Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani the 54 year old Indian executive chairman of India’s largest private sector enterprise the petrochemical company Reliance Industries, has criticized western based philanthropy as a disempowering tool that increases dependency and reduces initiative and enterprise. Ambani described philanthropy as “a system where the more privileged is able to share a certain proportion of their wealth with the less privileged … It doesn’t create the necessary human capacity to make communities self-sustaining and independent”. Ambani has previously spoken in support of a more equal distribution of wealth though direct anonymous giving based on traditional values providing the giver personal satisfaction in lieu of the publicity that surrounds the western concept of philanthropy. However critics point to Ambani’s opulent life style that overshadows India’s hundreds of millions of poverty stricken people.
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