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India's Rich Offer Little Charity

Though the number of super-wealthy Indians is on the rise, their charitable donations are not. India is home to 115,000 “high net worth individuals”—a group that has grown at a rate of 11 percent each year for the last decade. The nation also boasts two of the five richest men in the world. Yet, according to a study by business consultants Bain & Co., charitable giving in India amounted to just about 0.6 percent of the country’s GDP, far behind the United States’ 2.2 percent or Britain’s 1.3 percent. Furthermore, 65 percent of India’s donations come from central and state governments. "Should individuals, particularly the well-off, be giving more? Can they afford to make larger donations?” Bain partner Arpan Sheth asked at the first Indian Philanthropy Forum in Mumbai. “The answer to both these questions is absolutely yes.”