India ranks 69th among world's most generous nations, US, Myanmar stand first
New Delhi: India was ranked 69th in a list of 135 countries in a recent World Giving Index 2014 measuring charitable behaviour across the world by the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation. The US and India's impoverished neighbour Myanmar stood first.
According to the World Giving Index 2014 published this week, India's southern neighbour Sri Lanka, a Buddhist nation, stands 9th, and Bhutan stands 11th, while the two Islamic nations Pakistan and Bangladesh stood 61st and 72nd respectively.
Among the top ten nations, Canada stood 3rd, followed by Catholic-dominated Ireland at 4th place. New Zealand and Australia stood 5th and 6th in the list of honours.
The world's most populous country China stood at 128th rank, while Russia stood at 126th.
Among West Asian countries, oil-rich nations Iran and Saudi Arabia stood at 19th and 47th places respectively.
The report is primarily based upon data from Gallup's World View World Poll, a project carried out in more than 140 countries in 2013, that represent around 94 per cent of the world's 4.96 billion population.
In all, over 130,000 people were interviewed by Gallup in 2013 and the samples are probability-based. Charities Aid Foundation said, this year the United States was the only country to be ranked in the Top 10 for all three of the charitable giving behaviours covered by the World Giving Index: (a) helping a stranger, (b) volunteering time, and (c) donating money.
Myanmar's position, the report said, is driven primarily by an incredibly high proportion of people donating money (91 pc). This reflects the strong Theravada Buddhist community within Myanmar, with its estimated 5 lakh monks receiving support from lay devotees.
The report said, the practice of charitable giving or "dana" is integral to religious observance amongst Theravada Buddhists, with it being one of the key paths to earning good merit.
The position of Myanmar reminds us how important each country's distinctive culture is in the predilection of its people to be charitable, the report said.
Charities Aid Foundation said, only five of the countries in this year's World Giving Index Top 20 are members of the G20 group representing the world's largest economies.
Malaysia's joint 7th place with the UK was a significant jump from its 71st place in 2013, which CAD said suggested “a wholesale behavioural change” within the country.
“Malaysia has experienced a significant improvement across all three ways of giving, resulting in a 26 percentage point increase in its World Giving Index and a move from seventy-first place to seventh,” said the report.
CAD said the change is a “broad based one”, which was reflected in large increases of charity across all giving methods, and across all age groups and genders.
The report suggested that Malaysia's massive leap was contributed by its humanitarian effort following Typhoon Haiyan in the neighbouring Philippines on November 8, 2013, that killed over 6,000 people, displaced more than four million people, and destroyed at least one million houses, causing at least US$14.5 billion (RM48.65 billion) in damage.
Malaysia also contributed after severe flooding in China during 2010 which killed more than 1,500, affected more than 230 million people as well as causing over US$20 billion (RM67.14 billion) in damage.