Charity index: India, China behind Nepal, Ethiopia
India may be on the road to becoming an economic superpower, but it is one of the least charitable nations in the world, according to the World Giving Index published by the Charities Aid foundation.
India ranked at a dismal 134th position among 153 nations, with only 14 per cent of the population giving money to charities.
Only 12 per cent of Indians have volunteered time for a charitable organisation in the last one month. But the number of people who have helped a stranger in the last month is significantly higher at 30 per cent.
India -- with one of the highest economic growth rates in the world -- has an abysmal World Giving Index score of 19 per cent.
Image: A general view of the Emporio mall in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
India can draw some consolation from the fact that fellow Asian giant China has a worse score than it does.
China, the most populous nation on earth, manages an overall score of only 14 per cent. The second biggest economy in the world is ranked at a pathetic no. 147 in the index, with only 4 per cent of its population volunteering time for a charitable organisation in the last one month.
Only 11 per cent Chinese people have given money to a charity in the last one month.
Image: People shout slogans praising China during a flag-raising ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
Photographs: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters
Not surprisingly, Pakistan also ranks among the least charitable nations on earth. According to the World Giving Index, it performs slightly better than its new-found friend China, ranking 143rd among the 153 nations in the list.
In a country which depends heavily on international aid during tough times -- like an economic crisis or devastating floods -- 20 per cent of the population gives money to charities.
Only 8 per cent of the people have volunteered time for an organisation in the last one month; Pakistan scores an unimpressive 16 per cent overall.
Image: Locals struggle to get food donated by a local charity in Dera Ghazi Khan district
Photographs: Reinhard Krause/Reuters
India's neighbouring island nation of Sri Lanka beats prosperous Asian nations hollow in the race of altruism. At no. 8, it is not only the highest ranked Asian nation in the list, but also fares better than affluent European nations like Austria and United Kingdom.
Sri Lanka, which has a bloody history of civil war and ethnic strife, got an impressive overall score of 53 per cent. It ranks much higher than even the Scandinavian nations of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, which have the highest standard of living in the world.
It fares above 50 per cent in all the indices, with 58 per cent of the Buddhist nation donating money to charities.
Image: An elephant plays with a Buddhist monk
Photographs: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Australia might have hit headlines in the last year due to the uncharitable acts of some of its citizens against immigrants, but it tops the World Giving Index list. A whopping 70 per cent of the most charitable nation on earth has given money to a charity in the last one month.
Australia procured the highest World Giving Index score of 57 per cent, with 64 per cent of its population helping out a stranger in the last one month.
Image: Boys carrying Australian flags participate in a march past in Sydney
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters
New Zealand, which secured the second spot in the list, also managed an overall score of 57 per cent. But it lagged behind Australia in terms of giving money to a charity, with 68 per cent of its population being charitable.
The Charities Aid foundation's findings were based on Gallup surveys of 195,000 people across 153 countries.
The Guardian daily labeled it the 'the largest study ever carried out into social conscience'
Image: Competitors participate in a race at the Whitestone Cheese Rolling contest in New Zealand
Photographs: Simon Baker/Reuters
Ireland, with an overall World Giving Index score of 56 per cent, grabbed the third spot in the list.
It is also the highest ranked European nation in the list, with 72 per cent of its population giving money to charities.
Ireland beat other European nations like Switzerland, Austria and Netherlands, all of which are in the top 10.
Image: Irish farmers park their tractors in Merrion Square during a protest in Dublin
At no. 12, Sierra Leone is the highest ranked African nation and beats much more affluent countries like Iceland, Denmark and Germany in being charitable.
Ironically, Sierra Leone has the third worst ranking in the Human Development Index and is considered to be the eight poorest nation on earth.
But rampant poverty and a devastating civil war has not dented the kindness of the citizens of this tiny nation, which got an overall score of 50 per cent.
Image: A Sierra Leonian man pushes a handcart in downtown Freetown
Photographs: Abisodun Temple/Reuters
Japan, the most prosperous nation in Asia, ranks at a disappointing 118th position in the World Giving Index list. The third largest economy in the world secures only 22 percent overall and is beaten by countries like Iran, Iraq, Congo and Ethiopia.
Only 17 per cent of Japanese people have given money to charities, according to the index.
Incidentally, some unlikely countries topped the individual indices in the index. Malta had the largest percentage of the population giving money to charities (83 pc), the people of Turkmenistan gave the most amount of time to charitable organisations (61 pc), while the people of Liberia were the most helpful to strangers (76 pc).
Image: A woman walks past a shop holding a bargain sale at a shopping district in Tokyo
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
The people of Myanmar have been languishing under abject poverty and the ruthless regime of the military Junta for decades. But the cruelty or the poverty of their lives has not affected the generosity of the people.
The reclusive nation is ranked 23rd in the list, with an impressive overall score of 43 per cent. Forty per cent of the population has volunteered time for an organisation in the last year, and 52 per cent have helped out a stranger.
Myanmar fares way higher than affluent nations like Luxemburg, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Image: An official welcoming ceremony for Myanmar's Junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters
The island nation off the coast of Africa, popularised by the superhit film series, is the least charitable nation on earth.
Madagascar earns the dubious distinction as only 6 per cent of its population gives money to charities.
Madagascar faces high levels of poverty -- two-thirds of its population of live below the poverty line -- and a significant amount of illiteracy among the adult population. It manages an overall meager score of 12 per cent.
Image: A homeless boy plays in front of makeshift huts in Nosybe outside Antananarivo, Madagascar
Photographs: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
At no. 21, the special administrative region of Hong Kong secures a rank 126 notches higher than its parent nation of China (which is ranked 147th).
As many as 70 percent of the people of Hong Kong donate money to charity, but only 13 per cent volunteer time for a charitable organisation. The densely populated nation scores 44 per cent overall.
During the survey, the Charities Aid foundation also found that "the link between happiness and giving is stronger than the link between wealth and giving."
Image: Dragon dancers perform during a parade celebrating Tin Hau festival at Hong Kong
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
Qatar, at no.17, is the most charitable Middle Eastern nation. Incidentally, according to a recent survey, it is also the most peaceful Islamic nation on earth.
With 64 per cent of its population giving money to charities, Qatar managed an overall score of 45 per cent.
The Guardian pointed out that according to the survey, one fifth of the world's population had volunteered time for an organisation, nearly a third had donated money to charities and 45 per cent had helped out a stranger.
Image: A view of the Qatar skyline
Photographs: Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters