The Wipro founder and chairman, who has already committed nearly 9,000 crore to the cause of education, will direct more of his charitable giving towards the endowment supporting his philanthropic foundation, Premji wrote in a statement.
"I was deeply influenced by Gandhi's notion of holding one's wealth in trusteeship, to be used for the betterment of society and not as if one owned it," he wrote to the Giving Pledge organisation, whose prime movers have been Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
The Bloomberg Billionaires' Index estimates Premji's wealth at $16 billion, or about 87,000 crore, making him the 50th richest man in the world and the third-richest Indian after Mukesh Ambani and Lakshmi Niwas Mittal of ArcelorMittal.
67-year-old drives a Toyota Corolla, is known to avoid staying in five-star hotels and leads a generally frugal life.
Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett (the two of them are together worth over $110 billion) have persuaded dozens of America's billionaires to sign up for the Giving Pledge and return a majority of their fortunes to charitable causes.
Buffett, the world's fourth-richest man with a fortune of $53 billion, will give away 99% of his wealth, and Gates, the second-wealthiest man on the planet, will donate at least half his riches in keeping with the pledge. Premji's letter does not make an explicit commitment of this nature, but the Giving Pledge is clear that a majority of the wealth goes to charity.
The organisation announced on Tuesday that for the first time, wealthy families from outside the US have joined the pledge, taking the total number who have made the commitment to 105. Joining Premji on the international list were Richard Branson of the Virgin Group and David Sainsbury from the founding family of the eponymous British supermarket chain.
Courtesy: Economic Times dt. 20.02.2013