A P L AT F O R M F O R P E O P L E, P R O J E C T S & P R O G R E S S


JANUARY 2 0 0 7

— An insight into the complex problems of development and an attempt to provide solutions. Published by:
Dr. Vasundhara D. Kalasapudi
Bharati Seva Sadan Srinivasanagar Colony Saluru- 535 591 Vizianagaram District, A.P. India

EDITORIAL TEAM Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy Chief Editor

Ms. Bharati Kalasapudi Mr. Nasy Sankagiri Ms. Aarti Iyer Mr. Lakshman Kalasapudi Ms. Padmaja Ayyagari Mr. Rajesh Satyavolu Dr. Srinivasa Rao

Contact: INDIA
Dr. Rao V.B.J. Chelikani
INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (IFHD) Balaji Residency, 12-13-705/10/AB Gokulnagar, Tarnaka Hyderabad - 500 017, A.P. India 91-40-27174189 91-40-55214993

Advisory Board Dr.Thomas Abraham Dr. Nirupam Bajpai Dr. Suri Sehgal Mr. M. Chittaranjan Dr. Rao V.B.J. Chelikani Editorial Board Dr. Abraham George

Dr. Ratnam Chitturi

Mr. Anil Chug

208 Parkway Drive, Roslyn Heights New York,11577, USA E-mail: srao@afhd.org


Mr. Ram Krishnan

Mr. Balbir Mathur

Mr.Yogi Patel

For all communication please contact:

Dr. Raj Rajaram

Dr.Viral Acharya



To present people, ideas, news and views periodically to readers to promote networking among NGOs. To publish peer reviewed professional articles on NGO movement that can promote sustainable development and best practices. To disseminate information on NGO movement to improve communication that in turn can catalyze human development. To provide a platform for all concerned with sustainable development to catalyze the process of human development.

The views and opinions expressed herein by authors are not necessarily those of Catalyst for Human Development magazine, its Staff or Editor, and they assume no responsibility for them. Catalyst accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for the views and opinions expressed by the authors as well as for the pictures used in the articles.




October 2006

conveys its thanks to Intellectual Capital Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd. (Intellecap) for helping in the editorial production of all articles published and for overall assistance of review and design services towards publication of the fourth issue.

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Catalyst For Human Development provides a platform for those people who have a concern for sustainable human development. The mission of this magazine is to disseminate information on NGO movement and publish well-documented features and articles produced by highly qualified professionals, on various issues related to human development activity in India. The topics could range from healthcare, sanitation, agriculture and housing to transportation, employment, energy, water, women and child welfare, financial matters, rural development, ecology and activities of NGOs. We invite contributors to enhance the value of the magazine and make it more purposeful - all to promote the cause of the global NGO movement.

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Scaling up Primary Education Services in Rural India Healthcare in India Water Management in 21st Century - Policy and Planning Food and Nutrition Through Value Addition to Agri Resources Scaling up Primary Health Services in Rural India Cross-Fertilization Needed Between Universities & Scientific Labs Balasakhi - A Village Voice NRI Pioneers - Catalytic Agents for Development

Agenda For the Nation: An Approach Economic Reforms in India - The Unfinished Agenda A Villager's Agenda For a Healthy India Consumer Movement - An Agenda India's Development - Agenda for NRIs Stop Child Poverty Could Our Classrooms Shape India's Destiny Unscrupulous NGOs are Denting Movement

The Evolving Role of NGOs in Poverty Alleviation Mann Deshi Sahakari Bank - A Boon for Women Ashoka Strives for a Strong Citizen Sector of Changemakers Catalyst Salutes Ashoka Fellows Urban Wastage a Resource For Rural India A Great Initiative in Mental Health Delivery Interview with Bart W. Edes, ADB Why Do We Need Social Entrepreneurs?

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08 Preface by Dr.Bhamy V.Shenoy 10 Non-Resident Contributors - Answering a Call to Action
by Ram Krishnan

31 The Sehgal Foundation - Empowering Individuals from within
the Community

32 Indian Young Professionals Network - Leading India toward
Millennium Development Goals

NRI Contributors 11 Abul Sharah - International Village Clinic:A Difference in the

33 The Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development (S3IDF)
Fund - A 'Social Merchant Bank' Approach to Poverty Alleviation

35 Sustainable Economic & Educational Development Society
(SEEDS) - Helping Communities Help Themselves

12 Pushpa & Madhukar Deshpande - Routing Science through the
Villages of India with Vidnyanvahini

13 Prakasam Tata - Eliminating Elephantiasis and Water-borne

36 Pratham - Will You be the Hen or the Pig? 38 North South Foundation - A Lasting Imprint Philanthropy 40 The Role of NRIs - Shaping India's Development through Value
Inputs by Sri Prasad G.

14 Umesh & Rashmi Rohatgi - A Rational Approach to Social Service 15 Purnima & Bibek Ray - Rebuilding the Community through
RSV Sevakendra

16 Joyasree Mahanti - Fulfilling the Basic Needs of the Less Fortunate 17 Balaji Sampath - Association for India's Development - Improving
Literacy in Rural India

42 The Diaspora Can Do More by P.K.Madhav 44 How NRIs can Help in Poverty Alleviation by Anil K.Rajvanshi 45 Musings on Social Entrepreneurship - In the Footsteps of Nobel
Laureate Dr.Yunus by Abraham George

18 T.S.Ananthu & Jyothi - Navadarshanam Trust: Exploration of an
Alternative Way of Life

47 Is Mega Philanthropy Going to Make a Difference? by Brad

19 Prudhvi Raju Vegesna - Rural Transformation - Remote

50 Indian Americans - Giving Back to Society by Vivek Wadhwa Awards 51 Nobel Peace Prize 2006 - Muhammad Yunus 52 Alcan Prize for Sustainability 2006 - Sanjit Bunker Roy 53 World Bank's Jit Gill Memorial Award 2006 - Samuel Paul 53 2006 Development Gateway Award - Mindset Network 54 Nirmal Gram Puraskar 2006 - Sayyapuraju Ramakrishna Raju Development 56 The India Story is Getting Better! 57 India's Slow Human Development 58 Indian National Development Congress by Dr.Srinivasa Rao 59 Development Networking Meetings

20 Kirti T.Shah - Heart to Heart:Reaching Out from
Houston to Gujarat

22 B.K.Sharma - "Snehalaya"- a Home Filled with Love 23 Anu Peshawaria - SevA Legal Aid Foundation: Fighting For
Social Change

24 Koteswara Rao Batchu - The Batchu Foundation - Improving
Children's Lives in Peddapuram

25 Ram Narayanan - Promoting Indo-US Relations 26 Mani Paturi - Working Remotely…but in Real-time 28 Murthy Sudhakar - the tele.graam NRI Organizations 29 Share and Care Foundation - 25 Years of Effective Methodology to
Reduce Poverty



atalyst had an exciting year since its launch at the Pravasi Bharathiya Divas (PBD) in Hyderabad in 2006. We, at Catalyst, were able to expand the NGO movement network. We could present an analysis of the National agenda and the critical success factors influencing India's development as well as the manner in which different NGOs are handling them. We are still in the nascent stage of learning, continuously working towards perfecting our performance. However, we feel confident that we have taken the right step in taking up the challenge of publishing a magazine that deals with an important subject of NGO movement. Our third issue, which we brought out in collaboration with Ashoka, dealt with the fast developing subject of social entrepreneurship that is playing a significant role in shaping the NGO movement throughout the world. Since this issue will be released at the time of the PBD in Delhi, we took up the issue of NRI contribution to India's development. This is not only the topic discussed by the delegates, but also by the entire country as it gives the red carpet treatment to the Indian Diaspora. Of the thousands of NRIs who are contributing to India's development in their own ways, we have covered a few, who we have selected at random without any specific criteria, in this issue. Their contributions, thus published, can serve as a guide to those who are seeking ways to get involved in India's development. The process of collecting information on NRI involvement, and also interacting with many NGOs, has helped us to take a broad look at what should be done to get the maximum advantage of the Indian Diaspora. Analyzing the NRI contribution is like looking at one tenth full glass and appreciating the presence of at least some milk. Just a cursory glance at the contribution of the Armenian Diaspora or Jewish, or even that of the Chinese to their homeland will result in raising questions about why NRIs have singularly failed despite all the advantages of superior academic qualifications, above average affluence and currently successful IT ventures earning billions. With two million NRIs or PIOs in the US, maximum funds raised by them to support two million NGOs or development projects in India may not exceed $50 million. If they were to match the per capita annual donation by an American, who is less affluent in comparison to an average Indo-American, the total NRI contribution would exceed $1.5 billions. Of course, considering the size of India, and the complexity of her development process, this huge amount may not even begin to solve the extensive poverty. In fact India gives an annual foreign aid of more than $1.5 billion to the US by sending engineering and medical graduates there. PBD is a celebration of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India to get involved in the country's freedom movement. Since 1947, India has been involved in fighting for economic freedom, which is important for those below the poverty line. Thus, it is a wonder that the country has not succeeded in attracting its educated Diaspora the way it was while fighting for political freedom. We were hoping to find some towering NRI personalities who got involved in this economic freedom movement. Now that we have started to see the trickle of reverse brain drain, in the near future we will certainly have such people, who will be able to bring about institutional reforms, challenge the corrupt political class, help strengthen justice system and reduce corruption. Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy






Answering a Call to Action


RAM KRISHNAN was born in Trivandrum, schooled in Madras, Delhi and Bombay. Ram is an alumnus of IIT Madras. He graduated in 1967 with a B.Tech and M.Tech. He founded and operated a Logistics Consulting company for 15 years in the US. After working in the Minnesota, US for 30 years, Ram Krishnan, for the past few years, spends 3 months in India every year, learning, working and advocating for the poor in India’s villages.

Contacts: Ram Krishnan
Email: ram.krishnan@yahoo.com Website: www.ram-krishnan.com




ATAYLST IS PROUD to showcase a but many started work simply in any village. number of NRI Contributors who are Some NRIs are rightfully critical of policies ‘making a difference’ to the lives of followed by the government. Every one poor in villages of India. We do not claim talks about the rampant corruption and that these are even representatives of bureaucratic nightmare in India. But despite thousands of NRIs or resident Indians who all odds these NRI Contributors have shown have been working in villages to contribute what could be achieved if there is a will. to India’s development. But, we hope to present to our readers how these NRIs Our NRI Contributors are telling us that it (and many others like is possible to find them) have suitable livelihood succeeded in reali- ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS: opportunities for zing their dreams of NRI Contributors these poor villagers contributing to India’s and provide them Abul Sharah development and with an opportunity Pushpa & Madhukar Deshpande making a difference to earn their ‘selfPrakasam Tata to several thousands esteem’ and Umesh & Rashmi Rohatgi of human lives. We ‘confidence’. Bibek & Purnima Ray hope that their expJoyasree Mahanti eriences and succDuring the last 30 Balaji Sampath esses will in turn, years more than one inspire a thousand million highlyJyothi & T.S.Ananthu others to reflect on qualified Indian Prudhvi Raju Vegesna their dreams and graduates have come Kirti T Shah chart their own paths. over to the US for B. K. Sharma higher studies and Anu Peshawaria India still lives in its many have Koteswara Rao Batchu villages. Almost 72% permanently settled Ram Narayanan of the population down. There must be Mani Paturi lives in villages. By an many more in other Murthy Sudhakar outmoded criterion of developed countries. the government Each one of them NRI Organizations based on calorific barring a few Share and Care Foundation needs, almost 340 exceptions, shares The Sehgal Foundation million people in India the vision to IYPN live Below the Poverty contribute to India’s S3IDF Line (BPL). But a development. Of the SEEDS more realistic NRIs profiled in this estimate puts this to issue many have Pratham more than 500 returned, some North South Foundation million. India’s commute between achievements in the US and India. fields of IT, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing is yet to make a dent on the However, there are still thousands of NRI lives of these people. 60% of the rural contributors working tirelessly in every population ekes a living (less than 2 dollar a corner of India and we help them to day) by seeking work as a ‘coolie’. ‘network’. India today has 780 districts. If we can find such NRI Contributors in every Our NRI Contributors may be working in district of India, we can truly establish a different regions of India but they all have framework to reach out to more than half a one attribute in common. They answered a million villages in India. Imagine, then, the ‘call to action’. Some have selected their difference we can bring to the lives of the birthplace, their village or ancestral place rural poor!



International Village Clinic: a Difference in the Making
The philosophy behind IVC is simple:A desire to provide adequate health care to the rural population of India,without bringing in a religious or political agenda.


AVING THOUGHT ABOUT his life and its meaning for several years, Dr. Abul Sharah wanted to contribute towards social upliftment and serve the society. His social bent and inner motivation inspired him to establish the International Village Clinic (IVC), which he founded in October 1999. The Clinic helped transform his dreams into reality. IVC is a nonsectarian, non-profit 501c(3) registered organization, dedicated to bring health and medical services to villages in India. Dr. Sharah grew up as a fatherless, impoverished boy in Uttar Pradesh, one of the poorest states in India. It was some luck, coupled with hard work that helped him pursue higher education. He rose to high positions in engineering, marketing and international business development at companies like Honeywell and MTS Systems in the United States (US) in his career of over 27-year. He spent most of his professional life in Minneapolis, US. Yet India kept calling him home. Over the years, he continued visiting his birthplace and its neighboring areas to understand and assess the situation. His professional life also helped in developing a large network of friends and associates. In 1996, while he was harboring a growing desire to give something back to the community in appreciation for his good fortune, chance intervened again. On a

How IVC helped a young Anita
On January 29, 2005, Anita, a four-year-old girl, was brought to IVC. A scorpion had stung her and an unqualified local doctor had given her a shot of Xylocaine (widely used as an anesthetic and pain relaxant) without testing for possible adverse reaction. Unfortunately, a reaction did occur. Not knowing what treatment to apply, the doctor gave up. When Anita was first seen by an IVC doctor, she Young Anita after her was perspiring profusely, shaking, scorpion sting treatment. biting her lips and was in shock. The IVC doctor immediately attended to her, diagnosed the problem, and gave her anti-reaction drugs and painkillers. Anita relaxed in about 20 minutes. She rested for the next three hours in the clinic, was discharged and, along with her family, went home smiling. business trip to Calcutta, India, Dr. Sharah visited Mother Theresa's “Home for Dying Destitutes”. By coincidence, he arrived at the time when the Mother received visitors. After learning of his humble Indian roots and success in the United States, she urged him to pursue a mission of "love and human service." Dr. Sharah decided to retire from the corporate life early and in 1999 returned to pursue his dream to the poor village of Uttar Pradesh, in north India, where he was born. He established the clinic in an area that suffers rampant illiteracy, and disease. Dr. Sharah is investing the rest of his life in giving underprivileged kids a brighter future with the planning and analytical skills that he learned in the industry. The clinic brings technology, skills and energy to achieve these goals, while respecting people's culture and complementing the existing resources. The clinic is located in the village of Marufpur near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The IVC's goals include: Disease prevention and treatment; Vaccination; Nutrition for children; and Health education.

ABUL SHARAH was brought up in Tirganwan village the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Following his initial studies in India he got the opportunity to pursue graduate studies outside of India. Dr. Sharah eventually migrated to the U.S. and became a naturalized American citizen. For the next 27 years he established a successful career in engineering, marketing and international business development at companies like Honeywell and MTS Systems in the United States (US). He started IVC clinic in village Marufpur in Uttar Pradesh, in 1999.

Contacts: International Village Clinic
P.O. Box 386243 Bloomington, MN 55438 Tel: 952-893-9304 E-mail to: ivc@villageclinic.org. Website: www.villageclinic.org



Abul Sharah (with the cap) greeting patients arriving at the clinic



Routing Science through the Villages of India with Vidnyanvahini
Vidnyanvahini creates awareness of the relevance of science in the lives of rural school children and provides them the opportunity to handle scientific apparatus and learn the basics of science through experiments.

MADHUKAR & PUSHPA DESHPANDE (center) were teachers in Wisconsin , USA , who were inspired to return to India by television coverage on a mobile science unit. They retired early and started Vidnyanvahini in 1994 with the determination to take practical science teaching to students in rural Maharastra. To date, they have reached out to over 150,000 children in rural Maharashtra . Furthermore, their catalytic presence extends to mobile science labs in four other Indian states.

