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Overwhelming because of its sheer size: [India] is a country of 1.2 billion people with over 3 million NGOs. It is hard to grasp how one can even begin to bring about change with such overpowering numbers. Talking to the philanthropist and civil society leaders who are dealing with this challenge and who feel comfortable operating in such a context since it’s their home, was very inspiring and motivating.
It also has to do with a shift that is slowly taking place in which we no longer just look West for inspiration and guidance (i.e. Europe, the US and Canada), but we are starting to realize the wealth of experiences and rich traditions that other parts of the world have to offer.
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) law that India was the first country globally to implement, best exemplifies this. According to this CSR law, companies are not, paradoxically, obliged to give out 2 percent of their revenue, but if they do not spend this 2 percent they are obliged to report it and explain why.
India’s dynamism has a lot to do also with its vibrant diaspora, who are an important player in the Western world and are recently connecting to and influencing things in India. With global mobility increasing and ever advancing technological tools that foster connectivity, India is a unique case study on the impact the diaspora can have on philanthropy and be a role model.