The EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2023

Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson – Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, has been named the ‘most generous woman philanthropist’ for the fourth consecutive year, according to The EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2023. She donated Rs 170 crore in FY23, finding a place both in the top 10 philanthropists in terms of overall giving, as well as the top 10 philanthropists donating entirely […]

Alliance Mag | The Trust Imperative: Reshaping Society’s Participation in Systems Change

I was walking with a young leader of an Indian civic engagement organisation last week, when he shared a perspective that stayed with me. He said, “Sometimes, society believes its role is solely to resist deep-rooted power structures. But what if we, as citizens, fundamentally reconstructed these power structures?” The triad of markets, states, and […]

The Indian Express | Rohini Nilekani writes: Requiem for a dying tree

No living being likes to be uprooted. Not people, not trees For exactly 25 years, almost every morning, I have drawn open the curtains and saluted the sun’s rays diffused through the branches of the magnificent old mango tree outside. Recently, we acquired the site on which it stood, hoping to create an urban mini-forest […]

IDR | What does the DPDP Act mean for philanthropy in India?

Written by Gautam John, CEO of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies The Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act of 2023 marks a significant shift in India’s legislative landscape. By establishing a comprehensive national framework for processing personal data, it replaces the previously limited data protection regime under the Information Technology Act, 2000. The DPDP Act applies to the processing of […]

LiveMint | A Sloth Bear in the Sunroom

Just recently, we woke up to some shocking news. The previous night, a sloth bear had broken into our then unoccupied home in the Nilgiris. This hungry, curious sub-adult wandered around the property and raided the staff kitchen to find only some sugar. Then, encountering no human interference, he decided to try his luck inside […]

Actizen Blog | Reclaiming Our Role as Citizens

2022 marks exactly 30 years since I started my formal journey in civic engagement. Like many journeys in the civic space, mine also began with an external catalyst. I had lost dear friends to a horrendous car accident on the Bangalore-Chennai highway, which took their unborn daughter and orphaned their three-year-old son. The unnecessary loss […]

ORF | Pathways to Equality: Advancing Gender Goals in the G20

Pathways to Equality: Advancing Gender Goals in the G20 (a publication by Observer Research Foundation (ORF)) assesses a selection of critical issues faced by women in the G20 nations. It is a critical ‘thinking and doing’ volume for readers seeking to understand how we can transform society by moving the needle on gender equality. The curated […]

IDR | What New Possibilities Could Your Leadership Unlock?

By Gautam John, CEO – Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies In the quest for social impact, community building and platform creation are crucial strategies for nonprofits. The power of shared values, the vibrancy of collective action, and the sustainability offered by a community-centric approach can help amplify the reach and resonance of an organisation’s mission. These strategies […]

ET | Conquer Mt Self Learning

When we look back at the 2020s, will we be able to conclude that this was the decade in which India completed its long journey to ensure universal foundational literacy and numeracy? Can we promise this to the 250 million children, many of whom are still waiting to join the rest on the journey of […]

Forbes | No longer are we confined to the conventional and the familiar

In 2013, Rohini Nilekani was featured on the cover of our Heroes of Philanthropy edition alongside husband Nandan, co-founder of Infosys, for backing social causes others may find risky. The founder of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies reflects on how far she has come, and how Indian philanthropy has changed along the way. When I look back […]

IDR | The power of building a community

This article is written by Gautam John, CEO – Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies. First published in IDR. How does one create infinite good with finite time and resources? This is the challenge that many nonprofits face. The traditional approach to this question of scale has been to build a larger organisation. However, there is an alternative—one […]

LiveMint | Why India’s forests need new stewards?

This article was first published in LiveMint BENGALURU : The Oscar for the documentary The Elephant Whisperers has happily turned the nation’s focus towards our wildlife and our forests. After all, the 35,000 or so elephants in the country depend greatly on forests for their nourishment, even as they, in turn, nourish the forest. These magnificent […]

Financial Express | The fundamentals of Giving

Op-ed co-authored by Rohini Nilekani & Vidya Shah in the Financial Express Like the market in India boomed once tight controls were lifted, NGOs and CSOs in the country can thrive, and have more sustainable impact, if donor capital is flexible and NGOs can invest in their own growth. The number of wealthy Indians has […]

सेवा ही है एक बेहतर समाज का रहस्य

कुछ महीने पहले, मेरी टीम और मैं हमारे कार्यालय के ठीक बाहर सफाई करने के लिए एक त्वरित स्वैच्छिक अभियान में शामिल हुए। अग्ली इंडियन (Ugly Indian), एक गैर-लाभकारी संस्था जो आम लोगों को नागरिक गौरव विकसित करने के लिए प्रेरित करती है, के उत्साही स्वयंसेवी अरुण पई ने हमें दिखाया कि कैसे हम अपनी आस्तीन मोड़कर कोई भी उपकरण उठाएं, जो हमें […]

Seva is the Secret to a Good Samaj

An op-ed published in The Economic Times A few months ago, my team and I joined some flash volunteering to do a quick cleanup right outside our office. Arun Pai, an enthusiastic volunteer with Ugly Indian, a nonprofit that inspires ordinary people to develop civic pride, showed us how to roll back our sleeves, pick […]

Putting Samaaj on top for Positive Collective Action

This is the third book by philanthropist and civil society leader Rohini Nilekani, the founder of Arghyam, a foundation that works towards sustainable water and sanitation goals, and Pratham Books, a publishing nonprofit that helps millions of children to read books. Samaaj Sarkaar Bazaar is a collection of Nilekani’s articles, speeches, and interviews, which offers […]

A Call to Action: Why We Need a Citizen-First Approach

Recently, unseasonal rains flooded the city of Bengalaru. Visuals of privileged citizens living in upscale independent bungalows, riding tractors to get away from their inundated spaces, as their luxury cars lay submerged in the water, flooded our phones. Delhi is choking. As I write this, there are alarming newspaper reports of the rise in pollution […]

Grand Tamasha: ‘No govt can do without civil society in a developing nation’

“Governments need civil society organisations to serve as mirrors; they need them to reach the first mile… they need all the risk-taking capital. No government can do without that in a developing country like ours which is so highly aspirational,” Nilekani told Milan Vaishnav, host of the Grand Tamasha podcast. Grand Tamasha is a co-production […]

Rohini Nilekani is Changing Philanthropy

Of India’s many prominent business couples, few can match the Nilekanis in their uniqueness. Nandan Nilekani is now a business legend, for his role in building Infosys (with N R Narayana Murthy and his co-founders) and for rescuing it a few years ago when he came back to set the company right. But unlike most […]

Plotting Impact Beyond Simple Metrics

By Natasha Joshi | For NGOs, impact comes in different forms and to track the cycles of social change work, we must think across the tangibility and the speed of emergence of change. A few months back, we received an internal letter from the founder of an NGO, reflecting on the relationship between funders and […]

The young, optimistic and idealistic will shape India at 100

It is 75 years since we raised our own flag in our own country, reclaiming it for ever more. What a time for celebration. Here we are, a young democracy, alive with the throbbing hopes of a young population, seeking to fulfil the promise of the Constitution that we gave ourselves in the new India. […]

