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Get to know our environment NGOs!
The cancellation of Greenpeace India’s registration has brought public attention to the work that environment-focused NGOs do. Greenpeace’s work falls into the category of ‘Advocacy’, which leaves them vulnerable to critique. Other NGOs in the environment sector face less government action, even partnering up with local government institutions. Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, for example, won an award for their work in sorting garbage at the New Delhi railway station.
This may be the golden age of philanthropy, but will that spill over to seed investing in social enterprises? Unitus Seed Fund, which has received funding from Bill Gates, Gururaj Deshpande and Vinod Khosla in the past clearly feels that the market is on the verge of a tipping point. Unitus has already invested in 16 companies that serve the bottom of the pyramid. Investees include microlending platform Milaap, crafts marketplace Caravan and others. They've set up a $23 million India fund, and are encouraging other players to set up their own funds! Guess all boats do rise with good tides!
Read Unitus' view on the future of social startup seed funds in India.
India's top philanthropists
Rohini Nilekani is widely recognised as a philanthropist known for unconventional moves. Ms. Nilekani takes her time to choose her causes and has been a founder and funder both. She set up Pratham Books in 2003 before stepping down recently. She has set aside Rs150 crore to establish Arghyam, an initiative to ensure access to water. Ms. Nilekani also made news for her support of organizations working in the governance sphere like the Association of Democratic Reforms and Parliamentary Research Service. With a bouquet of causes as diverse as these, she’s definitely a philanthropist to watch!