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GMR group head Rao donates Rs.1,540 crore for philanthropy

Tuesday March 22, 2011 08:42:53 PM, IANS

Bangalore: India's leading infrastructure major GMR Group chairman G.M.R. Rao Tuesday pledged Rs.1,540 crore ($340 million) to create an endowment for philanthropic activities.

The grant will be given to GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, set up by the group, and run as a professional organization with presence in 22 locations across India and abroad.

"From initial years in business, I have always believed that we have a responsibility to give back to society in which we thrive and we owe our success to," Rao said on the occasion.

Rao's announcement came on the day when the world's second richest person Warren Buffet and one of the leading philanthropists arrived in this tech hub on this maiden trip to the Indian sub-continent.

The grant is equivalent to the portion of Rao's personal share in the entire business.

"It has been a long journey and a most satisfying one to see one's vision of building an institution in perpetuity coming to fruition," Rao said on the margins of signing the legal documents pertaining to the family constitution.

Terming the charitable decision even more satisfying than winning the bid for the New Delhi international airport Terminal-3 project, Rao said he would like to thank all those who had made it possible.

"I deem it as god's greatness who has given my family and me this opportunity to give back to society," Rao noted.

Hoping that the foundation would continue to focus on spreading education and vocational training to provide sustainable livelihood to the people, Rao said the foundation would also channelise youth towards entrepreneurship.

"This is in consonance with the group's business philosophy of keeping nation-building before any other consideration," Rao added.






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