MUMBAI, India – In a country where charity more typically goes to the household help, a tech mogul’s pledge to donate nearly $2 billion to fund education programs for the poor was a bombshell.

It could also be a sign of change: India’s burgeoning class of super rich might finally be ready to do more for the nation’s teeming poor.

“This is a seminal event and a great signal to India as a whole that there are things you can do with your wealth other than pass it on to your heirs,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at Bain & Company who has studied charitable giving in India.

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd., India’s third-largest software services exporter, said Wednesday he would transfer 213 million shares worth $1.95 billion to the Azim Premji Foundation. Forbes lists Premji as the 28th-richest person in the world.