IDNYANVAHINI IS AN NGO located in Pune, India. It reaches out to rural school children in Maharashtra, India, offering them a means of learning science through experiments. This it achieves using a Mobile Science Lab (MSL). It gives the rural school children opportunities to handle scientific apparatus and learn the basics of science through experiments. They gain awareness of the relevance of science in their lives by discussing concepts such as cleanliness, hygiene, safe drinking water, and the environment. The objective is to bridge the gap between rural and urban communities, and to demonstrate that science can help solve the problems in the lives of rural communities as much as it does in urban ones. Madhukar and Pushpa, both teachers, worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA for most of their lives. While there, they saw a TV program with Peter Jennings about a bus fitted with science experiments that traveled to remote parts of Pennsylvania and exposed teachers to science experiments. This inspired them, and, in 1994, after spending almost 30 years in the US as academicians, they returned to Pune with the sole purpose of initiating the MSL Project. They purchased a bus, installed a

The Vidnyanvahini bus heads to a village every morning with its volunteers and gives school students an opportunity to learn about science subjects

small science lab inside, and called the bus (and the program) “Vidnyan Vahini" or "Science on wheels". Over the last 12 years, the MSL has visited more than 1000 different schools in 25 districts of Maharashtra, serving more than 1.5 lakh students. Other projects that the couple initiated include a rural science center at Anadur in Osmanabad district where students from 25 schools come to learn science hands-on, annual teachers’ and students’ workshops, circulation of book mobiles amongst school children, and the publication of a science related periodical for students and teachers. Vidnyanvahini has inspired six other MSLs which are operating independently in the states of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Vidnyanvahini has also helped, technically and financially, the villagers of Surodi in Ahmedanagar district, in their move for watershed development. More than two dozen earthen and cement check dams have been constructed to recharge common and private wells with ground water. The micro-watershed bund building process that aims to optimize rain water harvesting has already resulted in a fourfold increase in per capita income of the village.

Contacts: Vidnyanvahini
701-B, Kshitij, Plot 87A-1-1, Sahakarnagar No. 2, Pune 411009 Tel: (20)-2422-2127, 2428-1134 Web: http://members.aol.com/Vvahini Email: madhukar.deshpande@gmail.com




Audio-video experience augments the actual physics and chemistry experiments inside the bus



Eliminating Elephantiasis and Water-borne Diseases


Dr.Tata designed a wastewater treatment system to remediate water pollution and decrease the occurrence of water-borne diseases like elephantiasis.

N THE 1940’S, as a little boy living in Vizianaragam, I wondered why my aunt had legs like those of an elephant. Often times, I heard my relatives and others commenting that it was her karma. Some years later, I learned that Culex mosquitoes are the vectors that transmit a parasite known as Wucheraria bancrofti that causes elephant legs or filariasis in humans.” So says Dr. Prakasam Tata, who designed a wastewater treatment system to remediate the pollution of a 170 acres-large manmade lake, ‘Pedda Cheruvu’ located in Vizianagaram. Here he tells his story: “It was in February 2003, when the United States Asia Environmental Partnership (USAEP) invited me to participate in a workshop on ‘Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems’ that I got the opportunity to meet the very dynamic and mission oriented District Collector of Vizianagaram, Dr. Rajat Kumar. I categorically asked him, whether he would do something to remediate the pollution of Pedda Cheruvu or whether he would also leave Vizianagaram like his predecessors without making a significant impact. I indicated to him that he would be leaving an indelible impression, if he could solve the pollution problem of Pedda Cheruvu, eliminate the mosquito and odor nuisance, and beautify the area.”

Pedda Cheruvu – before the project in 2003

The project design consisted of constructing screening and grit chambers upstream of Pedda Cheruvu Lake to remove coarse objects like sticks, rags and sand from the sewage that a large drain discharged into the lake. An interceptor sewer was designed to connect all the outlets discharging sewage into Pedda Cheruvu, and transport it into a waste stabilization pond system, which consisted of a series of four ponds in two parallel trains. The pond system was designed to be built right in Pedda Cheruvu in about 15 acres of its 170-acres. Although the monsoon of 2003 heavily impacted the construction of the pond system, Dr. Rajat Kumar kept the pressure on the contractors to complete its construction at somewhat less than the estimated cost of Rs. 2 Crores. The treatment system was commissioned on April 15/16, 2004. “Being an optimist, I am hoping that the waste stabilization pond system will be operated and maintained properly by the municipal administration of Vizianagaram, and the occurrence of elephantiasis and other waterborne diseases will be eradicated”, says Dr. Tata.

PRAKASAM TATA was born in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India. Prior to coming to the US for higher studies in 1962, he worked in rural areas of West Bengal and Maharashtra for seven years on sanitation and water supply problems. Dr Tata received his PhD in 1966 from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Contacts: Dr Prakasam Tata 1213 Stonebriar Court, Naperville, IL 60540 USA Email: prakasamtata@sbcglobal.net

Pedda Cheruvu – after the project in 2005





A Rational Approach to Social Service
A couple’s efforts toward building villages for the homeless using their own funds, donations and other assistance.

UMESH & RASHMI ROHATGI Umesh Rohatgi obtained his B.Tech. degree in Civil Engineering in the year 1968. He was a resident of the Nehru Hall of Residence. Thereafter, he did MS from the University of Michigan, USA in 1982. He along with his wife Rashmi have totally devoted their lives to social work to make some deprived people improve their condition by networking with like-minded people in USA interested in India’s rural development. Reshmi has a master’s degree in Sanskrit from Gwalior University.

Building check-dams as part of the ‘Jal Gujrat’ program


MESH ROHATGI IS an IIT, Kharagpur graduate from the 1968 batch, and has earned his masters degree from the University of Michigan in 1982. Rashmi has a master’s degree in Sanskrit from Gwalior University. Umesh’s life has been dedicated to helping people worldwide. His personal responsibilities of raising two sons and managing a career have not prevented him from engaging himself in numerous charitable activities. His commitment has been complete and selfless. He was given the University of Michigan-Dearborn's award for outstanding social work. He has received numerous other awards for his service. For the past few years, Umesh has worked on building villages for the homeless. Using his own funds, donations and other assistance, he has made a difference in people’s lives. His nonsentimental, rational approach to social work makes his contributions selfsustaining and lasting. He inspires selfreliance in the people he helps. His impact

on villages in India has been miraculous. Umesh is driven by values that are so rare today that he seems truly unique. He lives to serve across continents. Rashmi and Umesh are currently involved in the following projects: Sursardham with the help of Manav Kalyan Trust (MKT) in Gujarat This village, adopted by the couple in 2001, for a period of five years, aims to become self sufficient and self-reliant. It consists of 114 homes that use solar and wind energy. A community hall, which can be used as shelter in case of another earthquake, is also near completion. Support to the Panchayat academy in the village of Kuthambakkam near Chennai Elango Rangaswami, president of Kuthambakkam village panchayat, wanted to start an academy to teach self-sufficiency and self-reliance to revive the village economy, to the fellow panchayat leaders in Kuthambakkam in Tamil Nadu. Umesh visited the Panchayat working at Kuthambakkam near Chennai and presently supports the building of this academy.

Contacts: Umesh & Rashmi Rohatgi
24161 Nilan drive Novi MI 48375-3754 Tel: (248) 471-5786 E-mail: rurohatgi@yahoo.com Website: http://www.rurohatgi.com



What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
- Albert Pike




Rebuilding the Community through RSV Sevakendra
RSV Sevakendra operates on a motto of bringing education where the need is.


PHOLDING THE PROMISE he made to his grandmother many years ago, Dr. Bibek Ray decided to return to ‘his village’ and ‘help his larger family’. Supported by his wife, Purnima, he has been working with the villagers of his birthplace, Gohaldanga, located some 100 miles north from Calcutta, in rebuilding the community in this isolated area. In 1994, Dr. Bibek Ray along with two other villagers conceived the idea of forming an organization to improve upon the poor conditions of health, education and the economy of the villages, and to bring back dignity among the villagers. They named the organization RamkrishnaSarada-Vivekananda Sevakendra (RSVSevakendra) due to the close location of Gohaldanga to Kamarpukur (birthplace of Sri Ramkrishna) and Joyrambati (birthplace of Sarada Devi). Initially, Bibek and Purnima visited Gohaldanga for a few weeks every year to plan new projects and evaluate the progress of the running projects. However, they soon realized that for sustaining their efforts and that of the villagers, they needed to spend longer durations. They both took retirement from their respective jobs with the University of Wyoming in 2002 and started spending six months (often more) every year at Gohaldanga to organize and supervise the various development projects.
RSV Sevakendra aims to provide livelihood training, offer medical services, and provide education for the poor children of the nearby villages

RSV Sevakendra opened its headquarters and soon constructed a clinic, a public toilet, and a guesthouse. It also operates a weekly clinic that provides free examination and medication to hundreds of poor people in the area. A weekly homeopathic health clinic, initiated in 2001, also provides medication to the poor. Sevakendra reconstructed the dilapidated mud building of the junior high school and built a brick building with five classrooms, a library (with over one thousand books), toilets, and made drinking water available. Sevakendra also provides funds for the librarian’s salary, twenty annual merit scholarships, books for poor students, subscription of newspapers and periodicals. The Sevakendra has established nonconventional teaching centers in tribal hamlets and poor areas. With a motto of bringing education where the need is, these centers impart skills in reading, writing and mathematics to students aged 3 to 10. Sevakendra provides teachers' salary, books, supplies and uniforms. The Sevakendra Scholar Program provides financial aid to poor but meritorious students enabling them to pursue higher studies. It also provides monetary support to poor but talented artists for attending training in town. For income generation purposes, Sevakendra has planted over 250 fruit trees, cultivates vegetables and practices fish farming in the pond.

PURNIMA & BIBEK RAY retired from the University of Wyoming to improve conditions in his village of birth in West Midnapore, West Bengal . They formed the RSV Sevakendra, in their village in 1998 with the objective of improving health, education and the economy in the village.

Contacts: Purnima & Bibek Ray
U.S.:(March to August) 3658 Garden Court, Oakdale, MN 55128, Phone/Fax: 651-748-8066, Email: labcin@uwyo.edu India :(September to February): 504 Suravi Apt., 43 Post Office Road, Kolkata 700028, West Bengal, India, Phone: 91-33-2550 6124 Website: http://www.grsvsevakendra.org/


Outside the Kendra premises, RSV promotes a ‘pada sala’ in the village




Fulfilling the Basic Needs of the Less Fortunate
Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti works towards providing the four basic needs that are fundamental for survival:drinking water,food,basic education,and basic health care.

JOYASREE (RANU) MAHANTI was awarded the 2004 Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das Memorial Award by the Orissa Society of Americas in recognition of her outstanding dedicated volunteer service to the underprivileged people of Orissa.

OYASREE (RANU) MAHANTI dreamt of helping the less fortunate in India ever since she left her country in 1973 for the United States. In 1997, she took an early retirement and set about realizing her dream. She started working with

villagers' participation in discussions and the decision-making process is crucial to the success of these projects. Their financial participation and accountability, even at the most minimum levels, ensures involvement and creates a culture of ownership. The impact of the Basic Needs Program on children, parents, and the villages is clearly visible in the short span of 4 years. Children who earlier wandered aimlessly now attend formal schools. The mothers/women, now empowered, come forward with confidence to express their views, are willing to participate actively in discussions, and now make the decisions that can improve their lives as well as the condition of their villages. An increase of a few dollars in their monthly income has given them new hope and strength. Midday meals provided by the school for children have further reduced the burden on parents. Better availability of basic health care has significantly reduced the incidence of common illnesses. Increased attention from the Government to these historically neglected areas has also helped in taking the agenda forward. The women are now ready to take bigger chances - start small businesses as a group and share the profits amongst themselves. There are a few principles Ranu follows while working in India. She works with a local NGO. She tries not to be critical of the Government, the people, or the villagers. She carefully listens to the villagers to understand their problems and their solutions. She goes to Orissa every year for about three months and personally gets involved at a fundamental level - creating, budgeting, and implementing different projects with BISWA's help. Her personal involvement, commitment, and trust in people has not only helped solve many problems but has also educated her in many areas of grass roots work.

Ranu working with village women on a micro-credit program

Basundhara, an Orissa-based NGO, which opened her eyes to area of volunteerism and exposed her to social issues. After the super-cyclone in October 1999, she worked in cyclone-affected villages and successfully implemented projects for Basundhara. Ranu realized the importance of working with a team (of donors, local NGO, villagers, and the Government) that shared mutual trust, and a similar level of concern and vision for working towards the mission. She started the 'Basic Needs Program' in collaboration with a regional NGO, BISWA (Bharat Integrated Social Welfare Agency), in January 2002.

Contacts: Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti
1210 Whittier Drive, East Lansing, Michigan 48823, USA Tel # 517-337-9570 Email : ranumahanti@yahoo.com

The Basic Needs Program provides the four basic needs that are fundamental for survival: drinking water, food, basic education, and basic health care. The most critical aspect of the program is the underlying premise that a combination of all four needs must be provided to enable the villagers maintain a basic standard of living. The program is implemented in clusters of interior and neglected villages. All the projects start with a low budget. The






Association for India’s Development - Improving Literacy in Rural India
Vital contributions in planning and executing large-scale campaigns in health,literacy and improving the quality of education in India.
back and try. Really, if you work, you can make a difference. I think that's what has been sustaining me," says Sampath. After spending few years learning about the dynamics of rural India and the NGOs working there, he decided to start working with the Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) in their health and literacy programs. Between 1997 and 1999, he worked with TNSF in their Arogiya Iyakkam health program. This was judged by the United Nations in 2001 to be one of the top ten most effective programs in the world. It now has an outreach of over 1000 villages in 10 districts of Tamil Nadu. Balaji also assisted TNSF in their community education, literacy and computer training programs. In 2001, at the end of the model program period, he helped analyze the impact of Arogiya Iyakkam in local communities and proved that the intervention was a success. He also helped TNSF organize village libraries,information centers and savings groups. BALAJI SAMPATH joined the Association for India’s Development (AID) as a student at the University of Maryland – College Park. He quickly developed AID as an organization with a nation-wide network in the United States. After he completed his doctoral degree, Sampath decided to return to India as a fulltime AID volunteer. He then became involved in the Tamil Nadu Science Forum and the All India People’s Science Movements.

A coastal village in Tamil nadu affected by the Tsunami waves - assisted by AID Chennai


ALAJI SAMPATH IS an active member of the Association for India’s Development (AID). He has made several vital contributions in planning and executing large-scale campaigns in health and literacy, and in improving the quality of education in India. His work has culminated in the Hundred Block Plan (HBP), a multipronged rural intervention and development program across India, which he pioneered with Dr. Sundarraman of the All-India People's Science Network (AIPSN). HBP is currently the largest development program undertaken by AID. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, where he stood All India No. 4 in the Joint Entrance Examination, he entered the Electrical Engineering program offered by the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1994. He also became a volunteer for AIDCollege Park when AID was still a local organization. Over the next few years, along with other volunteers, he built AID into a large nation-wide organization with chapters in several cities/universities. After obtaining his Ph.D. in 1997, he decided to return to India as a full-time AID volunteer – the first for AID. "My initial idea was okay, I'll go back later. But later always never comes. At one point, it was just a decision I had to make-ok. I'm going to go

Contacts: Dr Balaji Sampath
AID-Chennai 20/34 Rathenam Street, 2nd floor Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086 Tel: +91-44-28350403 AID – USA P.O. Box F, College Park Maryland, USA MD 20741 E-mail: balaji_sampath@hotmail.com Website: http://www.aidindia.org

Balaji Sampath along with AID Delhi volunteers at the UNDP office. UNDP awarded a Rs 20 lakh grant to AID in May for developing livelihood generating enterprises.

Balaji brings simple, activity-based teaching methods to government school children, significantly improving their reading ability. This method is now followed in over 7,300 government schools across Tamil Nadu. The result is that at least five lakh children are happy because of Balaji’s return to India.





Navadarshanam Trust : Exploration of an Alternative Way of Life
The Navadarshanam Trust has adopted a philosophy to combine ecology with economy.

