal Vice President ,Mr. Harmohinder Singh Pahwa, Mr. D.L. Sharma felicitated the guest.