Before the outbreak of Covid-19 crisis, the world, and the authorities therein, had underestimated the need to have in place proper healthcare facilities and systems within the public sector. Resultantly, the whole world had to face the severity of the pandemic which took millions of lives in a matter of days. This is why the role of philanthropists becomes more important because it is through philanthropists that issues which may inculcate in grave dangers are addressed, solutions discussed and implementation is done.
Difference between a Philanthropist And A Critic
Still today, there are people who mix up the concept of ‘philanthropist’ with the ‘critic’. However, the two are entirely different concepts and the role of a philanthropist in a society is distinct from the role of a critic. Avram Grant describes the role of a philanthropist to create a meaningful society by addressing the issues concerning mass public and then implementing the solutions by all means necessary. However, the role of a critic is limited which is to comment on a pre-defined problem or an issue, form a personal opinion and then criticize the concerned for not addressing the issue/problem. They may or may not give solutions yet they usually do not propagate for the implementation nor can they foresee future crisis or challenges.
Philanthropists’ Role in Public Health Sector
One of the critical role which philanthropists have been playing but their efforts have been unseen or ignored, is their work towards public health sector. They have been playing a critical function in this sector by spreading awareness, highlighting forthcoming medical crisis, suggesting solutions and funding health projects.
We all know that public health sectors around the world are developed, run, operated and managed by respective government and their functionaries. For raising concerns in the health sector, the voice is being provided by philanthropists. However, when it comes to policy making in the public health sector, the philanthropists are not regarded as the stakeholders, although they can great add value into the health policies. So in the policy making, philanthropists do not wield any influence and their viewpoints are discarded or ignored because policy makers feel their contribution as ‘interference’.
Philanthropy Is Crucial For Sustainability in Health Sector
According to Avram Grant, for introducing sustainability in the public health sector more responsibility should be given to philanthropists. Most importantly, they should be allowed to play a more catalytic role in this very crucial public concerning sector of healthcare. In this manner, governments and their functionaries can be pushed to strengthen the system so as to counter severe public health crisis and economic crunches.
Empowering philanthropists in this sector would allow them to advocate further so as to bring more voices within. Thereafter, they can encourage everyone to make their contributions for structuring healthy, safe and clean environments, where everyone, including the most vulnerable, should be provided with health facilities.
Need To Define Parameters for Philanthropists
There is also a concern that philanthropy must be kept away from the politics. It has been seen very often that philanthropy was used as a tool for commencing a lobby for toppling governments or drawing attention from core issues. In this connection, it is necessary that parameters are laid down for the purposes of philanthropy and philanthropists so that either of them cannot be used for lobbying or ill-motivated intentions.
Philanthropists must recognize that their role is limited to philanthropy and that they are not politicians. At best they are think-tanks who draw attention of the concerned towards an ongoing or future issue which is likely to initiate a mega crisis. They should continue to focus on their abilities of advocating for issues, raising concerns, encouraging societies to participate in community building and in developing strategic coalitions.
In the words of Avram Grant, philanthropy is crucial in the developing of meaningful societies while the philanthropists are eye-openers. There is no feeling which is better than the feeling of helping others voluntarily by actions, deeds, opinions, suggestions or kindness.