T.S.ANANTHU & JYOTHI T.S. Ananthu has a B.Tech. from IIT Madras, an M.S. from Stanford University, several years' experience in systems engineering prior to switching to full-time work in the Gandhian field. His wife Jyothi has a Ph.D. in Sociology from TISS, followed by many years of teaching and research experience at St.Xaviers' in Bombay and IIT in Delhi.

OR 30 YEARS now, both Jyoti and Ananthu have been involved in exploring sustainable living. For the first 15 years, they were attached with the Gandhi Peace Foundation, and then for the next 15 years with Navadarshanam, a Trust dedicated to exploring alternatives to the modern way of living and thinking, keeping in mind the ecological and spiritual perspectives of life. This Trust was formed with like-minded individuals, who have been full-time volunteers for the Trust, from the various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and similar institutions. They aimed to consume less of the world's scarce resources and refrain from contributing to the destruction of the earth's eco-system. In 1990-91 the Trust bought 115 acres of degraded and unproductive land about 50 km from Bangalore. On this, they conduct experiments in the following five areas: 1. Eco-restoration: By preventing grazing, the land is converted from wasteland into a nascent forest. It now contains thousands of trees. Soil conditions have also improved dramatically. 2. Natural farming: The improved soil is used to grow fruit saplings, vegetables and cereals/pulses with minimum disturbance to surrounding flora. No chemicals and pesticides are used - the principle being that a healthy soil will take care of its plants. The

Houses in Navadarshanam employ alternative technologies, using eco-friendly concepts

process is aided by mulching around the plants. 3. Health and food: Food items and cooking methods are classified according to digestibility/acidity-alkalinity. Diseases are seen as ‘absence of ease’ caused by undigested food, which disturbs the ecology of the body. The subtler ('pranic') forces responsible for restoring this ecology are encouraged to play their role more effectively by changing food patterns so that digestion is easy and effective. 4. Energy: Connection from the state's electricity grid is shunned because of the eco and user-unfriendly nature of the systems that it adopts. Instead, all power requirements are met through solar panels and systems, wind power and oil made from the seeds of honge, one of the trees that nature has brought up in a big way during the regeneration process. Gobar gas (methane from cow dung), charcoal (burnt coal) made on the land and wood stoves are used for cooking purposes. 5. Housing: All dwelling units at Navadarshanam are constructed with the help of eco-friendly concepts (such as compressed mud blocks). These use the least amount of cement and steel, and stresses on using locally available material and labor. The house designs maximize the use of nature's bounties, such as natural breeze and sunlight.

Contacts: T.S.Ananthu & Jyothi
4/70, Ganganahally hamlet, Gumalapuram Village, Thally Block, Tamil Nadu – 635118, India. Tel: +91-80-65996024 Email: jyotiananthu@gmail.com Website: www.navadarshanam.org




T.S.Ananthu addressing a group of college students from Bangalore visiting Navadarshanam



RUDHVI RAJU VEGESNA is a social entrepreneur who works at the grassroots level. Dr. Vegesena hails from Kallakuru, a small village, near Bheemavaram, in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. He migrated to the United States in the 1970s; like many other NRIs, Dr. Vegesna visited his family and natal village in India frequently. A medical doctor by profession, the poor health conditions in Kallakuru alarmed Dr. Vegesna. He formed the Satya Seva Trust in 1986 with the mission of serving the needy people in the Kallakuru village. Once he took an active personal interest in the development and advancement of the village, Dr. Vegesna discovered that water contamination from feces and urine in the water supply was the root cause of many of the poor health outcomes seen in the village. Dr. Vegesna's inquiry into this matter revealed that government bureaucracy and red tape blocked the construction of toilets that were commissioned for the village. While a seemingly small matter, the construction of toilets in the village would prevent the observed water contamination, in turn preventing the poor health outcomes which place a large burden on the people of the village.


Rural Transformation Remote Participation
improve village welfare. He also threatened legal action and a simultaneous peaceful protest, Satyagraha - a Gandhian tool, to put more pressure. Inspired by the push from an NRI with an active, non-selfish interest in the village, the sarpanch-elect used her power to catalyze the process of building the toilets for the welfare of the village. Dr. Vegesna himself was involved in going to all parts of the village and overseeing an accurate needs assessment. They concluded that 150 toilets needed to be constructed in the village. The support of the sarpanch-elect and the villagers as well as various detailed correspondences from Dr. Vegesna pushed the District Collector to release the funds for the project. Construction began shortly thereafter. In retrospect, constructing the toilets were a small achievement to what Dr. Vegesna really accomplished. He was instrumental in instilling a sense of democracy in the people of Kallakuru. They were made to realize that they can and should demand from their government and elected officials what is needed for the betterment of their village and themselves. He reduced the rampant corruption in the village panchayat by empowering the people to check on the actions of the elected officials. In this process, he renewed people's faith in the government and created a symbiotic relationship between the people and their government. Of course, the original purpose of improving health outcomes in the village was accomplished because of the improved water sanitation as a result of proper toilets.

Frustrated by the government system, Dr. Vegesna appealed directly to the villagers. He started a petition in the village requesting the government to build the toilets that were promised. Once they were made of aware of their rights, over 75% of the villagers signed or put their thumb print on the petition. This petition was submitted to the village panchayat (village government), which agreed Most importantly, Dr. Vegesna demonto start constructing the toilets. Satisfied with strated how commitment to a small cause in a the progress, Dr. Vegesna returned to his small village can lead to overwhelming, medical practice in the United States. systemic change in the lives of thousands, 4000 villagers in the case of Kallakuru. He Upon his return to Kallakuru a few months accomplished all of this while continuing his later, Dr. Vegesna found that no progress was successful medical practice in North Carolina made toward constructing toilets in the village. through his relentless perseverance, periodic When he consulted the sarpanch (village head) visits, systematic follow-up and his ability to in-charge, Dr. Vegesna was disappointed to inspire local people to take action. Dr. find that the sarpanch was very reluctant to Vegesna's work can be an example to many pursue the matter. While this was a major NRIs who would like to make a difference, obstacle, Dr. Vegesna did not give up. He however small, while continuing their lives in This article is written by spoke to the sarpanch-elect instead. He the United States. motivated this woman by reminding her of her Lakshman Kalasapudi. He is in 11th grade at The duty to the people and her responsibility to Wheatley School in Old Westbury, NY

PRUDHVI RAJU VEGESNA obtained his M.B.B.S degree in 1964 from Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada, AP . Later he went to England and became a Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in 1968. He then moved to the USA and became a board certified emergency medicine physician. He practiced in North Carolina and also served as a faculty member at East Carolina University Medical Center.

Contacts: Prudhvi Raju Vegesna
Apt #402, Seeta Towers, A.S.R. Nagar, Bheemavaram, 524 202., AP, India. Phone: 91-9347047590





Heart to Heart - Reaching Out from Houston to Gujarat
A doctor’s active involvement in contributing to India’s development

BHAMY V. SHENOY is an IIT Madras alumnus. He earned his M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago in 1962, Ph.D. in Business Administration in 1972 from the University of Houston and MBA from Columbia University in 1982. Dr. Shenoy contributed to India's development in the areas of Consumer Movement, Energy Industry Development, Environmental Movement and Education from 19871997 & 2003-present. He has published hundreds of articles on various topics in Indian newspapers.

R. K. T. SHAH, a resident of Houston since 1971, is a familiar person for any Indo-American association of Houston. He is also one of the first to be approached for charity or donation. However, till 2006, few knew about his active involvement in contributing to India's development. Endoscopy and Medical Camps Every year, from 1987 to 2003, Dr. Shah would close his medical practice in Houston, Texas, for a Dr. Shah with his wife Vasant in front of Akshay Patra advertisement month and go with his wife Vasant, to Ahmedabad, India, where he high-quality wires that they can use would organize free medical consultations several times - cleaning and sterilizing after and endoscopy camps. After his retirement each use. in 2004, he started staying in India for longer periods - three to four months. So Gujarat Earthquake far, he has conducted a number of On 26th January 2001, a massive endoscopy and medical camps in various earthquake hit the state of Gujarat killing cities and towns in India. In 2005, after the over 30,000 people in the district of Kutch terrible earthquake in Pakistan, he along alone, which was worst hit by the with his wife and some medical colleagues earthquake. Dr. Shah closed his practice for went to Azad Kashmir, to provide monetary a month at Harris County Medical Society help, medical supplies and assistance to the to devote his full time for fundraising for affected. these victims. His team raised approximately $30,000. They set up four separate Donating Medical Equipment to India medical clinics in the earthquake affected Over the years, Dr. Shah brought area. Dr. Shah also worked side-by-side reconditioned endoscopes from the US to with the Indian community leaders of India, to donate to various charitable Houston to convince the US Government to institutions. He also collected endoscopy raise the quantum of assistance to the accessories, such as biopsy forceps, earthquake victims. He was instrumental in sphincterotomes, stone retrievable balloons, the Central Government of India's etc. from the local hospitals in Texas and construction of a new hospital in Kutch and donated them to charitable institutions as in its efficient functioning. well as to practicing gastroenterologists in Gujarat, and to other parts of India. These Involvement with Alumni Association endoscopic accessories are allowed only a As the past President of Ahmedabad's B. J. one-time use in the US and are then Medical College, Dr. Shah has been active discarded. Dr. Shah collects these discarded with the alumni association. Around fifteen wires, cleans and sterilizes them, and packs thousand graduates from this college the wires to take with him to India. Despite practice in the US today and 500 are facing obstacles at the Customs depart- members of the alumni association. They ments at airports, Dr. Shah continues to have raised about $1.5 million and donated present doctors in India with expensive, $0.8 million to the college. Dr. Shah visits

Contacts: Bhamy V.Shenoy Email: bhamysuman@hotmail.com




Old leaky containers used at schools

Mid-day Meal Inspired by the example of ISKON that feeds thousands of poor children in government schools, Dr. Shah decided to do some grass roots social work and provide nutritional meals to poor children. He used his own funds and matched government grants to replace leaky vessels and food containers with 1,200 new vessels. His direct involvement helped about 20,000 students in Ahmedabad with a regular supply of nutritional food. Dr. Shah has taken a keen interest in collecting information about nutritional requirements from experts. He has a vision to revolutionize the mid-day meal in parts of Ahmedabad and nearby rural areas in the next two years. Dr. Shah believes that the poor people of India need more than doles of money. He is currently involved in trying to bring about systemic changes in the country. It should be noted that during most of this work, he has the active support of his wife Vasant, who is usually with him


New containers provided by Dr. Shah

Contacts: Dr.Kirti T.Shah
10710 Memorial Cove, Houston, Texas 77024, USA. Tel: 281-772-4139 (Mobile), 713-984-0429 (Residence), Email: ktshahmd@yahoo.com

the college every year and meets the staff, faculty members and students to see how the alumni association can meet its varied needs.

(.mpg file, 73 MB) Download it at: http://www.babaamte.net/

"I need to eradicate moral leprosy and psychological anaesthesia that penetrate society, along with physical leprosy." - Baba Amte
This film on Baba Amte Introduces viewers to "Anandwan - the forest of bliss and joy", where nature nurtures the outcastes. A story of dedication for transforming social outcastes and the disadvantaged into productive members. Documents Baba's success in bringing together different sections of social outcastes. For more details on Baba Amte's work and to contribute, contact:

Mr. Vikas Amte (For Anandvan) Phone: 91 7176 282034, 91 7176 282425 Mobile: 9822466734 Email: anandwan_ngp@sancharnet.in

Maharogi Sewa Samiti PO Anandwan, via Waroa, Distt. Chandrapur, Maharashtra 442914 Email: mss@niya.org



“Snehalaya”- a Home Filled with Love

B.K.SHARMA is a paediatric surgeon currently working in the British NHS. Born in Morena, India, the son of primary school teachers, he was educated at Morena, Gwalior and Bombay in India and later in England. With the support of merit scholarships, he completed his M.B.B.S, MS (general surgery) and M.Ch (paediatric Surgery) in 1980. He served for three and a half years in the Indian Army, and participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Snehalaya is a home for disabled and destitute children,home-less women and the aged, where they live together as a family.

R. BAL KRISHNA Sharma was born on 3rdOct. 1948, at Morena in Madhya Pradesh, India. He was the eldest son of a school teacher. He completed his schooling in various villages in MadhyaPradesh, before deciding to become a doctor. With the support of merit scholarships, he completed his M.B.B.S, MS (general surgery) and M.Ch (paediatric Surgery) in 1980. He served for three and a half years in the Indian Army, and participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He settled down in the UK in 1981, and in 2004, he took early retirement, deciding to work for the poor, disadvantaged, destitute and disabled people of India. Since then, he has established hospitals, rural health centers, schools and day care centers in his hometown of Gwalior. Dr. Sharma started this work as a way to pay back his dues to his homeland and people. He initiated work by establishing the Gwalior Children’s Hospital Charity in the UK and the Gwalior Hospital and Education Charitable Trust in India. He continues without help from any Government, his work being his mission in life. Even after the sad demise of his wife, Meena, in August 2004, he has not deterred from his path. With support from his children, Vivek (a budding economist) and Juhi (a trainee psychiatrist), he established “Snehalaya the home with love”. He also established the Dr. Meena Sharma Memorial Foundation to help the poor, disabled and destitute in the Gwalior and Chambal regions.

He established the Gwalior Hospital for Children and Women, Gwalior General Hospital, Gwalior Mobile Hospital (a hospital on wheels), as well as rural health centres. He founded the Sunrise International School - an integrated main stream school, as well as a school for children with mild learning disabilities. He is also involved in support work in local schools and orphanages. About Snehalaya: Snehalaya is a home for disabled and destitute children, home less women and the aged, where they live together as a family. It includes a school for children with special needs, a multi-sensory room, a health and vocational training centre and works, to make these children independent and able to live their lives with dignity and self esteem. At present, there are 32 children and 70 residents, including volunteers at Snehalaya. In the next few years, Snehalaya plans to house 200 children and build a hospital with 30 beds. (www.helpchildrenof india.org/snehalaya.html) All the facilities in Snehalaya are available to the children from the local community too. Dr. Sharma’s work is an inspiration to others and a proof of what determination can do. He believes that if every affluent NRI works actively for the upliftment of a village and its people, illiteracy, unemployment and poverty can be eliminated from India. He invites support to help him carry his work forward.

Contacts: Dr.B.K.Sharma
Gwalior Childrens Hospital Charity (Regd. Charity No. 1063694), Snehalaya Trust & GHECT (India), 14,Magdalene Road, Walsall, West Midlands. WS1 3TA (U.K.). Ph: +44(0)1922 629842 Fax: 01922 632942 Mobile: 07729929982 Email: Gwalior.Hospital@care4free.net Website: www.helpchildrenofindia.org, www.gwalior.hospital.care4free.net






SevA Legal Aid Foundation: Fighting For Social Change
By helping immigrants in need,SevA lives up to its motto of providing "compassionate justice” .


HE PROBLEM OF faulty NRI Marriages has become a harsh reality for many immigrants who travel to the U.S., Britain and Canada to marry, only to be deserted by their spouse in a new country. This is a problem Anu Peshawaria, Indian lawyer andimmigration consultant, has witnessed first-hand. She started a nonprofit organization, SevA Legal Aid Foundation (sister organization to India Vision Foundation) to aid such immigrants who have no other resource to turn to at such times, and to help educate them on immigration law so that they can get out of their harsh circumstances in a legal manner. Anu’s motivation to found SevA began when she realized the enormous legal and moral predicaments immigrants put themselves in, most of the time due to lack of access to reliable legal information and resources. She realized that there was a huge information and resource gap that needed to be filled to prevent these people from falling through the cracks. SevA, headquartered in Fremont, CA, is run by volunteers and one paid manager. SevA’s team of attorneys, business leaders, technocrats, professors, and civil servants with multicultural, multilingual background, is dedicated to transforming the vision of SevA into reality. By helping out immigrants in need, SevA lives up to its motto of providing "compassionate justice". Today, as the head of SevA, Anu helps numerous clients who come to her and who cannot afford expensive legal fees by providing them with free consultation – a

remarkable feat in a country where immigration consultations can cost anywhere upwards of $100 per hour! SevA provides free legal aid to many immigrants who do not have the financial resources to obtain legal counsel through regular channels. Anu often is accosted by clients who “pay” their fees in with their time - by volunteering for SevA in exchange. This

offers them a sense of accomplishment in addition to the ease of having their situation handled by a professional. In Delhi on October 13th, 2006, at a conference on NRI Marriages and Investments for the people of India, Anu announced SevA’s mission, “SevA connects people with U.S. and Senior Supreme Court of India for advice and guidance to deal with their immigration problems. These services are provided to those who are in a socio-economically deprived and oppressed position. We are here to provide professional advice and guidance to both enlighten and empower these people to take control of their situation and find ways to deal with their immigration and adjustment problems.” SevA attempts to educate the public in these areas to benefit India as a country, and Anu frequently travels to India to host educational workshops that inform the public on such matters. To know more about SevA Legal Aid Foundation, join the group at www.sevalegalaid.com.

