The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust was established in 1932 by Dorabji Tata, the son ofJamsetji Tata and is one of the oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations in India. The Trust’s vision of constructive philanthropy has been sensitive to the fast growing needs of a developing nation and the work initiated by the Trust bears contemporary relevance.
The Trust broadly sanctions two types of grants :
> Institutional grants, under which come endowment grants, NGO grants and small grants.
> Individual grants, which are medical and education grants.
During 2003-04 the total disbursals made by the Trust was Rs 4423.90 lakh.
The Trust is known for promoting pioneering institutions of national importance. They include the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; the Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer Research and Treatment, Mumbai; the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai; the Tata Agricultural and Rural Training Centre for the Blind, Phase and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai.
Over the last 15 years, it has helped in establishing the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust Centre for Research in tropical diseases at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, the J.R.D. Tata Eco technology Centre at Chennai and the National Institute of Advanced Studies at Bangalore.
The Trust makes grants to NGOs in five major sectors of social development. They include :
> Management of natural resources : The Trust has made a significant contribution in this sector by supporting projects related to water and water resources, land degradation and better methods of cultivating and harvesting crops. The significant grantees include the N.M. Sadguru, water and Development Foundation, Gujarat; the Samaj Pragati Sahayog, Madhya Pradesh; the himalayan Consortium for Himalayan Conservation, Uttaranchal and Prerana, kamataka.
> Livelihood : The Trust has backed several projects in the livelihood sector. The projects cover the plight of unorganised labourers, capacity building of grassroots groups, business development of a variety of people-based organisations among others.
The significant grantees include SHARE, Andhra Pradesh; the Pan-Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Uttaranchal; Nidan, Bihar; Dastakar Andhra, Andhra Pradesh and the DHAN Foundation, Tamil Nadu.
> Education : The Trust has supported several innovative initiative in the field of education, focusing on both children and adults – within and outside the formal education system.
The significant grantees include the Bharat Cyan Vigyan Samiti, New Delhi, Sandhaan, Rajasthan, New Delhi; the MV Foundation, Andhra Pradesh and Nalanda, Uttar Pradesh.
> Social development initiative : The social development initiatives covers a range of activities which include community development initiatives, human rights initiatives, family welfare, initiatives for the physically and mentally challenged, civil society initiatives, art and culture and relief.
The significant grantees include Ekiavya, Madhya Pradesh; the Childline India Foundation, Mumbai; the Centre for Social Justice, Gujarat; the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Gujarat; the Jan Sanskriti Theatre of the Oppressed, West Bengal; the Spastics Society of Karnataka, Kamataka and the Tata Relief Committee, Mumbai.
Before sanctioning a grant, the Trust assesses the project or the organisation on the parameters of innovation, timeliness, sustainability, value addition and promotion of linkages, geographical spread and felt needs of the community.
The Trust also gives small / modest grants to organisations for starting new activities. The Trust believes that a grant, however small, given at a crucial time can make a great difference in impacting the lives of people and also enable the organisation to have more leverage with donor organisations.
The Trust gives merit and need based educational and medical grants to individuals. A total of Rs 404.89 lakh was disbursed as individual grants during 2003-2004.
> Medical : Financial help is extended to individuals for treatment of various diseases like cancer, heart ailments, kidney failure, neurological ailments, gynecological problems and respiratory ailments among others. Over the past four years, the total disbursals made by the Trust rose to Rs 266.59 lakh from Rs 100 lakh. There was an increase of 67 percent in the number of cases supported by the Trust.
> Education : The Trust also offers scholarships for higher education and travel grants for studying abroad as well as for attending conferences, presentation of papers for research and sports related activities. During 2003-04, the Trust disbursed Rs 138.30 lakh by way of education grants to nearly 534 applicants.
Besides the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, allied Trusts like J.R.D. Tata Trust disbursed around 2,200 scholarships aggregating to Rs 291.13 lakh for graduate level studies in various fields during the year of 2003-2004.
The allied Trusts
The allied Trusts are primarily smaller trusts and while some have specific mandates, the rest are broad-based in their approach to grant making. The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust administers the allied Trusts. A total of Rs 2239.10 lakh was disbursed through the Allied Trusts in the year 2003-2004.
> The Tata Social Welfare Trust, the R.D. Tata Trust, the Tata Education Trust, the J.R.D. Tata Trust, the J.R.D. Tata and Thelma Tata Trust [with a specific focus on women and children] and the Jamsetji Tata Trust focus on over all developmental issues.
> J.N. Tata Endowment : The first Trust established by Jamsetji Tata, in 1892 it provides scholarship loans to a large number of deserving individuals for pursuit of higher studies abroad. Over one hundred students are selected every year as J.N. Tata Scholars from all over India.
> Lady Tata Memorial Trust : Established by Sir Dorabji Tata in 1932 in memory of his wife, Lady Meherbai, who died of leukemia in 1930, the Trust spends four-fifths of its income on international research, and an International Advisory Committee, based in London which invites applications for awards for support for research on leukemia world-wide. The Trust also supports institutional research carried out by recognised
Indian institutions, research laboratories and leading scientific / medical centres doing research work in the
> Lady Meherbai Tata Education Trust: Set up in 1932, the Trust grants scholarships to young Indian women graduates of recognised Indian universities for pursuing higher studies abroad in the field of social work and public health.
The secretary and chief accountant
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
Bombay House, Homi Mody Street, Mumbai 400 001, India
Tel : +91-22-5665-8282, Fax: +91-22-2204-5427