एक नए सत्याग्रह की जरूरत है आज देश को

मेरे दादा जी सदाशिव लक्ष्मण राव सोमन, जिन्हें हम सब बाबासाहेब के नाम से जानते हैं, का 1946 में देहांत हो गया, भारत के स्वतंत्रता दिवस से कुछ ही माह पहले। उन्होंने देश को स्वराज्य दिलाने का सपना साकार करने के लिए दशकों संघर्ष किया। वह 1917 में उन स्वयंसेवकों के उस पहले बैच में […]

The Virus has Reinvented Philanthropy in India

The recent announcement of Susmita and Subroto Bagchi, together with Radha and N.S. Parthasarathy, donating ₹425 crore to set up a postgraduate medical school, along with a multi-speciality 800-bed hospital, at Indian Institute of Science’s (IISC’s) Bengaluru campus is terrific news. Much like the vaccine, this singular shot in the arm for Indian philanthropy will […]

The great migration: A sky full of Amur falcons in Nagaland | HT

“They’ve changed their course, they’ve come closer,” I got an excited call, early in November. This year, the much-delayed, much-awaited migratory Amur falcons had split up into several groups. Some flew as usual to the far reaches of the Doyang valley and reservoir. But another flock chose to visit Hakhezhe village, not far from Nagaland’s […]

What has COVID-19 taught us about disaster response? | IDR

Civil society organisations became the first responders during the #Covid19. Read about their response to the second wave as well as 4 key take-aways from it that can help us prepare for future disasters. Written by Natasha Joshi & Sahana Jose of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies for India Development Review. Published in IDR If you were a […]

Keeping the Hope Unbroken

It was wonderful to read the thoughtful, frank reflections of so many younger philanthropists on the future of philanthropy. What struck me the most was that almost everyone acknowledged the need to shift and broaden the centres of power, both within philanthropy and in society. It is a great irony that big philanthropy is made […]

Laws and criminal justice: Where the Indian Elite can’t Secede

It is extremely important that the Supreme Court is re-examining colonial era sedition laws, which were repealed in the United Kingdom (UK) itself, but which no government in India has revoked, and in fact, each has used to stifle dissent. Sedition laws, however, are at the apex of a mountain of laws that need to be examined […]

Philanthropy Should be Humble, but not Modest

Apart from building a flexible and resilient framework for the future, philanthropists, civil society and the government must work in tandem so that every rupee is absorbed on the ground We can definitely say that civil society and the philanthropy sector stepped up rapidly in the face of the pandemic, March 2020 onward. Very quickly, […]

What Lies Beyond the Great Anthropause

The virus has shown us the impact of a disregard for nature. Small changes to urban lifestyles could make a big difference Recently, Apple TV released a documentary called The Year Earth Changed. It takes viewers through some delightful scenes of what happened in the world of wild animals while humans were forced to take […]

A Quest to Balance State, Society, Market

In the memory of such social sector professionals and volunteers, we have to rededicate ourselves to the work of supporting and sustaining a resilient samaaj. What better time than this current moment? On April 24, one more life came to a premature end. Civil society lost yet another leader. Prem Kumar Varma died in Delhi […]

कबीनी का काला पैंथर

यह तो होना ही था। जब दिल प्रफुल्लित होकर भर आता है, तो आंखे छलक ही जाती है। अंततः जब मैंने उस जीव को देखा, जिसका पीछा मैं पांच वर्षों से कर रही थी तो आंसू बिन बुलाये मेहमान की तरह चले आये। आख़िरकार, वह ब्लैकी या जैसा कि स्थानीय लोग उसे कहते हैं, करिया […]

Curiosity Over Certainty: A Learning Approach to Grantmaking

In this piece, Natasha Joshi, Associate Director at Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, writes about a learning approach to grantmaking emerging from our work with Young Men & Boys In the work of creating a gender-equitable society, men play an essential role – this is labour that women should not and cannot shoulder alone. But in virtually […]

Encounters with Kabini’s Black Panther

For those waiting and watching, it was another good moment. For me, it was an unforgettable one. For years, I had been on a pilgrimage to find one elusive, unique animal in the Kabini forest of Karnataka—the world’s most famous black panther, known locally as Karia or Blackie. During this past pandemic year, I was […]

રોમાન્સિંગ ધ બ્લેક પેન્થર…

હમણાં હમણાં કર્ણાટકના કાબીની ફોરેસ્ટના એક બ્લેક પેન્થરની વિડીયો યૂ-ટયુબ પર ખાસ્સી એવી લોકપ્રિય થઇ રહી છે. ના, આ વિડીયો કાંઇ ડિસ્કવરી કે નેશનલ જિયોગ્રાફીક જેવી ચેનલે કરેલા બ્લેક પેન્થર પરના શૂટીંગની નથી, પણ આમ છતાં ય વાઇલ્ડ લાઇફના શોખીનો એ બ્લેક પેન્થર પર ઓવારી રહ્યા છે અને આ વિડીયો શેર કરી રહ્યા છે. એમાં […]

Women in Philanthropy: A conversation with IMC Ladies Wing

A conversation between IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rohini Nilekani on the subject of Women in philanthropy- a personal journey, a public conversation. This is an edited version of a conversation between Rohini Nilekani and Shloka Nath, hosted by the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They discuss the role of women in […]

Love, not log frames

Gautam John, Director of Strategy, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, on how philanthropy needs an overhaul, from narrow illusions of control to promoting empathy and agency. We will likely remember 2020 for three things. The year the phrase ‘you are on mute’ went mainstream. The year we want to forget, and not view in hindsight. And the […]

India Inc: Lending a Helping Hand

Philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, who donated Rs 47 crore of her personal wealth, feels the rich in India need to open their purses more. Noted philanthropist and chairperson of Arghyam Foundation Rohini Nilekani feels the philanthropy sector changed during the coronavirus pandemic as members of civil society donated generously. However, she is of the opinion that […]

Taking Risks in the Face of a Pandemic

2020 has been a sobering year for the philanthropy sector, not just in India, but globally. We have witnessed rising inequality even in these past 6 months, with a few of the rich getting even richer while hundreds of millions of people fell behind in the ensuing economic slowdown. There are some who had just […]

Gift a Reading Life to a Child this Festive Season

What is a good time to introduce a child to books? Different parents may have different answers. I found the right age to be six months. For both my children, I had cloth, plastic or board books about animals or very simple stories with repetitive words. I would show them the books, and slowly read […]

पक्षियों और मनुष्यों का आपसी संबंध

पूरी दुनिया को प्रभावित करने वाले वर्तमान कोरोना वायरस संक्रमण ने हम सभी को इस बात का एहसास करा दिया है कि समय-समय पर जानवरों की बीमारियां मनुष्यों में प्रवेश कर भयंकर महामारी का रूप ले सकती हैं। ऐसी स्थिति में गिद्धों की बहुत जरूरी भूमिका है। वे मृत जानवरों के अवशेषों का जल्द निपटारा […]

‘महिलाओं के साथ पुरुषों में भी आत्मविश्वास जगाना होगा हमें’

हाल ही मैकिंजी ग्लोबल इंस्टीट्यूट की एक रिपोर्ट आई थी, जिसके मुताबिक महिलाओं को कोविड-19 से जुड़ी आर्थिक और सामाजिक समस्याओं का सामना सबसे ज्यादा करना पड़ा है। उसकी वजह यही है कि वे लैंगिक भेदभाव का शिकार सबसे ज्यादा होती हैं लेकिन लैंगिक भेदभाव ने कोविड से जन्म नहीं लिया है। यह परिस्थिति इसलिए […]