ANU PESHAWARIA based in Fremont, CA is a Supreme Court Attorney from India. As a lawyer in India, she has successfully represented prominent cases. She has won several cases for women in distress in domestic violence in India, UK, USA & Canada. She has been conferred several awards, such as “Outstanding Achievement Award” from American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI), “Outstanding Community Service Award” from Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman, Kanishka Award & Bharat Nirman Award by the President of India.

Contacts: SevA Legal Aid
38211 Eggers Common Fremont, CA 94536-5208 Email: anu@anuattorney.com Call toll-free at 866-586-6297





The Batchu Foundation Improving Children’s Lives in Peddapuram
The mission of the Batchu Foundation is to strengthen the community institutes in the areas of education,sports,health,sanitation and drinking water.

KOTESWARA RAO BATCHU was born in Peddapuram in India. He joined Banaras Hindu University for Pre Medical. He got his MBBS degree from Andhra Medical College. He moved to New Delhi Willingdon Hospital to finish his residency in Pediatrics. He later moved to Chicago, USA where after further residency training in Pediatrics, he settled in Downers Grove, Illinois, in his private practice in Pediatrics and Family Medicine.

R. KOTESWARA RAO Batchu was born in the year 1949 in Peddapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India. He got his medical degree from the Andhra Medical College and then moved to Willingdon Hospital, New Delhi to finish his residency in Paediatrics. He later relocated to Chicago, U.S.A., where he set up a private practice in Paediatrics and Family Medicine. Dr. Batchu runs his clinic with the help of his wife, Denise, and medical school and high school students, whom he mentors. He is also very active in the field of social work. He has organized relief for the victims of the Bhopal Union Carbide Plant disaster and has worked with Mother Teresa and her “Missionaries of Charity”. He has been recognized by various community organizations like TANA and ATA in the United States. Dr. Batchu started “Americans and Indians for the Development of India” (AID India) in the U.S.A, and got tax exemptions solely for the purpose of developing the infrastructure of Peddapuram. He founded the Batchu Foundation as an extension of AID India. In 1996, Dr. Batchu founded IMSA International School, the first digital school in India, in Peddapuram, with the aim of

integrating education at the elementary, secondary and higher secondary levels in the villages, thus raising the standards of education in the area. He pledges more than 75% of his income each year to AID India and the Batchu Foundation for the development of the communities in and around Peddapuram. His contribution over the years has exceeded 15 million US dollars. The mission of the Batchu Foundation is to strengthen the community institutes in and around Peddapuram, in the areas of education, sports, health, sanitation and drinking water. The Foundation works with community organizations like the Rotary Club and similar institutions in delivering services in the areas of health and education. It also works with the local government bodies like the Municipality and the Village Panchayats in developing infrastructure in the areas of education, health, sanitation, roads and drinking water. The Foundation works with the State and Federal governments in jointly sponsoring projects related to health and education in rural and semi-urban communities. It works along with government officials, elected representatives, older people and the youth in the communities for the prosperity of the society at large. Its aim is to take care of children, women and the indigent.

Contacts: Koteswara Rao Batchu
Batchu House Batchu Street, Peddapuram - 533437 A. P. India Phone : (08852) 24241273 E-Mail: batchuhouse@batchufoundation.org






Promoting Indo-US Relations
More than merely informing readers by passing along articles and opinion editorials, Ram gets people to write letters to the editor and to their elected representatives, even circulating templates of letters to help things along.


EVERAL MONTHS AGO, if you’d been following the pending Indian civilian nuclear deal, you may have assumed it was headed for trouble. However, on 16th November 2006, the deal was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate (the House already approved it). Outside of D.C., one person who deserves credit for this is Ram Narayanan. Narayanan is a photo-shy retiree living in Buffalo, but amongst the Indians, he is one of the most influential grassroots activists in America. His activism has mirrored, and has helped define, the increased political sophistication of Indian-Americans in recent years. He does not openly support any party in the US or India, but his issues are pretty defined: he wants a more muscular economic and military partnership between the two countries, and he wants American lawmakers to crack down on cross-border terrorism driven by Pakistan. It was the Kargil episode in 1999 that got him going. He started his website, www.usindiafriendship.net then, after which he started the email list. Today, with help from his wife, Loral Alberta Narayanan, he has about 15,000 subscribers, more than any other South Asian website. Probably the quality that makes Ram’s list even more influential than its numbers suggest, is his ability to motivate subscribers. More than merely informing readers by passing along articles and op-eds, Ram gets people to write letters to the editor and to their elected representatives, even circulating templates of letters to help things along. This moves the issue from backrooms on the Hill to the public arena, and makes Congressional aides take notice. “Congressional staffers are always trying to get up to date, and non-editorialized information on pressing issues,” says Rich Verma, senior national security advisor to Senator Harry Reid; “That’s what Ram’s

listserv assists with.” “He has been instrumental in mobilizing public opinion on various issues,” says Dr. Chandresh Saraiya, the national president of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation. One Beltway observer says Narayanan’s contribution is ‘significant,’ in terms of holding politicians’ feet to the fire, primarily by making it known who has voted and who’s still sitting on the fence. The effect is less that of an analyst than a grassroots activist, and that Narayanan’s strength lies in his independence. If there is any downside, the observer thinks it rests in Narayanan’s approach to U.S.-IndiaPakistan relations as a “zero-sum game,” wherein what’s good for Pakistan is by definition bad for India. But Ram disputes this, "I am not against Pakistan nor do I think US-India-Pakistan relations are a zero-sum game," he says. "I am against Pakistan's policy of training and directing terrorists against India and the rest of the world. I am looking forward to the day when Pakistan would be to India what Mexico is to the US." Ram is originally from Chennai, and worked in banking before moving to the US, where he became a marketing executive. He now spends several hours a day on the effort, answering emails, combing press reports from the mainstream media and Congressional journals and such, and formulating summaries. "The list, I may add, embraces the diversity of India and the Indian American community," he says, "whether occupationwise, religion and caste-wise, languagewise or by political persuasion; you name a category and I am fairly certain you will find some one belonging to that category on the list." This article is written by Arun Venugopal, a journalist for WNYC

RAM NARAYANAN is an American of Indian heritage and a retired marketing consultant. He hosts and coordinates a 100 percent not-for-profit website, which is an allin-one resource IndianAmericans and friends of India can turn to for information on current issues relevant to USIndia relations (http://www.usindiafrien dship.net/). The web site is a totally voluntary effort of Ram, with his wife Loral providing technical support. Ram and his wife, Loral Alberta Narayanan, live in Buffalo, New York.

Contacts: Ram Narayanan Email: ramn_wins@adelphai.net





Working Remotely… but in Real-time
Agencies like the Byrraju Foundation are enabling the development of Virtual Leadership through cost-effective real-time communication channels such video-conferencing, Voiceover Internet Protocol thereby enhancing efficiency.

MANIVANNAN J K is an electronics engineer, and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He has worked with ICICI group for 7 years in the areas of Project Finance, E-commerce and Technology. Though selected for the Indian Civil Service, his desire to work in the development sector with a corporate perspective drew him to the Foundation. He heads GramIT, the Rural BPO initiative of the Byrraju Foundation.

Dr. Mani Paturi using real-time communication services


HE PATURIS MIGRATED to the USA almost 30 years ago, visited their native village, Vunguturru, in Andhra Pradesh, India, once or twice a year, and organized medical camps with the help of local relatives and friends. After her husband passed away last year, Dr. Mani Paturi, herself a pediatrician, and her family, began looking for a way to continue the services, and planned to create a permanent health center in the village in his memory. However, the challenge was to find a suitable solution that would enable her to assume a larger role and efficiently use her time and skills, without sacrificing her professional career and interests. It was then that she came across the Byrraju Foundation (www.byrrajufoundation.org ), that works to transform villages by providing essential services and using state of the art technology. On one fine weekend, Dr Paturi started interacting with people in Village Kasipadu, a village 500 km away from the state capital, Hyderabad, right from her home environs, using video chat on the internet set up by the Foundation. The villagers were very glad to interact with her and the local leadership, including the elected representative (the Panchayat Sarpanch), extended their co-operation to her. Now, Dr Paturi consults the infants and the young mothers in the villages for about two hours every

week. This is a small beginning no doubt, but it has given Dr Paturi tremen-dous professional and personal satisfaction, and she is now even confident that she can monitor the project without having to travel to India as often as she thought it would be necessary. India tops the world in terms of remittances worth $21.2 billion each year, and it is estimated that at least 50% of these come from the diaspora in the US. To get a perspective, one just needs to contrast this with the amount of much sought after foreign direct investment (FDI) from USA to India, which was a mere $469 million for 2004-05. Majority of the Indian diaspora consists of professionals and knowledge workers, who could utilize their core comp-etencies for social causes. However, the diaspora’s influence on the last mile of implementation of social projects (the weakest link in the chain), is currently minimal. The Byrraju Foundation aims to provide the ways and means to undertake work like Dr. Paturi, through cost-effective real-time communication channels, such as chat, video-conferencing, Voiceover Internet Protocol, e-mail, and instant messaging, thus enabling the development of Virtual Leadership.

Contacts: Byrraju Foundation
Satyam Enclave, 2-74, Jeedimetla Village, NH-7 Hyderabad-500 055 Andhra Pradesh, India Ph.: 91-40-23191725, 23193881 Fax: 91-40-23191726 E-Mail: mail@byrrajufoundation.org




Virtual Leadership is defined as assuming full lifecycle responsibility - from concept to implementation for an initiative or a project, addressing specific deliverables in the social sector with modern information technology being used as a tool. It involves harnessing the skills and willingness of the Indian Diaspora through the power of Information Communication Technology, creating a new mechanism that can foster a Southern version of Philanthropy, ‘Doing Good together’, as against the Northern version of ‘Doing Good to others’. The core principles are as follows:

A belief that it is possible to implement social projects of importance within the existing constraints in India. An inclusive approach towards development, which would involve the village communities, local leadership, Government, NPOs etc. An open, innovative mind to look for solutions using one’s intellectual and social capital. One-to-one, periodic interactions with the other stakeholders of the projects. Continuous monitoring of projects that would lead to better implementation. Having a personal stake to increase the commitment levels.


the tele.graam
an occasional bulletin of news from "the distant village"



hey rise early as most women in Indian villages do. They - all fifteen of them - leave their small hamlet of Geemarahalli in Karnataka, India. They walk in different directions, in pairs or small groups and eventually arrive at their respective patches of land that lie scattered. There is a sense of both urgency and purpose. Most are married and they must hurry home to care for their children, tend to the animals and the many chores that will occupy their day. hese women are horticulturists and they walk to their ¼ acre of land each morning to harvest the Sugandharaja flowers (tuberose) they grow. The picking of flowers must be completed by the time the buyer arrives in his vehicle, as he does everyday, to purchase flowers from them to meet the market demand in Mysooru.


he flower growing activity was conceived as a rural business enterprise. The women, being from agricultural tradition and background, had the instincts of working the land. JSS KVK provided the required training and equipped the women with the skills needed for this specific venture. infraSys analyzed the project from several perspectives and invested Rs 37,500/- (Rs 3,300/- per person)


MURTHY SUDHAKAR’S exposure to villages began at a young age, when he accompanied his father on many of his geological field trips. Later, E.F .Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful”, introduced him to J.C.Kumarappa and together, the two sparked his interest in economics, development, technology and rural India in particular.

he buyer collects the flowers from each woman in their respective fields, weighs and records the amounts. Ms. Rajamma, the President of Thriveni, who stays abreast of prices at the Mysooru flower market by telephone, finally negotiates the price for the whole group. This is their morning routine, one the women enjoy and relish. This is their time. But this was not a part of their lives until only recently.


Today, the Thriveni women are independent successful entrepreneurs with predictable incomes of over Rs 900/- a month. Some highlights… A delegation of Self Help Groups from Nepal has visited Thriveni to learn from them. Ms. Rajamma. President of Thriveni, has been nominated for ASPEE Woman farmer of the year for 2006. Because of their success and enterprise, The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore, through JSS KVK, has contracted with 5 Thriveni women for seed multiplication and yield tests for a new variety of tuberose - Sringar - developed by IIHR Thriveni women have encouraged another group of women from their village to embark on a separate enterprise with infrasys, the entire investment for which came from the money recovered from Thriveni. No new money was invested! There are more successes to share and stories to tell… after the sun sets… in a distant village.


hriveni Mahila Swasahayaka Sangha (Thriveni Women's Self Help Group was formed 6 years ago and like most SHGs in rural India, their sole activity had been lending their savings to each other for personal use and collecting interest.

n 2004, a unique collaborative effort, key to the eventual success, unfolded involving Thriveni, JSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Suttur, Nanjangud Taluk, Karnataka 571129) and infraSys, the Bangalore based company founded by Murthy Sudhakar, an NRI residing in the USA.

infraSys invests in small enterprises in rural India. We bring together the necessary infrastructures - physical, know-how and financial - without


which such enterprises may neither succeed nor be sustainable. We seek collaboration in creating livelihoods and infrastructure in rural areas. Visit http://www.infrasys.biz/ and the write the author at musu-infrasys@sbcglobal.net





25 Years of Effective Methodology to Reduce Poverty
SCF believes that all human beings are equally worthy and have the right to lead a dignified life and that the more fortunate have an obligation to make this vision a reality. SCF motto sums it all - Share in the Joy of Caring.


HE SHARE poverty. Over the AND Care years, efforts Foundation evolved into hosting (SCF) has undermedical camps and taken many activthe provision of ities over the past immunizations and 25 years to help nutritional supplethe underpriviments, SCF realized leged successfully that to fulfill its break through the objective of poverty cycle of poverty. alleviation there Started in 1982 by must be three foci: a group of Indian (1) health, (2) educimmigrants - SCF ation, (3) opportTree planting in one of the schools has grown into a unity and 10,000 donor-strong organization entrepreneurship. SCF has worked with dedicated to helping charities fulfill their numerous organizations in India that mission of eradicating poverty, SCF has emphasize these three issues. SCF has successfully developed a platform and realized that the three inter-dependent methodology to combat poverty, guided by causes of poverty are: the lack of education the principle that parallel and supporting or basic skill development, lack of access to structures enable those living in poverty to health care, and a dearth of tangible break through faster and with better opportunities for success. preparation. In the field of education, SCF determines The initial efforts of SCF concentrated on the type of education (vocational training, donating clothing, shoes, and medical formal education or basic skills developequipment. As the members of SCF ment) that would benefit women and multiplied and their trips to India grew more children the most, taking into account their frequent, it became apparent that simply personal situations. In the areas of health providing aid would not pull people out of and nutrition, SCF makes sure children have enough sustenance and medical care to maximize their potential. SCF coordinates eye camps, and provides dialysis machines to medical institutions across India. It has established a medical training center in rural Jhagadia to train local volunteers and paramedics to visit remote places. SCF’s health partnerships and initiatives focus on providing awareness of family planning, pre and post natal care, child health care, and immunization. SCF gives poor women and children the opportunity to escape poverty. In Mumbai alone over two million street kids live in the

MONA PATEL SHAH is an active member of the Share and Care Foundation. Currently, Mona is working on connecting youth in the US with their peers in India with the goal of empowering the youth and building bridges for change. She holds a B.A in Art History and minor in French, and a M.A. in Economics and a M.S. in Statistics. Mona has worked as an investment banker and a consultant, and has run market research groups for software and entertainment companies. She has previously founded "Reading Makes the World Go Round", an organization dedicated to distributing books and educational materials to orphanages in the United States. Mona was a delegate to the United Nations Youth Global Summit in 2006. Contacts: Mona Patel Shah
676 Winters Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652 USA Phone: (201) 262-7599 Email: info@shareandcare.org



School on Wheels’ students are engaged in activities


slums or are homeless. Through the efforts of the adopt-a-child program, SCF has helped over 250,000 children pull out of this vicious cycle of helplessness and destitution. SCF has sustained its donor pool and grown into one of the largest Indiabased Foundations in the United States. By

of a recipient’s life. One of the key elements of SCF’s successes is careful selection and active involvement and monitoring of projects. SCF members also continuously network with the supported NGOs in India, sharing key best practices and processes with them. SCF also gets involved at the macroeconomic and legal level. Often, SCF’s relationships with key government personnel and agencies make a substantial difference in the success of the charities. To commemorate twenty five years of giving to India, SCF is holding the inaugural Medical Shibir (Camp) in Bhimora, Gujarat. This is a volunteer effort that involves physicians from both India and the United States. SCF’s successful model has been developed over 25 years of giving and involvement. SCF’s efforts have improved the lives of millions of the poor in India through parallel and supportive focuses on health, education and opportunity / entrepreneurship.

