Rs 425 crore for IISc: Philanthropists say it’s about being charitable, feeling for others

04:33 PM Feb 18, 2022 | PTI |

Bengaluru:  The Bagchis and Parthasarathys, the philanthropists, who, received appreciation for their decision to donate Rs 425 crore to the Indian Institute of Science, say it is about being charitable, feeling for others and sharing the resources for the common good. Bengaluru-headquartered IISc entered into a partnership with Susmita and Subroto Bagchi, and Radha and N S Parthasarathy, to establish the Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital.


”The couples will collectively donate Rs 425 crore (equivalent to about USD 60 million) to help construct this 800-bed, not-for-profit, multi-speciality hospital. After its founding, this is the largest single, private donation received by IISc”, IISC Director-professor Govindan Rangarajan said. Subroto Bagchi and N S Parthasarathy were co-founders of Mindtree, a Bengaluru-headquartered information technology services and consulting company. ”It is not about charity as much it is about being charitable. The essence of being charitable is to build empathy for others. To feel for others.

To be sensitive. These are values that were inculcated by parents on both sides of the family very early,” Susmita told PTI. ”We followed their footsteps in small ways all along. When we lived in the US in 1990s, we were very touched by the way everyone in the community engages with issues. The way they volunteer and help. This helped us to get engaged with institutions upon our return to India,” she added. Radha said they have been involved in charity in a small way for a long time. ”However, this is the first time we are doing such a large philanthropic contribution to an institution like IISc,” she said.

On what prompted the couple to do the big-ticket donation, Radha said they had worked the hard way and now with the resources in their hands, they believed that the resources have reached them by destiny. ”We believe that these resources have been placed in our hands by destiny and they have to be used for “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the common good of people. The pandemic pushed a sense of urgency. Our intention was to use these for education and/or healthcare”, she told PTI. She said that when they heard of the grand vision of the IISc towards building a postgraduate medical school and hospital, they felt the cause was in front of them. Susmita said: ”Last year, we pledged Rs 340 crore towards cancer care and cure in Odisha.

We have made available Rs 210 crore to Bengaluru-based Sri Shankara Cancer Foundation founded by Dr Srinath BS to start the Bagchi-Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar to set up a 750-bed cancer centre.” Also, they donated Rs 130 crore to Bengaluru’s Karunashraya, which is renowned for great work in palliative care, for setting up a 100-bed centre in Bhubaneswar. The centre was named Bagchi – Karunashraya. Susmita sees IISc as a larger-than-life institution that towers over all for more than a century. ”IISc has an uplifting vision of the world for the next 6 billion and have a powerful idea to bring science, engineering and medicine under the same roof to serve humanity. This is in line with how Stanford, Oxford, Harvard and great universities in the developed nations bring the power of research for making substantive innovations in the medical field. We are merely pledging our limited resources to make such an institution from India,” she said.


According to Radha, ”Our enthusiasm stems from the fact that the future of medicine is at the intersection of basic sciences, engineering & technology and clinical sciences. And this is precisely what IISc is attempting for the first time in the country.” While announcing setting up of the medical school, along with an 800-bed multi-speciality hospital on its campus in Bengaluru, the IISc said it would be done on the receipt of its single, largest private donation of Rs 425 crore by the Bagchis and Parthasarathys. This initiative is in line with global examples of integrating science, engineering and medicine under a single institution. The academic centrepiece of this initiative would be an integrated dual degree MD-PhD programme aimed at creating a new breed of physician-scientists, who would pursue careers in clinical research to develop new treatments and healthcare solutions, driven by a bench-to-bedside philosophy, a statement said. They would be trained simultaneously in the hospital as well as in the science and engineering laboratories at IISc. The key enabler of this endeavour would be the not-for-profit, 800-bed multi-speciality hospital, catering to the clinical training and research activities of the academic programme. The ground-breaking is planned for June 2022 and the hospital would be operational by 2024-end.


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