Daan Utsav: Investing For A Better ‘Samaaj’

From the beginning of October and through the end of December, our minds are more attuned to giving and sharing. The giving season starts with Gandhi’s birthday and goes on well past Christmas. In between, there are many festivals of sharing, and gratitude, including Dassera and Diwali.India’s Daan Utsav is well-timed to enhance the feeling […]

Distributing the Ability to Solve

Water is the key sector when it comes to climate change related challenges. It is ever changing and complex, with equity, quality and quantity issues rising routinely. Usually, water issues have to be dealt with locally, in context. For example, even if you planned to bring water from a faraway river to a city, it […]

How to Leverage Trained Water Professionals

If we have to effectively tackle the current and future pandemics, and collectively address climate-related emergencies, flexibility, adaptation and resilience are not just words. They are critical skills that communities must build quickly. The water sector is a good place to innovate in service of this imperative Water is a key sector to overcome public […]

Kabini:A Heritage to Conserve

The Japanese have long propagated the joys of Shinrin-Yoku, or ‘forest bathing’, as a meditative practice, especially for urbanites. I was very lucky to spend a few days in the Kabini forest, just before the parks closed. Though partially work-related, it was my most healing experience since the pandemic emerged. The forest was lush green, […]

Lockdown: Online Classes – Let’s Plan, not Ban

In its wisdom, the state has recently banned all online teaching for classes 1-5. The state comes with honourable intentions. The arguments being made are on the grounds of equity, public health and learning. The equity argument is that online learning necessitates reliable access to digital devices, which not all children have. The health argument […]

Reimagining Abundance in Post COVID-19 India

As people return to life and work post the lockdown, some predictions point to a mad rush to do even more than before. Travel more, buy more, meet more people, eat out more — do more of more. The government too is expected to do more to restore economic growth and livelihoods. Much more is […]

It is Time to Rethink the way Humans Treat Animals

It is time to rethink how chickens are bred, treated and eaten, too. There is a whole new generation of people who care about where their food comes from, and how it is grown. On May 4 each year, since 2005, a non-profit in the United States (US) called United Poultry Concerns celebrates International Respect for […]

The World After Covid-19: Unless We Are Alert, The Pandemic Could Become The Last Nail In Individualism’s Coffin

For centuries, individualism or the notion that every human individual has intrinsic value has underlined ideas about societal organisation, the economy and justice. Recently, however, the primacy of the individual’s inalienable rights and freedoms has come under immense pressure. Individualism in the West originated from the Enlightenment. It believes in the moral worth of the […]

Covid-19: Securing the Present and the Future

This is the most serious crisis since World War II. Politicians must step up; voters must allow them to. Politicians are elected because they campaign in poetry, but voters don’t always account for the fact that elected representatives must govern in prose. That chasm between the promise and the delivery becomes more dangerous at times […]

The Unexplored Potential of Learning Beyond Schooling

The COVID-19 crisis should push us to re-imagine education in radical ways that we’ll be thankful for. At six, in grade 1, my daughter returned from school in a chirpy mood. “What did you study today?” I asked. She was puzzled. “I didn’t study anything,” she replied, “but I learnt a lot.” Education in the […]

सवाल, पक्षियों की आखिर अहमियत क्या है?

चेतावनी… हाल ही में जारी स्टेट ऑफ इंडिया बर्ड्स 2020 रिपोर्ट का डेटा बेहद चौंकाने वाला है बसंत का मौसम है। मौसम पंछियों वाला। देश में भले आप कहीं भी रहते हों, घने जंगल से लेकर बियाबान रेगिस्तान या फिर गली-मोहल्लों वाले किसी शहर में। संभावना है कि सुबह आपकी नींद पक्षियों के चहचहाने से […]

आदिवासियों का कर्ज है हम सब पर, बंग दंपती उसका हिस्सा चुका रहे हैं

इस नए दशक की शुरुआत में खुशकिस्मती से मुझे एक प्राचीन इलाके में जाने का मौका मिला जो अपनी हालिया परेशानी से उबर रहा है। विदर्भ का गढ़चिरौली, भारत के सबसे पिछड़े आदिवासी जिलों में से एक है। वहां गोंंड आदिवासियों के वनक्षेत्र में देश के 8 करोड़ आदिवासियों की तरह ही गोंड लोगों का […]

The Joy of Staying With the Young

In the world of children’s books, 16 years is a long time, which is how old Pratham Books turned on January 1, 2020. Co-founded and funded by Rohini Nilekani, Pratham Books is a non-profit publisher focused on introducing children to the joy of reading. Nilekani has written 11 books for Pratham Books so far, out […]

संविधान का वादा पूरा करने का अवसर

अधिकार… हर व्यक्ति को सामाजिक, आर्थिक, राजनीतिक स्वतंत्रता और न्याय की सुरक्षा ससम्मान मिले मैं कई बार सरकार, समाज और बाजार की निरंतरता के बारे में बात करती हूं। एक सफल समाज के लिए क्याें इन तीनों का सामंजस्य बनाकर साथ काम करना जरूरी है। आदर्श तौर पर सरकार या राज्य को अपने पास अत्यधिक […]

Corporates Should Support the Rule of Law

The time has come to align self-interest and public interest in support of the rule of law and constitutional values. I have often talked about the continuum of sarkaar, samaaj, and bazaar, and why, for a successful society, these three sectors must work together in a fine balance. Ideally, sarkaar, or the state, should not […]

Why I Love To Read

My childhood was spent between the pages of hundreds of books. My mother had to force me away from the book I was clutching so that I could do my daily chores, such as help set the table. Thank God for all those authors and illustrators who carried me off into a world of make-believe, […]

Good laws make good societies: Unfortunately, we now have a spate of excessive legislation that criminalises ordinary citizens

The Union Cabinet recently cleared amendments to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007. The amendments, according to reports, expand the list of those responsible for looking after aged family members. Now not just biological children, but also sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, adoptive and stepchildren will be liable. Official caregivers who fail to […]

Five Ideas On Reimagining Philanthropy with Societal Platform Thinking

Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Arghyam, shares five ideas on reimagining philanthropy with societal platform thinking 2020 has captured the imagination with its promise of being near enough to set achievable targets, yet distant enough to envision transformation. With the end of 2019 weeks away, Mint invites thought leaders to share their vision for the next decade. […]

Get, Set, NGO: How non-profit sector is going through remarkable change in India

The nonprofit sector is undergoing a remarkable change in India, powered by technology, young professionals and committed funders. “What’s exciting for India is the innovation that’s happening around young entrepreneurs, how they are leveraging technology and how they are building communities that take more ownership,” she says. Rohini Nilekani, founder-chairperson of water and sanitation foundation […]

एक दूसरे के साथ बातें करने से स्वस्थ रहते हैं पेड़

परवाह… इस बार त्योहारों में परिवार के साथ उत्सव मनाते हम कुछ वक्त पेड़ों के रोचक दुनिया को भी जानें। अब ज्यों ही त्योहारों का मौसम आ रहा है, हम इस साल भरपूर मानसून के लिए खुश हो सकते हैं। दुर्भाग्य से कई इलाके ऐसे भी हैं जहां बाढ़ के गंभीर हालात बने। इस देश […]

WestBridge Capital and Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies in research centre tie-up

Private equity firm WestBridge Capital and Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies have jointly committed Rs 5.5 crore to set up two new centres at the Bengaluru-based research institution, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). The two will engage with policy leaders on issues such as climate change and look at using the research […]

