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Giving to India – Omidyar Network and Yeh Hai Life

September 3, 2010

Pierre Omidyar

Two interesting items today about giving to India.

First, the WSJ IndiaRealTime blog reports that the Omidyar Network is making a major investment in India – I can’t wait to see what such an infusion of cash can achieve by way of impact for real folks on the ground:

Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investing firm of eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar, plans to plough as much as $200 million into India in the next five years. The organization’s target: businesses and non-profits that can make a “social impact” and improve life for people on the lowest economic rungs.

The Network has already funded various social enterprise ventures, including:

D. light Design a firm that makes solar-powered lanterns, Quikr, India’s version of the Craigslist online classified service, and various microfinance-related firms.

Closer to home, Yeh Hai Life is sponsoring a concert with Indian Ocean, a jazz-fusion band from India that composed the music for Aamir Khan’s recent film Peepli [LIVE].  The concert will take place at the MacMillan Theater in Toronto on September 11.  Here’s the cause they’re supporting:

In the past 9 years a crisis has been devastating India’s farm lands – 200,000 farmers have committed suicide after their crops failed due to drought, overuse of pesticides and predatory loan sharks. The proceeds of this concert will benefit AID India, a huge volunteer based group that works on the ground with these farmers’ families. We are also partnering with the Toronto Environment Alliance in a joint campaign starting this week.

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