Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

EducationWorld January 11 | EducationWorld

Registered in the year 2000 following the merger of William H. Gates Foundation (estb. 1994) and the Gates Learning Foundation (estb.1997), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was constituted as a charitable trust with a transfer of the stock (equity shares) of Bill and Melinda Gates valued at $16 billion (Rs.72,000 crore) in Microsoft Corporation. The main objectives of the foundation are to address issues in global health, education, libraries and development of the Pacific Northwest region of the USA.Funded by William (Bill) H. Gates — a Harvard University drop-out, who together with entrepreneur Paul Allen conceptualised and designed MS-DOS, the worlds first operating system compatible with all personal computers which was later upgraded into the ubiquitous standard-issue Microsoft Windows Office software packages of the Microsoft Corporation, the company co-promoted by Gates and Allen in 1975 — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is the most generously-endowed and ambitious philanthropic enterprise in global history.
With the fantastic global success of Microsoft Corporation (annual revenue $60 billion or Rs.270,000 crore) and dizzy rise in the value of his shareholding in the company having transformed Gates into the worlds richest individual with a net worth estimated at $54 billion (Rs.243,000 crore), the value of the asset trust endowments of Gates and his wife Melinda to BMGF has also grown to over $36.4 billion (Rs.163,800 crore). This huge corpus endowed upon BMGF by the Gates duo is managed by the BMGF Asset Management Company, the annual income from which — over $3 billion (Rs.13,500 crore) — is spent on several good causes to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Africa, healthcare, education and poverty alleviation programmes in the US and around the world.
In the year ended December 31, 2009, the grants paid account of BMFG indicates that the foundation donated $3.045 billion (Rs.13,703 crore) to health, development and education causes worldwide. Since 1994 (when the William H. Gates Foundation was registered) total grants have aggregated $23.91 billion (Rs.107,595 crore).
Our foundation is teaming up with partners around the world to take on some tough problems: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, the failures of Americas education system. We focus on only a few issues because we think thats the best way to have great impact, and we focus on these issues in particular because we think they are the biggest barriers that prevent people from making the most of their lives, state Bill and Melinda Gates in the foreword of the annual report 2009 of BMFG.
The generous and ambitious philanthropy of Bill and Melinda Gates has prompted several of the worlds wealthiest individuals to follow suit. Early this year, Warren Buffet, reputedly the worlds most successful stock market and business investor, committed five-sixths of his personal fortune estimated at $45 billion (Rs.202,500 crore) to BMGF. Upon their death when the full amounts committed will accrue to it, the corpus of BMGF will grow to over $80 billion (Rs.360,000 crore), all of which has to be spent in the 21st century as per the condition laid down by the Gates duo. Happily the extraordinary compassion of Bill and Melinda Gates has inspired hitherto tight-fisted Indian billionaires including Shiv Nadar, Azim Premji, Laxmi Mittal and Hemendra Kothari among others, to establish foundations to fund education, health and environment preservation causes.
Were both optimists. We believe by doing these things — focusing on a few big goals and working with our partners on innovative solutions — we can help every person get the chance to live a healthy, productive life, conclude Bill and Melinda Gates in their joint foreword to the BMGF annual report 2009.

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