अब वक्त हो चला है “बॉडी इंटेलिजेंस’ बढ़ाने का

चुनौती… देश को स्वस्थ बनाने के लिए हर एक को जागरूक होना होगा, सरकार सभी को स्वस्थ नहीं रख सकती पतंजलि योगसूत्र का एक सुंदर कथन है ‘हेयं दुखम् अनागतम’, अर्थात दुख आने से पहले ही उसे रोक देना चाहिए। शायद इसी से प्रेरित होकर आधुनिक योग के प्रणेता गुरुजी बी के एस आयंगर ने […]

सजा बदला लेने को नहीं, सुधार के लिए दी जाए

जरूरत… सभी नागरिक उस सिस्टम को समझें जो अपराध और सजा को लेकर कानून स्थापित करता है पिछले साल विजय माल्या के वकील ने इंग्लैंड की सरकार से आर्थर रोड जेल की भयावह स्थिति पर विचार करने को कहा था। वकील ने उस नियम का हवाला दिया था, जिसमें प्रत्यर्पित किए जाने वाले व्यक्ति के […]

पानी की समस्या के समाधान को समाज दिखाए राह

जिम्मेदारी… पुरानी परंपराओं और नए विचारों का उपयोग कर, सरल तरीकों से पानी का संरक्षण कर सकते हैं अमेरिका में एक पर्यावरण एनजीओ सिएरा क्लब के संस्थापक जॉन मुइर ने कहा था कि जब हम किसी चीज को दुनिया से अलग करने की कोशिश करते हैं, तो पता चलता है कि वह किसी न किसी […]

अरबपतियों से भी ज्यादा दान देते हैं आम लोग

हमारे जीवन के कई सपने होते हैं जो हमारे परिवार, बच्चों और उनके भविष्य से जुड़े होते हैं। जीवन की हर प्राप्ति हमें कहीं न कहीं संतुष्टि और खुशी अवश्य देती है। लेकिन आज के समाज में मैं देखती हूॅं कि जीवन में उन सभी आशाओं को पुरा-पुरा करते कहीं न कहीं हमारी खुशी गुम […]

हम अपने बच्चों को प्राकृतिक संपदा विरासत में दें

जिम्मेदारी… अगर बच्चा प्रकृति के साथ समय नहीं बिताता तो उसमें अवसाद की आशंकाएं बढ़ जाती हैं माता-पिता के रूप में, जब हम अपनी विरासत के बारे में सोचते हैं कि हम अपने बच्चों के लिए क्या करेंगे तो अक्सर दिमाग में भौतिक धन जैसे कि गहने, घर, कार या फिर कैश का ख्याल आता […]

महिलाओं के साथ पुरुषों को भी सशक्त करना होगा

समाज… क्या हम रचनात्मक रूप से युवा पुरुषों के सशक्तीकरण की चुनौती का भी सामना कर सकते हैं? मशहूर टीवी सीरियल की तरह हम लड़कियों को यह उम्मीद देने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं कि ‘मैं कुछ भी कर सकती हूं।’ इसके परिणाम भी सकारात्मक आ रहे हैं। आज ज्यादातर लड़कियां स्कूल जाती हैं। उन्हें […]

Asia’s 2018 Heroes Of Philanthropy: Putting Wealth To A Good Cause

Nandan & Rohini Nilekani, 63, 59. Cofounder, Infosys; founder, Arghyam Pledged to donate 50% of their wealth in November 2017 under the Giving Pledge and said, “Wealth comes with huge responsibility and is best deployed for the larger public interest.” Past contributions include $5 million to the premier Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in Mumbai, […]

Asia’s 2018 Heroes Of Philanthropy: Charity Is New To India’s New-Economy Titans

Among the newly rich, the idea of social philanthropy is just settling in, says Rohini Nilekani, wife of tech billionaire and Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani and founder of Arghyam, a foundation focusing on water and sanitation. The Nilekanis are among India’s leading philanthropists and one of the seven Indian families to sign the Gates-Buffett Giving […]

Making invisible water visible

The capricious nature of groundwater has resulted in so much exploitation and overuse that we now have a consistent crisis. Presenting a roadmap for groundwater governance and information transparency using technology.” URL View PDF

The people’s struggle to find solutions to water challenges

With the summer looming, water comes more easily to the urban mind. Even for those who had been reasonably secure all year long, it is an uncertain time. Maybe it is time to build a sump, to invest in a rainwater harvesting system, or to try, again, to dig a private borewell. View PDF

How India’s richest 1% can effect change

The super-rich must not just be super-generous but also be seen to be super-generous, to inspire more people to give. TurningPoint: India is giving more at this stage of its economy than many other countries. When a few people get super-wealthy very rapidly, societies sit up and take notice. When some of them talk publicly […]

Want Empowered Women? Start Thinking About how to Help Young Men.

We need to turn to the 200 million young men of India with as much urgency and focus as we spend on the millions of young women in the country. Every day, we hear of horrible atrocities that have taken place against girls and women in India. This is despite the fact that as a country, […]

1st-generation entrepreneurs – Premji, Nilekani, NRN – make Bengaluru India’s philanthropy capital

With four Bengalureans being the only Indian signatories to Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge, the IT city could very well be the philanthropy capital of the country. Representatives of India Inc here adopt fresh approaches to humanitarianism — from closely-monitored capacity building in existing nonprofits to promoting tech-led scalable market solutions for development issues. Additionally, younger […]

Nilekanis pledge half of wealth for philanthropy

BENGALURU: Infosys co-founder and tech billionaire Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have joined ‘The Giving Pledge’, an elite network of the world’s wealthiest individuals committing half their wealth to philanthropy. The Giving Pledge website uploaded Nilekanis’ letter signing up for the cause. View PDF

Nilekanis pledge half their wealth for philanthropy

Infosys co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have decided to pledge half of their wealth for philanthropy. With this, the Nilekani has become the fourth Indian and second tech magnate from Bengaluru to join The Giving Pledge, the philanthropy movement started by US billionaires Bill Gates, his wife Melinda Gates and […]

Infosys Co-Founder Nandan Nilekani, Wife Rohini Donate 50 Per Cent Of Their Wealth

Wealth comes with huge responsibility and is best deployed for the larger public interest,” said Infosys co founder Nandan Nilekani quoting a line from the Giving Pledge letter, which had announced that he and his wife, the author and philanthropist Rohini, would be donating 50 per cent of their wealth under the movement initiated by […]

Nilekanis donate half of wealth to philanthropy

Infosys co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have pledged to donate half of their wealth to philanthropy. The Nilekanis had announced their decision to donate their wealth through a letter on November 8 that was put up on the website of ‘The Giving Pledge’. The Giving Pledge is a campaign […]

Nilekanis pledge half of wealth to charity

Infosys co-founder and tech billionaire Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have joined ‘The Giving Pledge’, an elite network of the worlds wealthiest individuals committing half their wealth to philanthropy. The Giving Pledge website uploaded Nilekanis’ letter signing up for the cause. The letter said, “We thank Bill and Melinda for creating this unique […]

Nilekanis pledge to donate half of their wealth for philanthropy

Infosys co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani have decided to pledge half of their wealth for philanthropy. With this, the Nilekani family has become the fourth Indian and second tech magnate from Bengaluru to join ‘The Giving Pledge’, the philanthropy movement started by U.S billionaires Bill Gates, his wife Melinda Gates […]

