The media has a tendency to portray everything that is wrong with our country.
By now, I’ve grown used to hearing this familiar refrain. That’s why this special edition you hold in your hands is different. It is devoted to the individuals and organisations that have set new leadership benchmarks in philanthropy. The 10 winners of the first edition of the Forbes India Philanthropy Awards best represent the many ways in which business can play its role as a Force for Good.
In all these examples, the philanthropy extends well beyond simply writing a cheque. It requires just as much imagination, time and perseverance to achieve any social transformation as it does to achieve business success. Some leaders like Azim Premji or Nachiket Mor would argue it requires even more patience and creative thinking to improve and energise our public systems of education and healthcare.
It has taken several months of painstaking effort for us to mount this effort in collaboration with our truly exceptional knowledge partners, GiveIndia.
There were many significant challenges in building a new editorial property in the philanthropic space. The paucity of data and the unwillingness of potential nominees to collaborate in what has traditionally been seen as a private domain were just two of them. That didn’t deter our team even a wee bit. We’ve spared no effort in vetting every nomination thoroughly, before a stellar jury debated the pros and cons of each and every candidate to arrive at the final list of winners.
Contributing Editor Mitu Jayashankar, Director-Online and Events Deepak Ajwani, our Editor-Special Features Peter Griffin and Director-Photography Dinesh Krishnan, in particular, have displayed tremendous initiative, with the entire team chipping in to make this an incredibly fulfilling project for us. I would sincerely urge you to keep aside time to read this special edition, delivered with the same objective and independent style of journalism you’ve come to recognise from Forbes India.
And one thing is for sure: There is a long list of things that we need to fix in this country. But after reading this edition, I’m willing to bet that you’ll perhaps be a little bit more optimistic about our chances of finding innovative solutions to even the most intractable problems that plague our society. I’m hoping it’ll stir a renewed public conversation around new ways that business can give back to society.