Learning with the help of Overhead Projector

ensuring a balance of giving so the donors know their contributions go to numerous organizations that touch different aspects



Empowering Individuals from within the Community


The Sehgal Foundation works through Integrated,Sustainable Village Development (ISVD) model,comprising five key programs:water management,income enhancement,rural health, family life education and alternative energy.
villages in the Mewat and Kurukeshtra districts, in the state of Haryana. Each of these villages is expected to serve as a role model for other neighboring villages, eventually forming 12 clusters of development-oriented villages. At the grassroots level, these programs are implemented by a dedicated team of field workers, who work closely with local bodies. They receive support from a team of experienced and highly qualified professionals based at the Foundation’s headquarters. Both the field workers and the headquarters’ team visit the villages regularly, interact with the communities and involve the people in all key decisions. The Foundation works closely with Village Champions (VCs) to disseminate its ISVD model to other villages. Village Champions are individuals selected for their ability to lead the community from within, and are trained intensively by the Foundation. The Foundation’s Institute for Rural Research and Development (IRRAD) in Gurgaon houses facilities for rural research and advocacy. IRRAD is expected to play an important role in policy making and expansion. The training facilities will be shared with other NGOs and volunteers interested in rural development. This will enable the Foundation to actively pursue partnerships with other organizations, create synergies and accelerate the development process. With the vision of Dr. Suri Sehgal, a very supportive team, and a business-like approach to development, the Sehgal Foundation is one of the leading not-forprofit organizations in India.

HE SEHGAL FOUNDATION was established as a Trust in 1999 by Dr. Suri Sehgal and his wife, Edda, in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, to help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in rural India. Its goal is to empower individuals and communities to take care of themselves, rather than remain dependent on outside assistance. Recognizing the multidimensional nature of development, the Foundation promotes an Integrated, Sustainable Village Development (ISVD) model, comprising five key programs: water management, income enhancement, rural health, family life education and alternative energy. In recognition of its efforts towards reaching the MDGs, the Foundation was granted Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2005. The Foundation is headed by Jay Sehgal, an NRI living in India. After spending fourteen years in the United States, studying and working in the field of Information Technology, Jay Sehgal got an offer in 1992 to work in India. He looked at this offer as a challenge to work in a difficult environment. In the early nineties, when the computer revolution just began in urban India, Jay was instrumental in installing computers in many villages of Andhra Pradesh although he was working for a for-profit organization. As he prepared to return to the United States in 2001, he accepted another challenge – that of switching his career from technology to social work by joining the Sehgal Foundation, India. The Foundation currently focuses on 12

JAY SEHGAL is the Managing Trustee and Executive Director of the Sehgal Foundation. Having sixteen years of experience in Information Technology he also directs the IT Program of the Foundation. Jay worked for six years in leading private sector organizations in USA after graduating from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining the Foundation he was Director of Information Technology at Proagro Group of Companies, India.

Contacts: Jay Sehgal
289, Sector 17A, Gurgaon, Haryana - 122 001 India Tel: 91-124-2397621, 91-124-2397622, 91-124-5010426 Fax :91-124-2346733 Email: smsf@smsfoundation.org, jay.sehgal@smsfoundation.org Website: http://www.smsfoundation.org

Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract - sustainable development - and turn it into a reality for all the world's people. - Kofi Annan





Leading India toward Millennium Development Goals
At the core of IYPN is a specific purpose and desire that of harnessing the intentions of Indian Young Professionals to achieve Millennium Development Goals in India through their knowledge and wealth transfer.

SWATI SAVE is the founder of IYPN and holds two masters degrees: Master's in Organic Chemistry from University of Bombay & Master's in Public Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology. She has ten years experience as a science and technology policy professional working with national and international programs in both the US and India. Her first book "My Dreams Are Not For Sale - From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs" will be published in 2007. She comes from the family of the first female practicing doctor in India, Dr. Rakhmabai Save.

WATI SAVE FOUNDED the Indian Young Professionals Network (IYPN). She believes that young professionals who are good stewards do it for themselves or family, then their state, then their country and then the world. When people are concerned about the brain drain it is primarily because the people with whom they are dealing are consumed with maximizing their assets. If they come across a steward, they should be assured that same concern doesn't apply to them. At the core of an enlightened enterprise is always a specific purpose and desire - to bring higher purpose into its boardroom in IYPN's case it's harnessing the intentions of Indian Young Professionals to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in India through their knowledge and wealth transfer. This is for the higher goal of making India a developed nation by the Human Development Index such that each and every Indian lives in dignity and their needs are fulfilled. A billionaire from the last century, John D. Rockefeller said it best: "Think of giving not as a duty, but as a privilege. Why is it a privilege? Because giving enriches the process of wealth creation". The IYPN proposes an economic model that would be the nexus of corporations, universities and government entities that are willing to diversify into fields related to water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. It would address socioeconomic causes in return-on-investment basis as well as risk ventures. The model would look at universities to create courses aligned to developing professionals in emerging fields. It would look at creating focus groups that cater towards creating opportunities at the SME level. The IYPN believes that there is an

opportunity to harness the young population of a nation in a way that not only contributes to the nation's economy, but also to its development mandate by creating wealth-generating opportunities in different sectors. In November 2006, the IYPN launched partnerships with two other organizations, the Asha Honor Academy and the Youth Employment Summit to achieve India's Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The Asha Honor Academy is an organization that is committed to catalyzing socio-economic change through education for the underprivileged children of India. The Youth Employment Summit builds incountry coalitions to develop national strategies addressing youth unemployment. The three partners have launched five projects in the areas of child health care, rural youth employment guarantee scheme, and primary education in 91 villages in Maharashtra, India.
1) The National Rural Youth Employment Guarantee Scheme project will be implemented in 45 villages of Hingoli district. 2) The Health Care Project will undertake vaccination initiatives, training of 100 young doctors, collecting & analyzing data on child mortality, malnutrition, vaccination and mother health in Thane district as well as the creation of the 700K web page on child healthcare. ( The 700K project hopes have an active web page for each one of the 700,000 villages in India.) 3) The Education Project will consist of the creation of 18 information technology (IT) classrooms in 36 villages of Parbhani district, the training of 90 community youth teachers for the social tech education movement, and the imparting of basic IT education to 9000 students and 450 youth members. 4) YES Fund in Pune is dedicated to making targeted financial investments and capacity building grants for young entrepreneurs in Pune. 5) Young Professionals Exchange Program will harness knowledge and skill transfer of Indians based in the U.S. with universities in both rural and urban settings in India.

Contacts: Indian Young Professionals Network
45 Roanoke Street Woodbridge, NJ 07095 Email : swati@iypn.net Web : www.iypn.net






A 'Social Merchant Bank' Approach to Poverty Alleviation
S3IDF produces viable business ventures that supply utility services to poor people in ways that tap into existing local sources of small-scale finance.


ODERN STATES AND large private sector companies are unable to provide necessary utility services in developing countries. Currently two billion people in the developing world live without access to clean water, reliable electricity, and effective sanitation. While international financial institutions support large-scale investments in this area, the current challenge is to find ways to enable the private sector to provide these services through decentralised small-scale utilities and at a cost people can afford. This is the challenge that 'The Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund, Inc.' (S3IDF) is addressing through its innovative Social Merchant Bank Model. The Elements of the Model S3IDF believes that recent technical innovations and regulatory changes provide an opportunity for small-scale businesses to supply modern energy and other infrastructure services with a degree of financial sustainability. Poor people represent a significant market for modern services in the energy sector as they spend a high proportion of their cash incomes on traditional and inefficient energy services Small-scale enterprises are well suited to provide more efficient utility services at a standard and at a cost

Rural school introduces cost effective computer education for students

that meets the needs of poor people. S3IDF is able to demonstrate that financial viability of these small enterprises and projects is increased by serving income generating end-users, such as shop keepers, grain millers, farmers, women's groups, and other small enterprises. S3IDF's experience suggests that the major constraint to the development of small-scale enterprises is the shortage of business propositions that are viable. Commercial banks and equipment suppliers have traditionally been unwilling to lend to small-scale providers of utility services, as they have little knowledge of these nearly invisible markets or of the particular needs of these enterprises. S3IDF helps them overcome their concerns. The Approach S3IDF is producing a stream of viable business ventures that can supply utility services to poor people in ways that tap into existing local sources of small-scale finance. It also supports other enterprises whose role is critical to these utility services such as the small-scale suppliers of technology and know-how. The ventures that S3IDF works with are small-scale forprofit enterprises requiring start-up or seed

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead


Self-help group with access to machines for making plates and cups from areca leaf



capital ranging between a few $100s and a few $10,000s. S3IDF identifies projects by working with a range of local players, including entrepreneurs, technology suppliers, local banks, community groups, and NGOs. S3IDF provides "technical and business development

services" as well as financial assistance. S3IDF currently has a portfolio of about 60 active investments in India with more than 100 projects in the pipeline.

Self-help group with access to machines for making plates and cups from areca leaf

This article is based on the original article written by Andrew Barnett, one of the directors of S3IDF.

KRISHNA CHAITANYA RAO is the project manager of S3IDF's Indian affiliate office at Bangalore since its origin. A Chemical Engineer by training, he is responsible for overall staff management and program oversight of Indian operations. He has the lead responsibility in project development for all S3IDF portfolio and pipeline activities and his duties include managing key partner and funder relationships, negotiating agreements with financial institutions and entrepreneurs, fundraising and networking, and reporting on staff progress and project status to S3IDF's Board and President. He is also involved in the technical aspects of S3IDF's project development work and for certain projects oversees financial engineering. Contacts: S3IDF
#800, 14th Cross, 1st Phase, J.P. Nagar, Bangalore 560 078 , Karnataka, India Phone : +91-80-65902558 Fax : +91-80-26636136 Email : s3idf@yahoo.com Website: www.s3idf.org

NEERAJ DOSHI is a Research Analyst with S3IDF. He is primarily responsible for appropriate technology research which is both, pro poor and pro environment. In addition, he supports S3IDF's development and outreach activities. Neeraj holds two masters, one in International Environment Resource Policy, Development Economics and Sustainable Energy Policy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and other in business. A person of affirmative action, he is actively involved with the campaign for Justice in Bhopal and other pro environment activities. While working in Mumbai, he actively volunteered for Reach Education and Action Program (REAP) teaching slum kids, Child Relief and You and Greenpeace.

a company investing in rural India… for a change
Handouts are not the answer to poverty reduction. Micro loans made to the poor without the necessary financial, physical and know-how infrastructures are NOT likely to create viable enterprises that can deliver predictable incomes to sustain life in rural areas.

infraSys brings together all three infrastructures to create sustainable enterprises · · · We invest in small scale enterprises in rural India We invest in the primary production of goods and services at the rural level We focus on the creation of livelihoods and infrastructure in villages

invest in rural India…invest in infraSys
1373 24th Main, BSK 2nd Stage, Bengalooru 560 070, India, Tel. 080.2671.0421




Helping Communities Help Themselves


USTAINABLE ECONOMIC AND Educational Development Society (SEEDS) was born to seek, evaluate, facilitate, promote, and support sustainable, equitable, and decentralized grassroots development projects in the developing world, particularly in Orissa, India. The idea is to help communities help themselves and take responsibility for sustaining their economic and educational development. SEEDS supported over 20 major projects. Here are but a few examples: Providing livelihood security became a major objective following the super-cyclone in Orissa in 1999. In cooperation with CanOSA and Unnayan, we created pani panchayats. Essentially each panchayat received a water pump to supply water for cultivation. For income generation and female empowerment, we introduced the concept of micro credit to 30 self-help groups. In the Balangir district, SEEDS worked with The Humanity to build dams to store water. Working with REACHD, we constructed a water supply system from the nearby river in another village. In Nuapada, we funded KVP to build ponds to store water. Other focus areas include basic health and education. The initial goal of SEEDS was to motivating the affected people with effective self-help through appropriate training, and providing seed capital for a sustainable process to guard against future natural or "man-made" calamities. However, SEEDS has learned much over the years and shifted its focus to grass-root structural issues, such as education and micro-credit. SEEDS, catalytically helps high-integrity development workers (NGOs) and ordinary people alike to empower and help themselves by sponsoring projects mostly in rural Orissa. SEEDS doesn't believe in simple charity nor are we just a funding agency. We work in partnership with the beneficiaries and the executing bodies (NGOs) before, during, and after a project

is undertaken. SEEDS volunteers from different regions of the world periodically visit the project sites and report the progress and problems encountered. They analyze the impact of the project and reasons for success or failure. Most of our volunteers continue to donate their time, energy and expenses so that all money donated to SEEDS is applied to the sponsored project without overhead. India is poised for significant economic prowess in the next few years as a result of its abundant supply of trained man power, improving quality control, and democracy. Then why is it so hard and uneven at best to make a significant impact to a broader set of people? While the answer is not simple, a most likely common denominator will be paying attention to the structural issues, such as education, infrastructural development, attention to rural economy, and the propagation of social justice. Even though many of these issues require large scale investment and action at the government level, surprising results can be achieved by infusing modern methods and techniques at the grassroots level. We need social entrepreneurship: people and proc-

PRIYADARSAN PATRA was born in Orissa and lives in Oregon, USA. He holds a B.E. from the Indian Institute of Science and a Computer Science Ph.D. from the Univ. of Texas at Austin. As a student in 1993, he founded SEEDS - an egalitarian, broad-based organization of volunteers around the world. He received the first Distinguished Young Oriya Award of the Orissa Society of Americas. He works as a senior Research Scientist with Intel's Microprocessor Technology Labs and is a founding member of the Validation Research Lab.

A "check-dam" built by SEEDS using food-for-work strategy in Balangir's Chauladhia to facilitate irrigation, and other village needs for water throughout the year

esses that "open up major new possibilities in education, health, environment, and the other areas of human need." SEEDS believes it can make a significant contribution in the latter by serving as a catalyst in sustainable transformations in areas such as rural education, micro-credit systems and mass computing.

Contacts: SEEDS
12688 NW Naomi LN, Port land, OR 97229, USA; Website : www.seedsnet.org E-mail: info@seedsnet.org





Will You be the Hen or the Pig?


T’S A WELL established fact that NRIs have done well in North America over the past few decades. From gas stations and motels, to technology and financial services, their enterprise and hard work has made them very successful. This recently generated wealth and status has resulted in their becoming more philanthropic. Witness the number of Indian NGOs, the people actively involved, and the money raised by them. Traditionally, Indians are known to be generous and helpful. But their generosity and help is largely focused on their family members and religious causes. Helping the community and social causes generally takes a backseat, given the amount of corruption and the lack of accountability. The internet era has, however, brought about a growing awareness of the pressing social issues in India. In addition, the country is steadily moving towards more Western style business practices, transparency and governance. This has resulted in NRIs feeling more comfortable about their donations being used wisely.

actively involved in organizing events, attracting other volunteers, and raising awareness of the cause in the NRI community. This group comprises students and young professionals, who can spare more time than money.

