GANDHIAN values of trusteeship rather than Western notions of philanthropy are more relevant in contemporary times which are marked by growing inequalities and marginalization due to the Covid crisis, said Prof Peter D’Souza, DD Kosambi Visiting Professor at Goa University, at a master class webinar organized by the Goa Business School on July 30 2020.
Highlighting the nature and types of philanthropic ideas from Western corporate houses ranging from Carnegie and Rockfeller to initiatives such as the Gates Foundation, Prof D’Souza pointed out that these often thrived on profit generation irrespective of the manner in which such enterprises affected social and ecological harmony. As a result, he said, philanthropy often divested itself from its moral obligations.
On the other hand the Gandhian ethos of trusteeship comes from common ownership and responsibility rooted in traditional Indian notions of dharma or duty and responsibility. It is not surprising therefore, that the world has seen an increase in the number of billionaires as poverty and deprivation has become more endemic, he pointed out. Under the curcumstance there is a need to revisit Gandhian values of trusteeship and make them a part of our modern corporate ethos.
The lecture was attended by students and faculty of various institutions across the country and was a precursor to a course on trusteeship and philanthropy soon to be offered by Prof D’Souza; Prof Koshy Tharakan (head, Department of Philosophy) moderated the event and Prof Nilesh Borde from Goa Business School proposed vote of thanks.