A tradition of trust

The Tata trusts are the unsung heroes of an extraordinary saga of philanthropy that has enriched India and its citizens in myriad ways

Jamsetji Tata, the Founder of the Tata group, and his sons Dorab and Ratan, bequeathed much of their personal wealth to the many trusts they created for the greater good of India and its people. Tata Trusts holds 66 percent of the shares of Tata Sons, the promoter holding company of the group.

The wealth that accrues from this asset supports an assortment of causes, institutions and individuals in a wide variety of areas. The trusteeship principle governing the way the group functions casts the Tatas in a rather unique light: capitalistic by definition, but socialistic by character.

About the trusts
There are two principal Trusts operating under Tata Trusts' umbrella:

Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (SDTT)
The Trusts’ operations broadly cover areas of natural resource management and rural livelihoods; urban poverty and livelihoods; education; health; civil society, governance and human rights; and media, art, and culture. Allocations for individuals come under the heads of medical grants and travel or education grants.

The 'allied trusts' component of the SDTT comprises the Tata Social Welfare Trust, the RD Tata Trust, the Tata Education Trust, the JRD Tata Trust, the JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust, the Jamsetji Tata Trust, the JN Tata Endowment, the Lady Tata Memorial Trust, and the Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust.

While the JN Tata Endowment offers promising Indian students loan scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad, the JRD Tata Trust gives scholarships for studies in India. The Lady Tata Memorial Trust offers scientific scholarships, both national and international, for supporting research in leukaemia and blood-related diseases and towards the alleviation of human suffering from other diseases. Additionally, a Young Researcher Award is given annually for a 5-year post-doctoral research project.

The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust scholarships are offered to young Indian women graduates for pursuing higher studies abroad and the JRD and Thelma J Tata Trust focuses on the health and education of women and children. The rest of the trusts share a common agenda. The Jamsetji Tata Trust, the Tata Education Trust, the Tata Social Welfare Trust and the RD Tata Trust focus on overall developmental issues. Read more on Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts >>

Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (SRTT)
SRTT supports non-profit organisations, individuals and institutions, and the areas focused on include rural livelihoods and communities; education; health; enhancing civil society and governance; arts, craft and culture; and sports. Read more on Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts >>

The stories behind the setting up of the Tata Trusts

Jamsetji Tata, the Founder of the Tata group, gave new meaning to traditional charity — in his words: "There is one kind of charity common enough among us… It is that patchwork philanthropy which clothes the ragged, feeds the poor, and heals the sick. I am far from decrying the noble spirit which seeks to help a poor or suffering fellow being. [However] what advances a nation or a community is not so much to prop up its weakest and most helpless members, but to lift up the best and the most gifted, so as to make them of the greatest service to the country."

 

Stories


Caring for our cities
Enhancing the quality of life in India's urban spaces and sprawls - that's the objective behind the blend of initiatives being supported by the Tata Trusts in spheres such as education, health, livelihoods, culture and conservation
Catalysing change
Tata Trusts' interventions in water, education, livelihood and nutrition have transformed the lives of communities in rural India
Setting the course for renewal
The story of the transformation underway at Tata Trusts, one of India's largest and oldest non-sectarian philanthropic organisations
Philanthropy fine-tuned
The Tata Trusts has — through integration, use of technology, advocacy, partnerships and more — set course for a renewal aimed at deepening the impact of its numerous charity endeavours
'The Tata Trusts will have to keep renewing itself'
Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, talks about the trusts' evolving philanthropic approach, future growth and priority issues facing India