ASHOK SHENOY works at Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Advisory practice in New York City. He has 14 years experience in technology, financial services and insurance. He lives in Stamford, CT with his wife and two children. Ashok holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina. He also holds an MBA in Finance and General Management from NYU Stern Business School. Ashok came to the US in 1991 and joined Pratham in 2000. Currently, he is part of Pratham’s NY Tristate steering committee.

Philanthropic NRIs generally fall into two categories – Contributors This group donates money to NGOs, leverages their network to help, and attends charity events periodically. They are not involved as much, relatively speaking, but can still be very influential. They are comprised of the older and richer NRIs, who can spare more money than time.
Activists / Volunteers This group has people donating their time, expertise and ideas to NGOs. They are very

Let us take one of the NGOs and its recent gala event as a case study Pratham Pratham, an NGO launched in Mumbai in 1994, provides primary education to over 4,000,000 children annually, in nearly 5,000 underprivileged areas in over 50 cities and 14 states throughout India. The cost of educating a child is a mere $10 per year in its direct programs, and an astonishingly low $2 per year in its indirect programs. Its goal is to have all the nation’s children in school and learning well by 2010.
Pratham focuses on empowering the children of India to face the country’s future armed with skills of literacy, education and self-confidence. And, its annual gala is one way for Indian Americans to help strengthen India’s younger generation. Pratham’s Diwali (Indian festival of lights) Gala on Oct. 14th in New York City was a star-studded success. The 750 guests, gathered at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, opened both their hearts and their wallets to help educate the children of India. The grass-roots non-profit organization raised approximately $750,000 during its sold-out event. The gala was emceed by Sreenath Sreenivasan, Dean of Students at Columbia Journalism School, and the keynote speaker was Shashi Tharoor, UN Under-Secretary-General.

Contacts: Ashok Shenoy Email: shenoy.ashok@gmail.com




This event would not have been possible without the immense time, effort, expertise and ideas of a core team of volunteers. For four months, this team of about 10 people worked nights and weekends, planning every last detail of the gala. The success of the gala, and the positive feedback from attendees, is a testament to their creativity, hard work and management capability. What makes it more amazing is that each of the core team volunteers is a full-time professional with commitments at home, work and other activities. “The problem of illiteracy in India is immense. And Indian Americans can offer their time and money,” said Tharoor. “Many people have asked how they can make a difference at home and that’s through education. Educating young India, especially girls, is what you can do to help.” Tharoor narrated a fictional tale of The Hen and The Pig, which keenly highlighted the need for NRIs to get involved in the cause to provide primary education to India’s illiterate poor children. The tale goes as follows –

A hen and a pig were discussing possible solutions to solve the problem of world hunger. After some thought, the hen told the pig, “Why don’t I donate the eggs and you donate the bacon. Together, we should be able to solve world hunger”. The pig reflected on the hen’s statement and told the hen, “If you donate the eggs, then that is a contribution. But if I donate the bacon, then that is a total commitment!”
Tharoor finished off by advising the audience, “Pratham’s volunteers have already provided the bacon. All you need to do is provide the eggs, and this will help provide primary education to millions of illiterate, poor children in India.” Time to make a choice - will you be the hen or the pig? To learn more about Pratham or to contribute your time, money or skills to their various education initiatives visit www.prathamusa.org, or e-mail Houston@prathamusa.org or call 1-866PRATHAM


Editor's Note
Issue 3 of Catalyst For Human Development featured an article, "Superstitions are Retardants of Progress" on Page 39. However, we missed out publishing Mr. Nayak's details.

Be a beacon. Beacons of light are calm, steady, and consistent.
- Joan R. Tarpley


is a biochemistry professor at Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore. He is widely known for his investigation and exposure of paranormal phenomena. He is currently the President of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations. He has spent three decades in the pursuit of paranormal phenomena. His first attempt was to start a Rationalist organization in Dakshina Kannada district in 1976 with few members after his graduation.. This organization has emerged as one of the most active in the country. He has conducted thousands of miracle exposure programs globally. He has been filmed by the Discovery channel, National Geographic, Australian TV, BBC and many others.





A Lasting Imprint
With a motto to encourage excellence among the poor by eliminating money as a barrier to higher education,the North South Foundation works to promote education in the US and India.


WAMI VIVEKANANDA, A great Hindu pioneer and diplomat to the United States (US), who helped drive the modernization of India, once said, "Arise, awaken. Stop not till the goal is reached." Inspired by Swami Vivekananda's thoughts and mission, Dr Ratnam Chitturi established the North South Foundation (NSF) in Illinois, United States in 1989. The Foundation aims to unite Indians belonging to diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds under a single guiding principle - education and its importance. Dr. Chitturi's work, with the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, highlights the need for motivating children to educate themselves and become leaders of tomorrow. The North South Foundation, founded in 1989, has achieved astounding success in providing scholarships to promising under-privileged students in India. Till date, NSF has awarded over 3,000 scholarships to students in diverse fields. With 17 'chapters' in 13 Indian states, NSF is unique in that it is arguably the single most expansive organization dedicated to promoting education both among its ethnic demographic in the US, as well as in the mother country. The counterpart of the charitable aspect of the Foundation's work is the competitions it holds for children of Indian descent in the US. The contests are held in several centers across the US with a focus on academics. The popularity of these competitions is illustrated in the statistics: there are currently 65 chapters that facilitated 6,700 contestants in 2006. This is a big jump - there were less than 1,000 contestants, in 2001. Although scholarships of US$1000, US$500, and US$250 are awarded, the contests fuel more than mere competitive ambition. Many young adults, who competed at a younger age in NSF contests, have become

pronouncers, judges and contest coordinators. This emphasizes the Foundation's ability in shaping a culture of volunteerism. While still in high school, some children have become chapter coordinators, successfully demonstrating their leadership skills. In fact, this sense of civic duty is one of the many positive impacts of the North South Foundation's work. The 'Dollar-aSquare' program conducted by the organization saw children canvass their neighborhoods and approach their friends for one hundred dollars to fill a sheet of as many squares. All these efforts helped the Foundation raise US$6700 for providing 33 scholarships to economically disadvantaged youth in India. In India too, NSF scholars have begun contributing to social upliftment. Surya Padala from the first batch of scholarship recipients in 1990 has started his own NGO, which currently supports a few hundred poor but meritorious children. Similarly, many other volunteers are providing their time and funds in furthering the activities of the Foundation. The North South Foundation has not gone unrecognized for its efforts. The Foundation has featured in most prominent NRI-run publications, American publications as well as in many Indian newspapers. Demonstrating success both in America and India, the North South Foundation serves as a model for many other charitable groups seeking to further education in today's generation. The twin goal of empowering children to perform well in academics through contests, and eliminating money as a barrier (among the poor) to excel is quite unique and remarkable.
This article is written by Aparna Ramakrishnan, winner of the Senior Public Speaking contest held by the North South Foundation. She is in 12th grade in Naperville, IL.

RATNAM CHITTURI has a Ph. D. in operations research and a specialist in financial systems. He has worked as an engineer with major companies like General Motors and Chase Manhattan. He established and directs the North South Foundation for the benefit of underprivileged Indian children.

Contacts: Dr.Ratnam Chitturi
North South Foundation 2 Marissa Ct Burr Ridge, IL 60527 (USA) Ph: +1-630-323-1966 Fax: +1-630-455-9008 Email: chitturi@northsouth.org






Shaping India's Development through Value Inputs

SRI PRASAD G. is in the Sarvodaya Movement in India and frequently visits the US giving talks, addressing meetings of peace activists, universities and other institutions. He has intensive interactions with the NRI community in the US that he travelled extensively. His observations are based on his understanding of the NRI Community, its potential and his practical insights into Indian situation.

The NRIs role in realizing his or her vision of creating a 'non-exploitative social order' and building society though a 'constructive program' can be more significant if they provide value inputs rather than material contribution.
Many NRIs were young and focused on their education and professional development when they left India and possibly did not have a deep understanding of the complexities of our society. The commendable components that the freedom struggle had for improving society took a back seat in post-independent India. The education system in the country, while providing opportunities for excellence in professional subjects, is amiss in promoting the overall personality of students. With the vast exposure to other systems, NRIs can now visualize how Indian society can embrace systems that worked in other countries. It is in this capacity that NRIs are needed to provide direction for the development of India. To address these problems and work toward solutions, NRIs can provide political leadership in India. There is a need to create an alternative frame for politics that keeping people's interest at the core. A message should go to the decision makers that we cannot build a strong nation on weak foundations and all sectors should work together for toward this goal. This is just one example. We ask NRIs to provide 'value inputs', those contributions that extend beyond putting up buildings and sending money for initiatives. Value inputs can be the donation of thought, experience, time, ideas and the drive to implement them. Provision of value inputs by NRIs' can lead to the development of an inclusive Indian society, free from poverty, corruption and exploitation.

N ESTIMATED 25 million NRIs are spread across 110 countries. The NRI community is characterized as highly educated, skillful and determined. Many are successful in their careers, and have become rich and resourceful. Recognizing the importance of the NRI community, the Government of India (GOI) has set up the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs to look after their interests and tap their vast potential for the development of the country. The GOI has also implemented the 'Overseas Citizenship of India' (OCI). In their initial years abroad, NRIs often focus on their professional work and the fulfillment of their personal and family needs. This is also a period of understanding and adapting to a new society. Through this time, India is often on their mind; the poverty, rampant corruption, violence and environmental degradation in India are all matters of great concern to them. To address these concerns, the first generation of NRIs focused their attention on amenities to improve the quality of life in India. They helped build hospitals, schools, community halls, temples, houses for the poor, sanitation facilities, etc. They placed emphasis on structures that had a physical presence. Some state governments provided matching funds for NRI contributions, creating an incentive for them to help their villages or regions. Some went deeper, plunging into the development process, giving up their lucrative careers abroad and living in remote villages working for development. They moved from the charity approach to the solidarity approach to partnership.

Contacts: Prasad Gollanapalli
General Secretary Andhra Pradesh Sarvodaya Mandal Gandhi Bhavan, M.J. Road Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA - 500001 Phone: 91 - 40 - 2473 2887 (Office) 91 - 40 - 2332 0196 (Home) 91 - 94404 02277 (Cell) Email: apsarvodayamandal@yahoo.com


If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
- Betty Reese




The Diaspora Can Do More
If one in four overseas Indians contributes $100 dollars a month it would be nearly $500 million.This sum can result in a leveraged spend of nearly 2-3 billion dollars a month enough to solve most of the burning problems that impede real development.


HARITY, THEY SAY, begins at home. Many of us seem to have read this old adage as “Charity stays at home.” We are taught to give from early childhood. Every Indian religious and social function has built into it an element of giving. Poor feeding, giving alms to the needy, feasting the Brahmins on important occasions, are an inherent part of our system. So what is the problem with Indians when it comes to practicing the art of giving? Is there a problem with the Indian Diaspora? We also hear that Indian Diaspora has not done as much as the Chinese Diaspora. This article sets out to examine whether the Indian Diaspora has done enough, and whether these Indians can do more for their country of origin. In the richest nation of the world – the United States – annual giving last year was over $260 billion. In addition, the value of volunteer work done by the citizens of US was equivalent to over $250 billion. One would imagine that in a developed country there would be no need for such kind of giving. There are no statistics available for the extent of giving and volunteering in India or by overseas Indians. Over 25 million non-resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin live overseas. Let us assume that three quarters of them are in no position to contribute to anything other than their own kith and kin back home. That still leaves about six million Indians across the globe that can do quite a bit for India without in any way depriving themselves of any of the comforts which they have earned through a pioneering spirit, hard work and loads of sacrifices. The reasons why the Indian Diaspora does not appear to do enough for India appear to be the following: The Diaspora does not know what those back home “really” need. The giver wants to give for a cause that is dear to him; the beneficiary has different priorities.

The Diaspora does not know how much it takes to eradicate a want. Fear of the unknown impedes giving. Decades of absence from home has removed them from the ground realities. Not many know that over 80% of healthcare problems can be solved with a set of about 20 medicines. If the supply chain is managed efficiently, a village of 5000 people will need no more than $100 worth of these medicines for a whole month. Aren’t there enough Indians out there who can contribute 100 dollars every month to wipe out this problem for their respective villages? If they contribute five dollars a month, a child can go to a well-run and well provided for English medium school in a village or a small town. In a village of 5000 people, about 500 children may need this support. That is just $2500 a month. A good toilet can be built for as little as $75. If a village needs 400 of them it turns out to be a one time investment of just $30,000. They will never see open defecation the next time they visit their village. One can go on with more illustrations of this type. The point is that it takes very little to solve India’s problems if we begin contributing even to the extent of our limited capabilities. Thirdly, the Diaspora does not know how to channelize its contribution. Who should I trust with my contribution? What if the contribution does not reach the intended beneficiary? If I show my benevolence, will I be ripped off for much more in the future? Isn’t it better to remain a non-contributor and not get into trouble? Can I be a blind donor? These are not ill-founded concerns. There are not sufficient credible systems in place for everyone to rely upon. Yet my suggestion is to just begin giving. Most of it may reach the right person. If some of it does not, do not lose your sleep over it. Therefore, once you have given, just believe that what you gave does not belong to you. Hence, you need not worry too

P K. MADHAV . is the CEO of Maytas Infra. He is a product of Rashtriya Indian Military School, Deharadun. Madhav has an MBA from FMS, Delhi and is also a qualified Company Secretary. Before Maytas, he was the director and lead partner of Satyam group's Byrraju Foundation.

Contacts: P K.Madhav Email: madhav_pk@maytas.in




much thereafter. Of course this does not mean that one should give mindlessly or without a modicum of due diligence. The fourth reason for the Diaspora not contributing to the welfare of ‘back home’ is that it believes it is the responsibility of the Government to take care of the country. Once one has honestly paid her/his taxes, it is just and fair to expect the State to take care of the rest. Unfortunately, many in power seem to believe that it is their business to take care of themselves. After all, they have worked so hard to get to power and if it is not used for their own advancement and for securing the future of their kith and kin, then what was all the effort for? It is no one’s case that this should not change. The situation will only get worse and the numbers of the selfish and powerful will only swell. Uplifted citizens

are, in the long run, the best antidote to corrupt and selfish politicians. While the Diaspora has many reasons for not giving, they have two for actually loosening the purse strings. Firstly, it takes very little to solve many problems. We have plenty of low-cost or no-cost solutions. Secondly, it will not hurt the Diaspora one bit. Just one in four overseas Indians contributing $100 dollars a month would be nearly $500 million. Most development programs in India require the beneficiary to contribute between 15-30 percent. Thus, the 500 million dollar contribution will result in a leveraged spend of nearly 2-3 billion dollars a month. That is a very big sum. With that kind of spending we would be able to solve most of the burning problems that impede real development.


Fifty-Seven Cents
A little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded. "I can't go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor took her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room for her, and she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus. Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings. Her parents called for the kindhearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school." For two years, she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide. A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered to sell it to the little church for 57 cents. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 - a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends. When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students are educated. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday school building that houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds". This is a true story, which goes to show what can be done with 57 cents.

We can do no great things---only small things with great love.
- Mother Teresa




How NRIs can Help in Poverty Alleviation

ANIL K. RAJVANSHI was born and raised in Lucknow. He completed his M.Tech. from IIT Kanpur and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (with specialization in solar energy) from the University of Florida, U.S.A. He taught at the University of Florida for two and half years before returning to India in 1981 to join Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) as its Director at Phaltan, Maharashtra. Dr. Rajvanshi serves on many prestigious committees of the Central and the States Government. In 2001, he received the prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Award for the use of science and technology in rural development. His work also received the prestigious Energy Globe award in 2004.

