The British Asian Trust today paid tribute to the philanthropy of Azim Premji, founder of Wipro, who has endowed £1.3 billion for schools in poor areas of India. The IT magnate’s gift to the Azim Premji Foundation makes him India’s largest individual donor.
“We welcome Azim Premji’s commitment to long term change in India’s poorest areas,” said Trust Director Hitan Mehta. “We hope others will follow his lead.” With an emphasis on sustainable development, the Trust encourages philanthropy that makes a lasting difference in the crucial areas of education, health and livelihoods.
India’s greatest philanthropist, who runs one of the world’s largest computer hardware, software and call centre companies, will transfer shares to his Azim Premji Foundation to fund primary education in rural India. The Foundation also plans to build Azim Premji University in Bangalore.
Established in 2001, the Azim Premji Foundation has supported more than 25,000 schools and touched the lives of over 2.5 million children.
“We believe that good education is crucial to building a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society,” said Azim Premji . “We want to contribute significantly towards improvement of education in India, and through that towards building a better society,” he said. “The Foundation’s significant increase in scale and its clear focus on social purposes will require a substantial long term financial commitment, which is the purpose this endowment will serve.”