Indian-born among Britain’s new-age charity workers

September 7th, 2008 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 7 (IANS) An Indian-born is listed among Britain’s wealthy GenX, the children of the super rich who instead of jet-set partying are devoting their lives to charity.They follow in the footsteps of Jemima Khan, the daughter of the late financier Sir James Goldsmith, who became a Unicef ambassador in 2001.

The top-notch of the new generation charity workers include Renu Mehta, daughter of textile tycoon turned peace activist Vijay Mehta, Camilla Fayed, daughter of Harrod’s owner Mohamad al-Fayed, Dasha Zhukova, daughter of Russian magnate Alexander Zhukov, at present deputy prime minister of Russia, Lydia Hearst, great grand-daughter of William Randolph Hearst and heiress to his publishing fortune, Jasmine Guinness, heiress to the Guinness brewing empire.

Renu Mehta, 36, is an established model and fashion designer and a permanent invitee at Britain’s super-rich events. She founded, a fund-raising agency, Fortune Forum, in 2006. She has the ability to raise up to £1 million in an evening and former US president Bill Clinton often attends her charity bashes.

“We are hoping to completely change the culture of giving in Britain, by stimulating philanthropic habits you’d normally only expect to see across the Atlantic… We will create a new generation of British philanthropists,” Mehta is quoted as saying in The Independent, which gives her a rating of 8/10 for her charity work.

According to Sue Wixley, of the New Philanthropy Capital group (NPC), which advises the wealthy on giving, the trend for giving to good causes is on the up - a reflection of the vast wealth accumulated by a relatively few individuals in a relatively short time.

Research by the NPC shows that, while the amount of money given away by the UK’s population fell by 3 per cent in 2006-07 to £9.5 billion, donations by the top 30 donors doubled from £1.2 billion in 2008 to £2.4 billion, according to The Sunday Times Giving List.

While more and more of those people, including plutocrats such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, have said they don’t want to leave vast wealth to their children, others are teaching their adult children how to handle wealth - and how to give it away.

“The banks whose clients include these very wealthy individuals have started running summer schools for the young adult children of those clients in recent years,” Wixley says. “This year, there have been more than ever before, and philanthropy has become a bigger part of that. It gives children a sense of responsibility.”

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