Sophisticated and cutting edge technology is needed to find a solution to the energy problem and NRIs have a role to play in facilitating technology transfer and ultimately alleviate poverty.
(biogas) route to produce fertilizer for the crops and gaseous fuel to run rural transport, irrigation pump sets, or as cooking gas. Similarly, agricultural residues can be used to produce diesel via fast pyrolysis process. The production of liquid fuels and electricity from residues will require an investment of about Rs. 160,000 Crores. However, in return it will bring about 10 times more money to rural areas in terms of revenues from energy generation. Besides, it can potentially create almost 120 million extra jobs in these areas. Sophisticated and cutting edge technology is needed for converting agricultural residues to ethanol. For producing electricity, there is a need to look at technologies that convert agricultural residues to electricity very efficiently, and NRIs can bring some of the most efficient power plants to India. In 1974, I started my Ph.D. in Solar Energy under Dr. Erich Farber. Dr. Farber had come from Germany during the last days of World War II and then worked in U.S; he was very well recognized in the scientific community. He told me that nearly all the German scientists who came to U.S. came with very few material things, but with all their knowledge, which was used by U.S. military and the Government for the betterment of the country. Both finance and knowledge are required in poverty alleviation for India, and the NRIs can contribute greatly by providing their knowledge and skills. They can further make their interventions more effective by: Tying up with local rural based NGOs and financial institutions for financing, Educating the corporate sector and having technological tie ups with them, Influencing multilateral agencies like the World Bank, IMF, UN agencies and even governments of western countries to help in rural development.

VEN AFTER 60 years of independence, a large part of the rural population in India still uses archaic technology such as inefficient kerosene lanterns for light, and primitive and biomass cook stoves for cooking. It seems that modern technology has yet not touched their lives, and creation of wealth is a desperate need. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can help in creating a better quality of life for the rural people by bringing in technology and leveraging their knowledge, technology and financial resources. While it is necessary to improve all aspects of rural life to improve the quality of life of the rural populace, this article would focus on energy alone, specifically on the production of liquid fuel and electricity – two important fuels of modern life. One strategy to create wealth in rural areas through energy solutions is to tie up agriculture and the energy industry. According to experts, on an average, only 25-40% of agricultural produce is food, while the rest is agricultural residue. Residues can produce electricity (via biomass-based power plants), ethanol fuel (via enzymatic hydrolysis process), and diesel (via high temperature pyrolysis route). Any marginal farm can produce agricultural residues even if the main food crop is not very successful. On an average, a farmer can get an extra income of Rs. 2000-4000/acre from the residues alone if they are used for producing energy. This income can give him benefits even in case of a distress sale of his crop. Today, about 600 million tons/year of agricultural residues are produced in India. Most of these are burnt in the fields as a solution to the waste disposal problem. Theoretically, these residues can produce 80,000 MW of electric power year round via biomass based power plants. This is nearly 60% of the total installed electricity capacity of India. Part of these agricultural residues can also be used via the methane

Contacts: Anil K.Rajavanshi Email: anilrajvanshi@gmail.com






In the Footsteps of Nobel Laureate Dr. Yunus
Social entrepreneurship is more about creating social value from innovative allocation and application of available resources than about conducting any business.


AXMAMA LIVES ALONE with her three children in the tiny village of Sidhanalli in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Recently she was faced with a crisis when her 17-year old unmarried daughter underwent a botched abortion at the hands of a village "doctor." Laxmama then took her daughter to a private hospital where the physician agreed to complete the abortion for a charge of Rs. 4,000 (nearly $100). With little savings of her own, Laxmama turned to her local money-lender who immediately advanced her the funds at terms acceptable to her - Rs. 200 in interest and Rs. 200 in principal each month over 20 months. The loan was arranged in less than two hours, confirming the terms with her thumb impression on a two line promissory note. The surgery went off well, and her daughter has recovered since then. The high interest charged by her moneylender would result in Laxmama repaying double the amount of the loan, but she feels that no one else would have provided the funds in such a short time to save her daughter's life. She doesn't know about today's so-called social entrepreneurs who might have been willing to advance her a micro-loan at a relatively lower interest rate. Even if she had known, she could not have waited long enough to go through the loan approval process. Microcredit is often touted as a good example of "social entrepreneurship". Yet, there has been very little effort to define and distinguish "social entrepreneurship" in practical terms. It is assumed that social entrepreneurship is "business for benevolence." Many associate it with doing business in a deprived area, especially in a rural environment. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs are presumed to apply entrepreneurial principles and act as agents of change for

society, seizing opportunities to advance sustainable solutions that create social value. The question then is whether all entrepreneurial activities involving the poor can be termed as social entrepre-neurship. The term "social activist", without much ambiguity, has been in existence for quite a long time. Anyone who is engaged in bringing about social change is deemed a social activist. Many organizations engage in advocacy of causes such as fair labor laws and practices, women and minority rights, environmental protection, etc. However, none of these businesses are considered social entrepreneurships, even though their work might lead to social good. What then makes them any different from today's selfproclaimed social entrepreneurs? An entrepreneur is one who usually takes on personal financial risk to create value, with the expectation of generating profit; the real test for an entrepreneur is success in mobilizing resources or generating income. Social entrepreneurship is more about creating social value from innovative allocation and application of available resources than about conducting any business. But as it is understood today, social entrepreneurship implies some sort of business-like activity (preferably sustainable and self-supporting) that benefits the poor. The real distinction between entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship is the main intent and purpose. For the sake of clarity, let us examine a few cases. No one doubts that Wal-Mart is a successful business, generating considerable profit for its shareholders. It is also one of the world's largest private employers, providing jobs to people from every segment of society. Does the fact that WalMart's entrepreneurial activities benefit many poor people qualify it to be called a social enterprise?

ABRAHAM GEORGE is the founder of The George Foundation (www.tgfworld.org), an NGO engaged in humanitarian work in India. Born in Kerala, India, and trained at the National Defence Academy in Kadakvasla, he has also served in the Indian Army. He migrated to the U.S., and obtained an MBA in Economics, M.S. in Finance, and Ph.D. in International Finance and Banking from the Stern School of Business at New York University. After over 20 years of absence from India, Dr. George returned in 1995 to start several humanitarian projects.




Consider a non-governmental organization running a rural hospital and several innovative outreach programs. It may charge a small fee for its services, while meeting most expenses by donor funds. This NGO is engaged solely in socially beneficial activities by conducting a "business" that is consistent with the financial ability of its customers. Does it qualify as a social entrepreneur? Many people associate microfinance activity with social entrepreneurship. The fact that MFIs charge interest at relatively lower rates than money-lenders does not necessarily qualify them as social entrepreneurs either. MFIs exist to make profits for their owners, and are least concerned about whether borrowers use the funds for worthwhile purposes. Their sole aim is to collect both interest and principal on the loans as per their lending terms. The absence of direct involvement on the part of the MFIs to help the poor use the loans properly, and the mechanism through which financial risk is offset by government grants, make this form of lending simply a commercial activity. While MFIs do add value to their customers, their primary intent and activities are not necessarily aimed at doing social good. Does the fact that the borrower is able to obtain loans at interest rates lower than what a money-lender would charge qualify the lending organization as a social entrepreneur? In my opinion, none of these cases falls within the true meaning of social entrepreneurship. Wal-Mart is engaged in a business activity to maximize profits for its shareholders, and not necessarily to benefit

the poor. Even though the consequential result of its business activity is job creation for many poor people, the intent and purpose is not social good. The NGO that conducts a quasi-business activity is certainly involved in doing social good. But it is not an entrepreneur taking financial risks of its own and carries out a self-supporting activity. When donor funds dry up, its social services might also stop. Everyone who does business in a rural or deprived area is not a social entrepreneur. So, who then is a social entrepreneur? It is hard to find many individuals or institutions that meet the true test. Those who take on financial risk by engaging in a business or business-like activity designed mainly to benefit the poor are certainly social entrepreneurs. Hopefully, the entrepreneur who fits this definition is able to generate enough income to at least cover the expenses for building a sustainable business. Businesses that conduct themselves in a socially and environmentally correct manner (by paying fair wages, ensuring worker safety, and adhering to environmental standards) are meeting their community responsibilities. Instead of searching for social entrepreneurs, it is time to raise the bar for our expectations of anyone who does business, especially in the rural sector. What we really need are everyday entrepreneurs who are prepared to invest in rural and other deprived communities. Only through such vibrant business activity can the needed 3 billion new jobs be added in developing countries like India.

Additional Resources on Social Entrepreneurship
The Nonprofit Entrepreneur: Creating Ventures to Earn Income Edited by Edward Skloot http://fdncenter.org/getstarted/onlinebooks/skloot/summary.html Unlocking Profit Potential: Your Organization's Guide to Social Entrepreneurship by BoardSource and Community Wealth Ventures http://www.boardsource.org/ViewBookStoreItem.asp?ID=98&Qty=1 Managing the Double Bottom Line: a Business Planning Guide for Social Enterprises, by Sutia Kim Alter. Reference Guide and Workbook available from the Social Enterprise Reporter by emailing bookstore@sereporter.com Toward a Better Understanding of Social Entrepreneurship: Some Important Distinctions by Boschee, Jerr and Jim McClurg (2003) Available at http://www.se-alliance.org/better_understanding.pdf

Contacts: Abraham George
Email : amgeorge@optonline.net




Is Mega Philanthropy Going to Make a Difference?
Recent years have seen mega-donations and large philanthropic gifts from a generation of high technology and business tycoons.Success stories such as eBay and Google are creating an epoch of generosity.
N JUNE 26TH, 2006, the largest gift to charity by a person was announced - a tidy sum of $37 billion. Warren Buffet, the world’s second richest person, gave his money to the world’s richest man’s foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. How much is $37 billion? Well, the annual budget of the United Nations is $12



matching basis for health, education and social programs in Mexico. As the number of large gifts and foundations grows there seems to be some common denominators among today’s mega philanthropists. First, they are interested in solving broad societal problems like illiteracy, youth education, and global diseases like HIV, malaria or tuberculosis. Second, they come from a business environment and want to bring their entrepreneurial vision and skills to bear on these global problems. The Foundation Center is a US organization which monitors the growth of foundations and their assets. The center has a mission “to strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy.” For Grant Seekers The Foundation Center provides an online search database for organizations interested in preparing proposals www.foundationcenter.org/findfunders. Another resource for grant seekers is the European Foundation Center, an international association that brings together independent grant-making organizations in Europe

Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft

billion a year. And $37 billion is $6 billion more than what Bill Gates gave to endow his foundation. Warren’s donation has created the world’s largest foundation with assets of about $60 billion--the size of a multinational company like Disney or Honda and about double the amount of the second largest foundation. The Gate’s Foundation’s resources surpass America’s historical philanthropy giants: John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie each gave $7.6 billion and $4.1 billion respectively (measured in 2006 dollars) to their foundations. The Buffet donation and other significant large philanthropic gifts have emerged from a generation of high technology and business tycoons, from such success stories such as eBay and Google which are creating an epoch of generosity. This trend is not restricted to the USA, as Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s third richest man, announced on September 6, 2006, that he will give part of his fortune to charity on a

So can they make a difference? How to spend the money wisely must surely be on the minds of the stewards of these and other foundations around the world. The biggest challenge is proper allocation of funds, encouraging the best outcomes for the money invested. Though the Gates Foundation is large by all measures, yet it has tried to maintain a tight focus on the causes that it tackles. This kind of focused giving proved successful for the Ford Foundation’s investment into dwarf wheat and penicillin that has fed and protected millions of the world’s inhabitants. Concentrating a foundation’s significant resources on a specific problem may generate a significant impact, but one

BRAD HENDERSON is a Canadian who moved to Latin America twelve years ago with good intentions, experience as a business owner and a Bachelor's degree in agriculture. He started raising money for development projects and soon found himself coordinating the resource mobilization work for an international housing NGO in nine countries in South America . In 2003 he attended Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Civil Society Studies as a Senior Fellow in Philanthropy. He co-founded the Associacion Chilena de Fundraising to serve the needs of Chile ’s fundraisers. In 2005 he took the position of Association of Fundraising Professional’s manager for Latin America




difficult issue to balance is how much to spend on preventing and treating the problems now, and how much to investment in research for the future. For example, Mr. Buffet’s gift will be annualized at about $1.5 billion a year, which is more than three quarters of the total amount spent each year on malaria and tuberculosis research, and about a fifth of that spent on AIDS. An investment of this magnitude would dramatically expand the amount available globally to search for a cure or efficient treatment of these diseases. While on the one hand, UNAID estimates that $22 billion should be spent to treat and

be made for greater investment in research. Is it all good news? Civil society organizations typically are funded by three sources: government, sale of services, and/or private support (which includes grants from foundations). The people that direct these foundations may live in different countries, quite separate from the people, communities and problems they intend to address. This potential increase in private funding may merely shift funding from government agencies to private foundations. Conversely, if there is a dramatic increase in the amount of funding available, will the organizational structure of the civil society organizations be able to cope with the scale and demands of a greatly expanded intervention? The ideal result will be that the funds from these foundations will tackle bottlenecks that have been holding back human development for lack of adequate funding without replacing the existing support. To accomplish this, the foundations must deploy visionary leadership and the skills to develop and dialogue with the affected communities and people. Civil society organizations need to prepare themselves for this dialogue and be able to be capable partners with today’s mega philanthropists. For more information about the foundation and how to submit a proposal visit the Gates Foundation site at:

Warren Buffet World’s Second Richest Person

prevent AIDS in 2008 , on the other, the World Health Organization believes that $56 billion needs to be spent on tuberculosis by 2015 and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations calculates that the 72 most needy countries need $11 billion to $15 billion. The need to act now is great, but a compelling case can

Will the priorities of the foundation’s leadership mirror the needs and priorities of the society in which the problem exists? Will the foundation give priority to causes that may be very important but controversial such as public or private corruption, human rights or sexual abuse? Could the decision of the foundation’s investment be influenced by their parent corporation strategic bu siness interests in the markets where the foundation is intending to or is actually working? Will the foundation’s staff be responsive to input from the civil society organization working in these communities? How will these foundations and personal measures define success of the programs they fund and will the imposed indicators of success be feasible to implement? How will civil society organizations communicate with the international foundation when their head offices are in distant capital cities or in other continents? Will the inflow of these funds push out the existing support - either other private donations or government support?

Contacts: Brad Henderson
Email: BHenderson@afpnet.org




NGO in the United States Nurtures a Decentralized, Autonomous Path to "Giving Back"
INSAF founded in 1973, is a group of NRIs and their friends based in the United States. The group believes that those who got their start in India, and have gone forward to professional and financial success, should give something back. Over the last 33 years, the group has maintained a modest but steady effort towards the cause of education and uplift of the disadvantaged in India. INSAF provides a modicum of financial support to a number of nonpolitical, nonreligious projects in 11 states or union territories of the country. What makes INSAF unique? What makes it an attractive vehicle for NRIs to "give back"? Part of the answer lies in how INSAF is organized and how it operates: INSAF is duly registered with the IRS - donations are tax deductible in the US Members can earmark donations for any current INSAF project Members can initiate a new project along a wide range of concepts in any part of India Members can donate any amount -- small or large INSAF may be able to augment a member's project from general funds Overhead is negligible (< 1%); almost the entire donation goes to projects INSAF is run completely by people volunteering time - no paid personnel Projects are run and supervised by member sponsors - no waste or corruption INSAF activities are totally transparent (financial details published annually) INSAF Newsletter is published regularly INSAF: Actively seeks members' input and suggestions Thus, INSAF is an "of the members, for the members, by the members" type of organization. The net result is that the projects pursued represent a rainbow of autonomous but related concepts implemented in a decentralized manner. The above list is not comprehensive, but portrays the individual priorities and visions of the INSAF members. These projects "give back" to those locations in India where the sponsor members have some personal links. This also assures that the respective members can monitor the projects and easily convey the feedback on progress. The direct link to project sites, and the fit with members' personal preferences, effectively leverages the financial support and provides genuine personal satisfaction to the sponsoring members. Additional details about INSAF are available by visiting: www.insafweb.org.

Long-term (10-20 year), education of specific individual children - currently residing in Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Kerala Community Adoption - communities in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, and Jharkhand supported to improve their access to education and awareness Earthquake and Tsunami Recovery — locations in Gujarat and Andaman Nicobar Islands supported for access to better education for the youth Promotion of Literacy — at a location in Karnataka Start-up of a school for quality education for the disadvantaged — location in Kerala Building upgrade of a high school — in Mumbai Upgrades of science or computer education — schools in Punjab, Karnataka Sponsorship of staff salaries for promotion of science education - at a village in UP



Giving Back to Society
Indians have what it takes to achieve business success. The most important success now to strive for is to uplift society and to give back to the world.