Nandan Nilekani, wife Rohini commit to donate 50 per cent of their wealth

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini have pledged to donate 50 percent of their wealth under Giving Pledge- a movement initiated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. Bill Gates appreciated Nilekani couple’s philanthropic initiative in his tweet. “I’m amazed by how Nandan Nilekani has lent his entrepreneurial passion to philanthropy. I’m delighted […]

Make philanthropy serious business

Infosys non-executive chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini have joined the growing list of billionaires who have committed to give away at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes through The Giving Pledge campaign, founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. They join Wipro’s Azim Premji, Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and P N C […]

Nandan and Rohini Nilekani give away part of their wealth to charity

Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini have pledged part of their wealth to charity, joining the ‘Giving Pledge’ movement initiated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Melinda Gates where wealthy individuals commit part of their wealth to society. The Nilekanis have joined other Indian billionaires like Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Biocon Chairman & Managing […]

NILEKANIS TO DONATE HALF OF THEIR WEALTH UNDER ‘THE GIVING PLEDGE’

In a statement, the Nilekanis explained why they joined the Giving Pledge movement, which says,”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. […]

Nilekanis join Bill Gates at philanthropy high table

BENGALURU: In a reflection of the growing enlightenment about philanthropy among India’s rising tribe of billionaires, Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini have signed the Giving Pledge pioneered by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Signatories to the initiative commit to give away at least half of their wealth either in their lifetime or through […]

The Indian government is truly imperfect, but amazing things have happened: Bill Gates

Seven years after Bill Gates pioneered the Giving Pledge, 171 ultra-wealthy people have vowed to give away at least half their wealth. Nandan and Rohini Nilekani have just become the fourth signatory to the pledge from India. The trio spoke to Anand Mahadevan and Archana Rai about the different but complementary roles that private philanthropy […]

Indian Tech Billionaire Nandan Nilekani And Wife Rohini Join The Giving Pledge

Bangalore power couple Nandan Nilekani, cofounder of tech giant Infosys, who recently returned to the company as non-executive chairman after a boardroom shakeup, and his wife Rohini, announced over the weekend that they had signed on to the Giving Pledge. Their commitment to give away half their wealth, pegged at $1.7 billion, was made in […]

Why millionaires are giving away their wealth

This story was selected by TOI Guest Editor Bill Gates. BENGALURU: “I didn’t know I was going to become this rich,” says philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, when asked what moves her to give, “but when it became clear that I would come into money, I wanted to do good.” The first chunk of Rs 100 crore […]

Nandan and Rohini Nilekani join Bill Gates-led philanthropic group

The grouping, which is called Co-Impact, has been set up with an initial corpus of $500 million and will focus providing healthcare, education, and economic opportunity to the underserved populus in developing countries. Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini have joined a grouping of billionaire philanthropists including Bill and Melinda Gates to set […]

Rohini Nilekani’s Message for GivingTuesday India

believe that events Like #GivingTuesdaylndia and Daan Utsav are ways for us to reach beyond ourselves. In a country where far too many people are still waiting to experience economic and social dignity, these are attempts at building an integrated society, a good samaaj, which is the true foundation of successful nations. I hope people […]

A Mirage or an Opportunity? 21st Century Water Governance.

If water governance does not improve in India, we seem headed straight towards disaster. Our groundwater tables are abysmally low in many parts of the country; many of our main river basins are closed. And the expressed demand for water might not even be half-met in the next decade. So the question of how to […]

Indian diaspora givers becoming a powerful force in global philanthropy

An emotional link to their roots means causes in the homeland are a principal target for their philanthropic funding. “Certainly they have been giving to charities that are close to home, whether in education or health, or something they were connected with emotionally,” says Rohini Nilekani, a prominent India based donor and champion for philanthropy […]

Cauvery row shows why India needs a low-water economy

All over the country, every day, there are a million conflicts around water, right from the jostling over the local tap to the sharing of big rivers. Once in a while, one spills from the courts into the streets and, amplified by media, flows across the troubled conscience of the nation. The Cauvery dispute is […]

Climate change conversation

The author was in conversation with Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Arghyam Foundation, R Sukumar, Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, MSc, J Srinivasan, Professor, Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, HSc and Kartik Shanker, director, ATREE and Dakshin Foundation. View PDF

A call for de-growth

A healthy debate on the impact of unbridled development was a key takeaway from the launch ofAmitav Ghosh’s latest book. Concern about the climate Was the focus. View PDF

Climate change conversation – People know all, but refuse to act: Amitav Ghosh

The author was in conversation with Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Arghyam Foundation, R Sukumar, Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, J Srinivasan, Professor, Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, R Sukumar, Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, writer Amitav Ghosh and Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Arghyam Foundation, at the launch of Ghosh’s book The Great Derangement – […]

Water and cities: Information, innovation and implementation

We have to get smarter about our cities. Especially when it comes to the most basic of public services—water supply. Not one Indian city, including the capital, New Delhi, can claim that every resident has access to safe water from a tap in their home. View PDF

Water shortage increasing due to climate change, says Chief Secy Shatrughan Singh – Uttarakhand

Rohini Nilekani and Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh at a workshop on ‘Reviving springs in Uttarakhand’ organised by the Peoples Science Institute in Dehradun on Wednesday. “Drinking water shortage will become grave in Uttarakhand especially in the rural mountain areas due to climate change,” said Shatrughan Singh, while speaking at a workshop on “Reviving Springs […]

Arghyam : Annual Report : 2015-16

Message from Chairperson. Arghyam over the past year witnessed a series of developments in the ecosystem. We are witness to water becoming an issue of conflict as the demand has risen exponentially due to competing users amidst increasingly erratic rainfall patterns. Missing data and weak institutions have compounded the problems around water further. View PDF

The 25 Most Powerful Women in Indian Business

While her husband sells Brand India Abroad, ROHINI Improves things at the Grassroots. The Journalist-turned-novelist-turned-philanthropist has been spending personal money and time on causes close ot her heart. View PDF

Azim Premji tops India philanthropy listing: Hurun

Premji contributed about 80% of the total donations made by 36 Indian philanthropists who together gave away nearly Rs.35,000 crore. Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Hashim Premji, unsurprisingly, was ranked the most generous Indian for the third year in a row on the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015 released on Friday. Infosys Ltd’s co-founder Nandan Nilekani […]

Philanthropy: It’s about giving everyone a chance

Two couples tell us giving decisions are about taking risks and proactively formulating a strategy. We have met inspiring philanthropists—whether it’s Arghyam chairperson Rohini Nilekani’s passion for the cause of sanitation or musician and author Peter Buffett’s vision based on his father’s philosophy. View PDF

Invisible water, visible crisis

By now, everyone in India understands that we have a serious water crisis. Too many of our rivers are polluted, dammed, or dying. Rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic, and expected to become more so. Our groundwater is depleting fast. Our lakes are drying up or filling with sewage, especially in urban centres. Our water and […]

CSOs: Mirrors, not just handmaidens

When a government limits the freedom of NGOs to criticize, as seems to be happening now, it prevents them from doing what it needs them to do. The world over, it is understood that civil society organizations (CSOs) provide checks and balances to counter the unbridled power of the state and any abuse of that […]

