NEW DELHI: Indias leading industrialist and philanthropist, Anil Agarwal, Chairman of the Vedanta Group, one of the worlds biggest Oil & Gas and Metals companies, has been bestowed with the Philanthropy Award at the Asian Business Awards 2021 for his outstanding contribution towards humanitarianism initiatives centering on healthcare, education, sanitation, skill development and sustainable livelihood.
His philanthropic pursuits have been an inspiration across the globe for his charitable foundation, the Anil Agarwal Foundation, which has created an exemplary social impact in rural India with Vedanta’s multiple care initiatives. These initiatives, including Swatch Goan Abhiyaan, Nand Ghar, have touched upon over 4.23 crore lives helping them better their quality of life. To bring in sustainable and inclusive growth integrated with social-economic development, the group spent over Rs 331 crore in the year 2020-21.
The Asian Business Award, now in its 23rd year, is hosted every year by Eastern Eye, Britain’s biggest selling English language Asian newspaper. The award is known for celebrating Asian entrepreneurship and business success, wherein the winners are honoured at the annual gathering of the UK’s wealthiest and most successful businessmen and women. This year’s esteemed assemblage, held on November 19 in London, recognised Agarwal for his exceptional contribution towards empowering underprivileged communities. His universal mission of giving back to society has made him a living inspiration for many across the globe.
Sharing his thoughts concerning his recent accolade, Agarwal said: “I am extremely humbled to receive this award. It has further energised me to uphold my commitment towards sustainably strengthening the rural communities of the country. I take pride in living up to my ‘Giving Pledge’ as this year Vedanta, under its social initiatives, has spent Rs 331 crore and has vowed to spend Rs 5000 crore more. Philanthropy has given more meaning to my life, and I draw immense satisfaction in giving back to society.”
Anil Agarwal Foundation CEO, Bhaskar Chatterjee, expressed great joy over international acknowledgement of Agarwal’s efforts and the honourable distinction.
Chatterjee said: “We are extremely humbled and honoured to receive this award. We have always been committed to uplifting society and creating a more egalitarian social structure where basic necessities of life are accessible to all. The Anil Agarwal Foundation was set up to facilitate sustainable and inclusive growth to protect and provide for our communities. Such a prestigious award has boosted our spirit to continue our efforts towards serving society and motivates us to do more and better.”
It is not the first time his philanthropic vision gained traction, as he was also featured in the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020. The list ranked him among the top five philanthropists in the country. In the pandemic-marred year of 2020, Agarwal’s contribution towards humanitarian initiatives rose by 90 per cent compared to the previous year. In order to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 contagion, the foundation launched a Rs 5,000 crore social impact program called ‘Covid Mukt Villages’ to help the rural communities build a robust healthcare infrastructure. Last year alone, Vedanta contributed more than the government-mandated 2 per cent towards corporate social responsibility. The group outdoes itself every year with its transformation work at the grassroots level.
One of Vedanta’s flagship initiatives, ‘Swasth Gaon Abhiyaan’, provides end-to-end healthcare services across 1,000 villages in 12 states, improving the lives of over 2 million people. Besides, the foundation also continues to significantly scale up its state-of-art Anganwadi project called ‘Nand Ghar’. With the key focus on women empowerment and child development, the foundation is operating 2400-plus Nand Ghars across the nation. These aim to recreate anganwadis, powered with technology, especially to surpass the pandemic-induced challenges, by establishing e-learning for children along with providing nutritional meals and healthcare at their doorsteps. Vaccination being the most important shield against the virus, Vedanta rolled out a mega vaccination drive covering 1.2 lakh employees, their families and business partners. Under the guiding light of Agarwal, the foundation continues to work towards creating a better world by elevating the quality of life of various communities.
Agarwal, staying true to his philanthropic commitment, took the ‘Giving Plege’, in March this year and vowed to give 75 per cent of his wealth towards the socio-economic welfare of the rural communities. The Giving Pledge is a movement comprising global philanthropists wherein the world’s big-hearts commit to donating the majority of their wealth towards philanthropic programs and charitable causes.