Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, one of India’s oldest and non-sectarian philanthropic organisations, was established in 1932 by Sir Dorabji Tata (the elder son of Tata group Founder, Jamsetji Tata), to catalyse development across the nation through initiatives which have contemporary relevance. During his lifetime, Sir Dorabji bestowed his entire fortune (of an estimated value of Rs. 10 million at the time) upon the Trust. The funds were to be directed towards the advancement of learning and research, relief work and other charitable purposes, “without any distinction of place, nationality or creed”.
Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Allied Trusts (SDTT), have been responsible for the establishment of several leading national institutions — Indian Institute of Science, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Memorial Centre, Tata Medical Center, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, National Centre for Performing Arts, among others.
SDTT’s allied trusts are J. N. Tata Endowment, J. R. D. Tata Trust, Jamsetji Tata Trust, J. R. D. and Thelma J. Tata Trust, Tata Education Trust, Tata Social Welfare Trust, R. D. Tata Trust and Lady Tata Memorial Trust. The first of the Tata Trusts to be set up was the J. N. Tata Endowment, in 1892, for the higher education of Indians.
Today, the mainstay of the Trusts' income is from investments forming part of the Trusts corpus as well as accretions over the years. These largely comprise securities issued by Tata Sons and other companies in the Tata group. The income arises from dividends declared by the respective companies, and the interest gained from bank deposits.
The Trusts’ operations broadly cover developmental issues -health, education and livelihoods. The initiatives and interventions are based on providing support to institutions (especially those set up by the Trusts), non-profit organisations and civil society institutions, as well as providing assistance to individuals in need.
The Trusts constantly realign their focus in accordance with the changing needs of society. Their deep understanding of India’s development sector is what ensures a consistent, creditable track record.