Forbes India PHILANTHROPY AWARDS 2014

THE CAUSE AND THE EFFECT: Celebrating the best of philanthropy in India. These are the winners of the Forbes India Philanthropy Awards 2014, chosen by our eminent jury comprising Narayanan Vaghul (jury chair and former chairman of ICICI Bank), MV Subbiah (former executive chairman, Murugappa Group), Jayant Sinha (currently minister of state for finance) and Rohini Nilekani (founder-chairperson, Arghyam). View PDF

Celebrating the spirit of giving back

It is heartening to see the manner in which our philanthropy award winners are identifying problems and addressing them in a focussed manner. At Forbes India, chronicling the fascinating stories of entrepreneurial capitalism is an integral part of what we do. How entrepreneurs set up businesses, grow them and create wealth for shareholders has been […]

Looking Back | Chairperson’s Letter at Pratham Books

This letter was written for Pratham Books Annual Report 2013-2014. We had more passion than experience. We had more commitment than competence. Like most start-ups, Pratham Books began with little more than a dream. Sure, it was a grand vision. We wanted to enable ‘A Book in Every Child’s Hand’. Born out of the Pratham […]

The Conscious Givers

Rohini and Nandan Nilekani contribute to causes that others may find risky. In doing so, they are nudging the society to look at issues afresh. View PDF

Are you Worthy of Good Governance?

In a democratic nation state, citizens rely on their elected representatives, together with many public institutions, to help ensure a good quality of life. But when our individual aspirations rise higher than their collective capability, we sense a crisis of governance. Yet governance, no matter how you define it, is about more than government and […]

Company law to change CSR landscape

Experts see mixed blessings from new company law; some say the move will result in rise in CSR consulting. The CSR provisions could have a “cascading impact” on philanthropy, according to Rohini Nilekani, chairperson and founder of non-profit Arghyam and wife of Nandan Nilekani, a co-founder of software service firm Infosys Ltd and chairman of […]

Companies Act Must Amplify, not constrain the idea of CSR

he Companies Bill will soon become a law. My particular knowledge and concern is clearly about only one part of it, which requires that companies of a certain size and profitability contribute 2% of profits to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Many of us, including myself, have opposed this idea vociferously for multiple reasons, and this […]

Rohini Nilekani Sells Infosys Shares, Raises $27 Million For Charity

Rohini Nilekani, wife of Infosys cofounder Nandan Nilekani, disclosed Friday that she has recently sold 577,000 shares out of the 8 million shares that she holds in the outsourcer. The sale reduced her stake marginally from 1.41% to 1.31% which is still worth close to $370 million. The funds from the share sale, amounting to […]

The dark side of Urjapradesh

While the debate over an eco-sensitive zone rages, Uttarakhand has not even defined minimum environmental flows for its rivers. Uttarakhand is rightly termed the abode of the gods, with its magnificent mountains, pristine forests and awe-inspiring rivers. It is a place sacred in our culture, and millions of tourists and pilgrims pay homage to its […]

The Joy Of Giving Week 2012, OCT 2ND – OCT 8TH

Bengaluru Launches 4th Edition of Joy of Giving Week – India’s Largest Philanthropic Campaign! The Joy of Giving Week, a “festival of giving” is being organized across India from October 2nd to 8th, commencing on Gandhi Jayanti. View PDF

India booked!

To keep its date with the International Literacy Day Pratham Books, an NGO in the space of literacy is attempting to bring together children from across the country in a uhique book reading endeavour. Says Suzanne Singh, managing trustee, “We have a mission to see a book in every child’s hand. This endeavour is just one step in this direction.” View PDF

Aqua Dreams – Rohini Nilekani looks with satisfaction as Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh launches India Water Portal

Rohini Nilekani, a philanthropist, journalist, author and social activist, has understood water management with all its complexities, and has channeled her efforts through Arghyam, which she founded. It’s no surprise that in late 2010 Arghyam was requested by the Planning Commission to collate civil society inputs on drinking water and sanitation for the approach paper […]

Uncommon Ground – Rohini Nilekani

This book of conversations between people holding different points of view has a deliberately misleading title. Because Rohini Nilekani has managed to show that in the most uncommon of grounds, between the most adversarial of positions, there can be found something in common if the two sides are willing to at least try and see […]

Constructive Dialogues

The social responsibility of A business is to increase its profits,” wrote Friedman in the New York Times magazine in 1970. While there’d be fewer takers of his doctrine in the present day corporate world, the subject is still not a comfortable one to debate. And that’s precisely why Nilekani’s Uncommon Ground makes for a […]

Negotiating Social Harmony – Uncommon ground – Rohini Nilekani

No servant can serve two masters: for either he wall hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” From Biblical times, this has been the conventional wisdom. But humbly correcting the dictum is philanthropist, journalist and activist, Rohini […]

Bringing the Indian Industry Close to Conscience Keepers

A ROLE MODEL for women around the world, the gracefully beautiful Rohini Nilekani is equally at ease with her many avatars: the founder of three not for profit organisations focused on water and healthcare, education and children’s books; the sparkling author of both racy thrillers and insightful books that cross-link the diverse issues facing the […]

Wife Drive

If you thought holding kitty parties or botox luncheons were all corporate first wives did, think again. Take Rohini Nilekani, wife of Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani. After running a non government organisation, authoring a medical thriller and hosting a TV show, she has now launched her second book, Uncommon Ground: Dialogues between Business and Social […]

Invitation – Launch of Uncommon Ground – India International Centre, New Delhi

Penguin Books India cordially invites you to the launch of Uncommon Ground – Dialogues between Business and Social leaders – by Rohini Nilekani, on Thursday 20 October 2011 at 7.00 p.m. at Seminar Halls 2 & 3, First Floor, New Extension Building, India International Centre, 10 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. The author will be […]

Land wars: Anand Mahindra debates Medha Patkar

Rohini Nilekani’s Uncommon Ground: Dialogues between Business and Social Leaders (Viking, Rs 499) brings together titans of business and civil society who are often on opposite sides of the polarized debate over development. It offers her words, a rare “platform of reasoned discourse ” be it on job creation, food security, or the environment, and […]

Uncommon Ground – The Write People

It’s not often that one sees the city’s movers and shakers in attendance at an event. So it was little surprise to find the IT industry’s heavyweights thronging this hotel for Rohini Nilekani’s big day. View PDF

NEW VISION – Uncommon Ground

Uncommon Ground brings together titans of industry and leaders of civil society to explore eight themes that are highly relevant for our future development. Based on RohiniNilekani’s 2008 television show. the conversations explore the middle ground between the ideological divisions that often polarize the business and voluntary sectors. View PDF

Anna movement has lost its focus: Hande

“I think the Anna Hazare movement for Jan Lokpal Bill was good but the focus got lost somewhere,” said Harish Hande, the 2011 Magsaysay award winner. Hande was speaking at the launch of ‘Uncommon Ground’, authored by Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of NGOs Pratham Books and Arghyam. View PDF

Uncommon Ground – Rohini NIlekani

Rich in insights, Uncommon Ground highlights the critical importance of dialogue in our democracy to create a shared vision of the future. View PDF

Anna brigade lost focus: Hande

I think the Anna Hazare movement for Jan Lokpal Bill was good but the focus got lost somewhere,” said Harish Hande, the 2011 Magsaysay award winner. Hande was speaking at the launch of ‘Uncommon Ground’, authored by Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of NGOs Pratham Books and Arghyam. View PDF

