Bill Gates described it as "a miracle": the influx in giving from lower-middle income countries like India. And perhaps it is, with philanthropy efforts rapidly increasing amidst India's ongoing social and economic divide. Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) examines a new paper by Philanthropy for Social Injustice and Peace that highlights India's giving landscape and exposes some of its glaring defects.
Like many places in the world, wealth inequality and inter-religious violence in India is growing. Yet the strongest philanthropy efforts shy away from these paramount issues, with most of the wealth going to education, health and sanitation efforts. International aid has also dropped off, forcing organizations to rely more heavily on corporate generosity. The problem with this is that large metropolitan areas where big businesses thrive are disproportionately receiving the bulk of resources, compared to less-developed locales. What's more, India's philanthropy sector remains underdeveloped, lacking the research, infrastructure, and oversight to make it reputable and effective.
How can these issues be addressed? More independent media, a civil society presence, and education in citizenship, to start. India is missing the networks and platforms necessary to navigate the political risks associated with fighting for basic human rights. Bridging the gap between these social causes and the more widely supported apolitical ones is crucial to India's philanthropy movement and requires these two groups to work together to find a common voice. LEARN MORE