‘Women are visionaries and compassionate. We need more of them for a sustainable impact,’ says philanthropist Pavithra Halkatti

Pavithra Halkatti

‘Women are visionaries and compassionate. We need more of them for a sustainable impact’ 

Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], March 9: Pavithra Halkatti shares her views on the meaning of philanthropy; while giving credit to her grandparents – Vachana Pitamaha Dr P G Halakatti, a towering literary figure and social reformer and Shri M Rajsekara Murthy, a senior politician in the central government and renowned social reformer for her inclination towards education and philanthropy, besides being a businesswoman and a lawyer.

Q. As a woman impacting this sector, what tangible changes do you envision? 

Our focus is the overall development of children in rural areas. With that aim, we have established institutions and libraries for children, with computer access, across rural areas in Karnataka. We want to ensure that children from rural areas access the same facilities as children from urban areas. We hope to be able to help them in their overall personality development, apart from the conventional education system so that they grow into well-rounded citizens.

Q. There are so many philanthropy projects across the country. What do you think are the biggest challenges in measuring impact?

Measuring the impact of our efforts to empower people has always been challenging. We see that our efforts have led these children to get better access to facilities, develop better vocabulary and improve general knowledge, besides some changes in their behavioural patterns. The impact may be intangible, but I am delighted that their path leads them towards better lives with professional and personal growth.

Q. A significant part of philanthropic activities is about making grants. How do we move beyond this to affect a broader scale of change?

See, grantmaking is just a part of philanthropy. Real philanthropists have a plan for their actions. I intend to set up more institutions and libraries to take these facilities to more children. With my strategy, I am confident that I will be able to touch more lives on a broader scale, leading to a considerable ripple effect of growth in these children’s lives.

Q. Women are inherently compassionate, empathetic, and nurturing. With these qualities and investing so much energy, how are they affecting change in philanthropy?

What we need are people, irrespective of gender, to give time, thought, and vision in a manner that children in rural areas are empowered sustainably. Women know to channel their energies into collective activities to impact real change. They can be compassionate and nurturing but are also visionaries. My vision is to see children from rural areas become well-rounded citizens in the longer run by having access to the same platforms children from urban areas have.

Q. True. In that case, how do we galvanise more people into philanthropic activities?

Awareness is the most critical aspect of optimising people toward philanthropic activities. When more people become aware of specific causes and understand the systems involved, they become more inclined to participate in impacting change and empowering people.

Q. What is your idea of “every day giving”?

A person should dedicate a few moments daily towards a sustainable philanthropic cause to effect real change and create an impact that will transcend generations. Essentially, my idea of “everyday giving” is setting apart some time every day for such philanthropic projects.

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