Uncommon Ground – Rohini Nilekani’s book launched

Rohini Nilekani’s book, ‘Uncommon Ground: Dialogues between business and social leaders’ was launched here on Thursday. The book stemmed from the author’s 2008 television series of the same name on NDTV. It documents eight broad conversations between top business and social leaders about topics such as food, energy and transportation in India. View PDF

Uncommon Ground – The employment exchange

Exclusive extracts from Rohini Nilekani’s ‘Uncommon Ground’, in which Sunil Mittal and Aruna Roy debate job creation in India. India’s demographic trajectory is such that, for the next twenty years, about 1 million people will enter the workforce every month. Will there be a sufficient number of jobs for them all? And will these jobs […]

水资源对亚洲新兴大国构成挑战 ——下篇

班加罗尔:至今年7月,雨季已在这块次大陆的大部分区域驻足很久。在漫长、酷热的夏日,各国往往都屏住呼吸、翘首盼望一场带来清凉和生机的雨,这种渴望已不再那么强烈。不过,这一地区的16亿人们知道,明年夏天这种担忧还会回来。 从根本上说,水是一种有限的资源。对于所有的有限资源来说,我们始终需要对它们进行可持续的、公正的管理,控制需求,改善供应效率,并开发替代品。然而,与这一宝贵资源相关的社会文化信仰和价值观等让上述做法变得复杂。 如今,印度政治中主导的问题是自然资源管理的争议,尤其在土地征用方面。虽然经济自由化已经实行20多年,但是在土地转让的管理和规范框架方面还未曾有任何澄清或达成一致意见。土地转让是不可避免的,是印度从一个以家庭和农业为主的经济转向混合型的全球化经济所必需的。 在印度,土地之争常年都有,到处皆是,然而,重头戏是即将到来的水资源之争。与土地资源 相似,水资源也面临缺少法律和政策共识的情形。在南方的喀拉拉邦(Kerala),一个团体已起诉可口可乐公司,指控该公司过度使用资源,造成土地含水层 枯竭。在北方的查蒂斯加尔邦(Chhatisgarh)的塞奥纳特河(Sheonath River),一份《辐射区水域合同》(Radius Water contract)的签署使得该河流的一段水域被私有化,为此,人们开始了长期的抗议。因为农业用水被用于城市供水,农村和城市的团体陷入了争斗,更不用 说各邦之间因为共享河流水域而出现的大规模冲突。 印度国家规划委员会(The Planning Commission of India)已反复警示说,今后印度的水资源问题会比土地或能源问题更加严重。在筹划印度第十二个五年计划过程中,该委员会会已着手进行广泛的咨询活动, 以期更好地管理水资源。然而,取得共识并且执行措施仍旧是巨大的挑战,因为印度的水资源并不受联邦宪法约束,而是由各邦管辖。 各邦地下水开采情况:条形图显示的是,地下水开采量占地下水补给量的百分比。地图:美国宇航局(NASA)/马特•罗德尔(Matt Rodell)。美工:黛比•坎波利(Debbie Campoli)/耶鲁全球Enlarge Image 与此同时,印度也许需要为长期的淡水短缺做好准备。它是全世界最潮湿的国家之一,年均降 雨量达1170毫升,年总水资源量约四万亿立方米,其中超过四分之一是可利用的。由于人口高速增长,水资源消耗不断增加,人均可用水量——水资源危机的指 标之一——几年来已稳步减少。如果不加选择地对河流和地下含水层进行开采,不对水资源补给和再生进行充分思考,印度在这个十年内会正式成为水资源紧张的国 家,年人均可用水量将跌至1700立方米的通用指标以下。在纯粹的以人为本的立场之外,认识到水本身是大自然中的重要元素这一点是很重要的。 对水的过度开采和过度使用已经对环境造成了毁灭性影响。海洋健康正在恶化,严重污染的水 体已无法让水生生物存活,有些河流再也不能入海,等等。这些后果意味深远。水是经济赖以存在的生态基础的决定性因素。为了保护生态和经济,印度需要有国家 战略,把水资源问题放在发展规划和实施的中心。 正如各国讨论用低碳经济来降低对化石燃料的依赖、减少气候变化带来的威胁,印度必须开创一种低水经济,从而保障未来发展、履行对未来子孙后代的责任。 低水经济的原则应该是,水应当尽量以自然状态留存在环境中。每取用一滴水都必须是合理的。使用过的每一滴水都必须被回收,并且在可重新利用的时候再次利用。 接受这一原则意味着水资源利用的三个主要方面——农业、工业和家庭——面临诸多挑战。而这每一个方面都提供了创造性的机会,让人们在追求经济可持续性的同时,重新定义目前社会与自然世界之间令人担忧的关系。 农业用水如今占用水总需求的80%以上。有多种方式可以使每滴水生产更多的作物,减少水 足迹。这些想法并不是新的,但需要重提,因为需要通过政策、资助和知识生产来更好地实施这些想法。印度必须坚持把农民利益放在核心位置,切断廉价电力和农 田水浪费的联系;激励农田节水技术;合理规划农作物的生产、采购和出口。一些研究表明,目前水以存在于牛奶、丝绸和棉花等产品中的虚拟水的形式,从水资源 稀缺地区转移至水资源丰富地区。这为重新思考虚拟水贸易,以逆转不公平趋势提供了机会。农产企业有经济刺激来提高整个供应链的用水效率,政府政策必须得到 企业的服从。 消费者也可以通过做出明智的选择来支持低水农业。他们可以在一系列健康的、生长过程中耗水很少或非常抗旱的黍类和其他粮食作物中做出选择。在强大的政策支持和领导下,这种意识会像滚雪球那样迅速增强。 工业作为低水经济中的一部分,发挥着关键的作用。工业的用水需求应该来自目前的农业来 源。能源领域是主要的耗水领域,必须为减少水足迹设置明确的目标。其他的工业部门如果污染淡水水体,将不能逃脱惩罚。激励措施必须是一致的,让污染水体或 者把水用于环境、生命和生活以外的用途变得更加困难。低水经济的愿望可有助于开战受到民众欢迎的、保护印度河流的运动。 农村家庭用水几乎没有减少的空间。政府的标准是每天每人使用约55升水,而人们一天至少需要50升水,用于饮用、烹饪和洗澡。总之,每家每户都应该有管道供水和卫生设施,这可以改善公共卫生指标,降低新生儿死亡率。 在市区,重新思考的范围很广。城市对水资源和供应系统管理不善,缺乏公平性、可靠性和供 应的充分性。在德里,人均可利用水量从36升每天到400升每天不等。尽管神圣的亚穆纳河(Yamuna)就在市区附近流淌,首都为了生产更多的水,从数 百公里之外的水源取水进行生产,花费了大量的不可挽回的成本。废水没有得到处理,以便再利用。而且在许多人还在为基本的生活权利做斗争时,德里市也没有对 水源消耗的精英人士进行任何惩罚。 如果国家首都带头对水进行不负责任的管理,其他城市会照样执行。未来三十年,当三亿印度 人涌入城镇时,这些城市将不得不重新设计供水服务。他们必须采用综合性的方法,从源头到水池的整个过程来管理城市用水,在使用外部水源之前先使用当地水 源,确保亲贫政策,采取分散的方式,鼓励在非饮用需求等方面使用回收利用的废水。班加罗尔在有些方面已经领先一步,包括推行一项亲贫政策来确保所有人都有 基本生活用水,按照用量收费的做法,以及对私人挖掘的水井收取额外费用的做法。另外一些挑战是优化雨水,再生湖泊,重复利用废水以降低对外部水源的依赖。 如果不推行积极措施,水会成为制约印度的全面和可持续发展的因素。幸运的是,虽然水是有限的,它却是无限地可再生的。现在印度必须更新它古老的智慧,进行更经济地种植,同时减少水的使用足迹。 PDF Yale Global

Water Challenges Asia’s Rising Powers – Part II

By July this year, the monsoon has established itself vigorously over much of the subcontinent. The anxieties of the long, intense summer months, when nations hold their collective breath in anticipation of the cooling, life-giving rain, have receded. But the region’s1.6 billion people know that next summer, the worres will return. Water is ultimately a […]

Microfinance, Macro Trends

The macro crisis in the microfinance sector may not get resolved anytime soon. But it is a symptom of a much larger trend moving through the country. The Indian microfinance model developed differently from that in its original home in Bangladesh. It took root with self-help groups (SHGs) set up in Karnataka by Myrada, with […]

A Philosophy Of Philanthropy

Journalist-turned-philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, the founder of Bengaluru-based NGOs Pratham Books and Arghyam, feels everyone should be water-wise today. View PDF

See life through a water prism

SIMPLE INNOVATIONS LIKE THE TAP HAVE DISTANCED PEOPLE FROM PROBLEMS AT THE SOURCE. World Water Day has come again. Did we do anything differently about our use and abuse of water since the last Water Day? At the gross level, it appears not. Because, in the context of India, this past year was one of […]

48 Heroes of Philanthropy

From helping disaster victims to funding soup kitchens, they make our latest regional list. Forbes Asia. View PDF

Uncommon Ground – For The Children Of India

The debate has shifted to higher studies, but we I cannot afford to take the foot off the pedal on early education. In this, the final column in this series, I turn to a core area of my work over the past decade—the education and development of young children. Some sights and sounds remain sharply […]

Uncommon Ground – A Fine Balance in Kutch

There’s a massive export of virtual water from dry regions to wet, through the sale of both milk and meat products. on work, with soaring temperatures and no promise of rain despite an unusual cloud cover. We travelled a couple of hundred kilometres in the clay desert, despairing at the spread of Prosopis juli-flora which […]

Uncommon Ground – Tilling The Urban Soil

Urban farming enthusiasts believe it is the best way to green the city, while providing a little food security too. It is remarkable how much you can grow in a small space with very little fuss. My colleague Vishwanath, who himself has demonstrated the viability of growing paddy on his small rooftop garden, taught me […]

Uncommon Ground – Greening The Toilet

The past century of sanitation has been an environmental and financial nightmare for the world. It is supposedly the 100th anniversary of the modern lavatory, though there is some dispute about when the modern flush toilet as we now know it was invented and by whom. Nevertheless, for the billions around the world who take […]

Uncommon Ground – Mind The Gender Gap

Not only does violence against women continue in the old brutality, it is taking new bewildering forms. Twenty-five years ago, I used to volunteer with Vimochana, a women’s group that focuses on violence against women. At that time in Bangalore, dowry deaths were particularly disturbing, and much work was being done to raise awareness about […]

Uncommon Ground – A Conflict Of Paradigms

The demand for limited fresh water has brought the issue to the centre of the debate on development. At summertime, thoughts turn naturally to water. For millions of citizens, especially women, it is a time of extreme shortage, and for ever more creative coping mechanisms. Many states have improved access to lifeline water, but there […]

Uncommon Ground – Rising From The Ashes

There is a growing consensus that this crisis is unlike any other, that it’s a discontinuity with potential for great change. The airy cafe at London’s British Museum, just across a hallway exhibiting newly discovered mummies of sacred animals from ancient Egypt, was the perfect place to chat with John Elkington about the Phoenix Economy. […]

Uncommon Ground – Next Wave of Voluntarism?

For India’s sake as much as its own, Bihar needs to be strong, less vulnerable to forces that deny democracy. In parts of Bihar, such as the district of Gaya, ironically famous for its Buddhist tourism, Maoists have threatened to chop off the hands of anyone who dares to vote. This is slightly more of […]

Uncommon Ground – Bringing The State Back In

There are just too many millions below the scope of ‘efficient’ markets and beyond the reach of most NGOs. Whenever the family travelled together, while most of us would admire the greenery, my father-in-law would sigh ecstatically over the beauty of the giant pylons striding across the fields. To him, they represented the engineering talent […]

Uncommon Ground – Good Growth, Bad Growth

A question: is this economic slowdown improving the value of the environmental economy? As a family, we are not much into buying things recklessly. Although we live very well, we only buy things that we know will be used. My motherin-law and my son take this to a sort of extreme. They will only have […]

In Favour of Basic Education – Betting on the bottom-up – Rohini Nilekani

Just recently, I happened to be standing outside a rather new-looking government school, high up on a scraggy hillock in Kolar district in South India. Two young boys, aged about 12, were our curious onlookers and we picked up conversations. One I knew to be a student, because he wore a school uniform, often the […]

Uncommon Ground – Lessons From Below

Microfinance rests on mutualism. This is very different from the individualism of free markets. Looking for models of financial prudence and sustainability? We don’t have to look very far. Tucked safely away from the scorching heat of the meltdown, at least so far, is the vastly distributed microfinance sector in India, which offers us fascinating […]

Uncommon Ground – Rediscovering Wonder

Most species are individually stupid but collectively smart. Humans are the opposite. It is remarkable what happens when you suspend judgement and disbelief for a while. You rediscover wonder. A little bit of this rediscovery happens every weekend in cinema halls across the country. But I was very lucky to have my own awakening of […]

Uncommon Ground – Davos discussions

Looking back at my notes on earlier WEFs, I have to say there has always been healthy debate in the corners about structural fault lines in globalized capitalism. On my way up from Zurich to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), I marvelled again at how clear the road remains in spite of […]

Uncommon Ground – The Culture of Giving

It will be a pity if, just when the second wave of philanthropy was | taking root, it gets deracinated and scattered. In the jaw-dropping exposes about Satyam, there was only an occasional story about the impact on the social initiatives of the Raju family, such as the Byrraju Foundation, the declared goal of which […]

Uncommon Ground – A CULTURE OF ENOUGH

Recently, Arghyam, a foundation I have set up to fund initiatives in water and sanitation, needed to hire for a senior position. We put out an ad on a mainstream jobs site, in addition to using development sector channels. To our great surprise, we were absolutely flooded with enquiries. View PDF

UNCOMMON GROUND – Rohini Nilekani – Debuts 2 Jan 2009

UNCOMMON GROUND – Rohini Nilekani. A fortnightly column at the intersection of the corporate and social sectors, with personal experiences, observations and the many questions that arise about moving towards a more equitable India. Debuts 2 Jan 2009. View PDF

One Common Issue – Two Uncommon Minds – Uncommon Ground

Writer and philanthropist, Rohini Nilekani anchors an electrifying episode of UNCOMMON GROUND, fuelling dialogue between industrialist Anand Mahindra and social activist Medha Patkar on the land rights issue that challenges India. View PDF

Philanthropy, old and new

Just societies cannot be built merely by the distribution of surplus wealth. With a plethora of the newly wealthy in India setting up trusts and foundations recently, it is a good time to reflect on the value of strategic philanthropy. When it comes to giving in …,dia, we have traditionally upheld that feeling of empathy […]