VIVEK WADHWA is an Executive in Residence/Adjunct Professor for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. He is an active mentor and advisor to various startups and is a regular columnist for BusinessWeek Online. Wadhwa has long been a pioneer of change and innovation in the technology industry and has co-founded 2 software companies. He started his career as a software developer and gained a deep understanding of the challenges in building computer systems. Wadhwa holds a B.A. in Computing Studies from the Canberra University in Australia and an MBA from New York University. He was named a "Leader of Tomorrow" by Forbes.com.

NDIAN AMERICANS HAVE integrated themselves into the American society and have taken advantage of the opportunities the country offers to become model immigrants. They run some of the most successful small businesses and lead some of the largest corporations. They excel in fields as diverse as real estate, journalism, literature, and entertainment. And they have learned to help each other and give back to society. One can learn a lot from their successes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Indians make up less than 1% of the U.S. population. Their median household income is $70,708 - far above the national median of $50,046. It is estimated that Indians own 50% of all economy lodging and 37% of all hotels in the U.S. According to a recent study, 13% of all private, venture-backed start-up companies in the U.S. are founded by Indian immigrants. The value of Indian founded comp-anies is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. These achievements are particularly astounding considering that 81.8% of Indian immigrants arrived in the U.S. after 1980. With the breadth of achievement, and the overwhelming political support that India now enjoys in the U.S. Senate and Congress, it is clear that Indian Americans have actually begun to climb to greater vistas. What makes Indian Americans so successful? In the absence of scientific research, I’ll present my own theories. As an Indian immigrant myself, I have had the chance to live the American dream. I started two successful technology companies and served on many boards. To give back, I cofounded the Carolinas chapter of a networking group called The Indus Entrepreneurs and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs. Last year, I joined Duke University as executive in residence to share my experiences and conduct research about how America can maintain its global competitive advantage.

Here are some of the characteristics that I’ve seen in successful Indian Americans.
1.Education. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 63.9% of Indians Americans over 25 years of age hold at least a bachelor's degree, compared with the national average of 24.4%. Their education comes from a broad range of colleges in India and the U.S. 2.Upbringing. Indians instill key values in their children, especially of the importance of education. 3.Hard work. With India’s competitive and rote based education system, children spend the majority of their time on schooling from their early years. 4.Determination to overcome obstacles. Indians learn to survive in India - a land with weak infrastructure, corrupt government and limited opportunities. When you plant these Indians in fertile American soil, they thrive. 5.Entrepreneurial spirit. As a corporate strategist, C.K Prahalad said in an interview with Business Week, India is a “beehive of entrepreneurialism and creativity”. This entrepreneurial sprit is something that most Indians grow up with. 6.Rising above diversity. Indians have learned to make the most of diversity and leverage the strengths of every individual. 7.Humility. Indian immigrants leave social status and tenure behind in India and start from scratch. This is a humbling experience for them. Humility is an asset in entrepreneurship. 8.Family support/values. The family plays a very important role in Indian society. Family members provide support and guidance. 9.Financial management. Indians are fiscally conservative and spend within their means. 10.Forming and leveraging networks. Indian Americans mentor other Indians, network and help launch hundreds of start-ups, achieving billions in terms of capitalization. 11.Giving back. The most successful entrepreneurs I know believe in giving back to the community and society which has given them so much opportunity.

Contacts: Vivek Wadhava Email: vivek@wadhwa.com




It is clear that Indians have what it takes to achieve business success. The most important success to strive for, however, is to uplift society and to give back to the world.



Reversing Conventional Banking
conviction that poor people can be both reliable borrowers and avid entrepreneurs. Under Yunus, Grameen has spread the idea of microcredit throughout Bangladesh, Southern Asia, and the rest of the developing world. Today, more than 250 institutions in nearly 100 countries operate micro-credit programs based on the Grameen Bank model. Grameen Bank reverses conventional banking wisdom by focusing on women borrowers, dispensing with collateral requirements and extending loans only to the poorest borrowers. "If banks made large loans, he made small loans. If banks required paperwork, his loans were for the illiterate. Whatever banks did, he did the opposite," marvels Sam Daley-Harris, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign. When asked by a member of the Nobel Foundation whether he would like to convey a message to people, Prof. Yunus replied: "The one message that we are trying to promote all the time, that poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn't belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty. So I would hope that this award will make this message heard many times, and in a kind of forceful way, so that people start believing that we can create a poverty-free world. People can change their own lives, provided they have the right kind of institutional support. They're not asking for charity, charity is no solution to poverty. Micro-credit is the creation of opportunities (for poor people), so that they can change their lives." Prof. Yunus' long term vision is to eliminate poverty in the world. That vision cannot be realized by micro-credit alone. But Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing efforts to achieve it, micro-credit plays a major part.

Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank


ROF MUHAMMAD YUNUS and the . Grameen Bank received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Dr. Yunus has shown that micro-credit can help large population groups break out of poverty. It can also help advance democracy and human rights. His story goes back to his days as a teacher of economics at the University of Chittagong in Southern Bangladesh. The famine that ravaged Bangladesh, had thousands starving to death, and left behind thousands more of starving, skeletal people had a deep impact on the economics professor. Disillusioned with impractical economic theories, Prof. Yunus went to the nearby village of Jobra to learn first-hand the economic realities of the poor. Once there, he found that of the many schemes that he thought up, the most successful one was offering poor people tiny loans for self-employment. Thus was born micro-credit and the Grameen Bank. The Grameen Bank is today a leading advocate for the world's poor. It has lent more than $ 5.1 billion to 5.3 million people. The bank is built on Yunus'

SATHIRAJU SANKARA NARAYANA was born in 1936 at Narsapur, in Andhra Pradesh, India, completed his Masters Degree in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai and joined the All India Radio in 1963. After working in various capacities for 32 years, he retired in 1995 as Station Director, Chennai. He hails from a family of artists and currently lives in Chennai, pursuing his passion for drawing portraits.The portrait of Mohd. Yunus on this page has been made by Sathiraju.





Barefoot College: Imparting Practical Education to Villagers


HE ALCAN PRIZE for the year 2006 was awarded to Bunker Roy's Barefoot College in India. The Barefoot College dispenses with the formal reading, writing, and official degrees of other colleges, and focuses instead on providing practical technical knowledge to rural villagers so that they can develop their own communities in sustainable ways. Bunker Roy, after leaving his formal college education, began building wells for India's rural poor. As he grew to know the villagers, he realized that they possessed tremendous knowledge and skills. The village experts - the midwives, water diviners, and bonesetters - drew from wisdom and capabilities beyond what one learnt in a typical classroom. As Roy explained, these were "people with grit, determination, and the amazing ability to survive with almost nothing." Roy became convinced that one of the biggest threats facing these so called "backward" rural villagers was from the formally educated people intending to "develop" them. He felt that villagers should not have to depend on the generosity of those with formal educations, but would be capable and better served by learning practical technical skills and developing their own technology infrastructures. In 1972, Roy's inspiration led him to found The Barefoot College. The Barefoot College is a radical departure from the traditional concept of a "college". It prizes the kind of education one absorbs from family, community, and experience. The College confers no degrees, and all members, regardless of class, education, or caste, are considered equal. Classes take place at night in the villages, so members can attend them while still managing their day-to-day lives. And the education is entirely practical — members of the college become health workers, engineers, accoun-tants, and teachers serving their own communities.

Rural woman learning practical skills at the college

SANJIT BUNKER ROY is a product of Doon School and St.Stephen’s College, Delhi. He quit his job with Grindlays Bank over three decades ago and has ever since been at work educating, empowering rural people. In 1972 he founded the Barefoot College in Tilonia, in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district.

Barefoot-educated scholars focus on local decision-making and grassroots development. As one Barefoot College staff member explains, "It is Gand-hian. Like Gandhi we do believe power resides in the poor. They have dignity but do not have opportunities. We harness the human potential." By giving the rural poor access to practical knowledge, The Barefoot College demystifies technology and puts it in the hands of the villagers themselves. The philosophies of the College do more than bring practical technological advancements - they also empower villagers, especially women. Already, the Barefoot approach to solar electrification of villages has been adopted by the Asia Development Bank, to be replicated in Afghanistan and Bhutan. Similar movements are spreading through Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Bolivia and Ethiopia. About the Alcan Prize for Sustainability The Alcan Prize for Sustainability annually contributes US$1 million to not-for-profit, non-governmental organi-zations working to make the world a better place. Alcan believes that its success as a global company is directly linked to its actions, both inside and outside its operations. With the Alcan Prize for Sustainability as its centerpiece, it advances the principles of sustainability around the world.

Contacts: The Barefoot College, Village Tilonia, via Madanganj, District Ajmer , Rajasthan 305816, INDIA , ph+91 (0)1463- 288204, FAX +91 (0)1463-288206 , E-mail :barefootcollege@gmail.com






Contributing to Excellence in Public Governance


but also in many other HE WORLD BANK'S JIT countries. Dr. Paul is the first Gill Memorial Award civil society leader and the (2006) for outstanding first Asian to receive the public service was presented award the release further to Dr. Samuel Paul, founderadds that the Bank envisions chairperson of the Public the awards as a source of Affairs Centre , Bangalore, Samuel Paul inspiration for member India at an awards ceremony countries and staff to held at the Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters in recognize and encourage outstanding public service innovations. Washington last week. This new international award was recently established by the World Bank to recognize the contributions to public governance by distinguished leaders from all parts of the world. Dr. Paul was honored for his pioneering and innovative ideas such as the "citizen report card" on public services , and campaigns for electoral transparency that have made an impact not only in India, Samuel Paul is a former Professor and Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has also served the United Nations, World Bank and the ILO as adviser and taught at Harvard and Princeton Universities. He founded the Public Affairs Centre; a civil society organization in 1994 and continues to be its chairperson.

Contacts: Samuel Paul
Public Affairs Centre 422, 80 Feet Road, Koramangla, Bangalore 560095, India Telefax: 91-80-25520246, 25525452 Email: pacindia@vsnl.com Website: www.pacindia.org


Recognizing ICT and the Empowerment of Youth


HE DEVELOPMENT GATEWAY Foundation announced Mindset Network of South Africa as the winner of the 2006 Development Gateway Award. Mindset Network is a not-for-profit organization set up in 2002 for the purpose of providing educational content for the formal education and health sectors. The Awards Ceremony was held by Development Gateway Foundation at a special lunchtime forum at the ITU Telecom World in Hong Kong on Dec. 5, 2006. Two honorable mentions were given to Digital Divide Data of Cambodia and Committee for Democracy of Information Technology of Brazil.

The Award recognizes innovation in the use of technology in developing countries. Intel and Microsoft co-sponsored this year's award. This year's theme, ICT for the empowerment of youth, inspired over 160 applications from around the world.Of those applications, 30 projects were chosen by a screening committee, and were then passed on to the members of an international panel of jurors. All of the top 30 projects are featured in the online special report on youth. For more information, please visit:

Contacts: Mindset Network
Tel: 0861 646 3738 (0861 MINDSET) Fax: (+27 11) 339 1570 Email: info@mindset.co.za Website: http://www.mindset.co.za/





A Toilet for Every House in Vedireswaram

GAVARASANA SATYANARAYANA was born at Pithapuram on September 4, 1936, Dr.Satyanarayana now lives in Floral Park, USA. A postgraduate in Medicine from Andhra Medical College and a Fulbright Scholar (1966), he was trained in General Surgery in the US. He practised in Gollaprolu village of East Godavari District and conducted a number of health camps in many villages. Dr.Gavarasana published a number of articles on cancer research. His current research project is to screen 1,00,000 Andhra women for breast cancer including genetic analysis.


S. Ramakrishna Raju with Dr. Satyanarayana

EDIRESWARAM VILLAGE IS a collection of hamlets in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Its sarpanch, Sayyapuraju Ramakrishna Raju, was honored on March 23, 2006 at Vigyan Bhawan by the President of India with the Nirmal Gram Puraskar. Young and enthusiastic, Mr. Sayyapuraju has succeeded in doing something unique to reduce contagious diseases among the villagers. With the help of the panchayat and government funds, he has ensured the construction of a latrine in every house in the village. He has achieved his goal through: The placement of placards that displayed a ban on defecation on the roadside. Construction of latrines with special tanks on the roadside inside the village boundary to provide for travellers. Demolition of public toilets in the village. Mr. Sayyapuraju encountered numerous difficulties in his efforts to ban public defecation. He would ride his motorcycle at 5 o'clock in the morning daily to caution the people whom he saw defecating in public. He threatened non-compliers with prosecution. He coaxed, begged, and threatened the villagers into seeing reason. He was able to achieve a clean and green village and even the election of a new sarpanch did not bring back the old habit of public defecation. About the Nirmal Gram Puraskar The "Nirmal Gram Puraskar" (NGP) is awarded by the Government of India

(GoI), Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Drinking Water Supply. Initiated by the Indian Government in June 2003, it is an incentive scheme for fully sanitized and open- defecation-free gram panchayats, blocks, and districts. The incentive provision is for Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), as well as individuals and organizations that are the driving force for full sanitation coverage. The award requires 100% sanitation coverage in terms of individual households and schools, and a clean environment free of open defecation. The procedure for applying is as follows: Eligible applicants obtain the application form (separate ones for PRIs and individuals and organizations) from www.ddws.nic.in. These applications are scrutinized at the district level, before being forwarded to the State government. The State government verifies the claims and then forwards the applications to the Department of Drinking Water Supply, Ministry of Rural Development, GoI. The GoI appoints a "Screening Committee" that screens the applications and makes recommendations to the National Committee of the NGP which finally , approves the applications eligible for the awards. This incentive can be used for maintaining and improving sanitation facilities in the respective areas, with special focus on solid and liquid waste disposal and maintenance of the sanitation standard.

Contacts: G.Satyanarayana
E-mail: gavarasana_satya@hotmail.com





The India Story is Getting Better!


The India Story is definitely getting better but at the same time India has a lot to work for in order to ensure sustainable development for all.
ITH SOME 1.1 BILLION people, diverse regions, and a vibrant democracy, India has been making progress on a scale, size and pace that is unprecedented in its own

The release of the Human Development Report 2006 and India's rank of 126 in it dampened spirits but a look at the economy gives every reason to rejoice. Its only a matter of time and some persistent efforts for India to rank high on the human development front, as well. India's economic growth rate accelerated to 9.2 per cent in the July-September quarter from 8.4 per cent in the year-ago quarter on the back of a strong performance by the manufacturing and services sectors, raising the likelihood of interest rates being raised in January 2007. Taken along with 8.9 per cent growth in the first quarter of the current financial year, this comes to 9.1 per cent growth for the first six months of 2006-07. As per Finance Minister P Chidambaram this was the highest first-half GDP growth since 1991-92, when economic reforms were initiated. The 9.2 per cent growth clocked in Q2 was among the highest growth rates in recent years. India's GDP is expected to grow in excess of 8 per cent this fiscal, higher than its earlier projection of 7.8 per cent. A look at India's macro-economy reveals positive indicators all around: India is on the threshold of a double-digit growth Industrial Output up by 11.4% Investment rate over 30% of GDP India's global trade to top $450 billion The Planning Commission's Approach Paper for the 11th Five-Year Plan has already set a growth target of 10 % in the final year of the plan (2011-12). India realizes an urgent need for stepping-up investment in the country's infrastructure through greater public-private partnership. Access to quality education for all, investment in R & D, energy security, greater global economic integration and a proactive role by India in the multilateral economic processes would propel India into a still higher growth trajectory, are the other steps needed on the road to all-round development. The foremost challenge to sustain the growth momentum set out in the 11th plan, beginning next fiscal, requires a mix of right policies and new initiatives without compromising on financial stability and fiscal prudence. Agriculture, energy and infrastructure have been identified as other major challenges that required immediate attention to make the economy more vibrant. With some 1.1 billion people, diverse regions, and a vibrant democracy, India has been making progress on a scale, size and pace that is unprecedented in its own history. The India Story is definitely getting better but at the same time India has a lot to work for in order to ensure sustainable development for all. (Source: Ministry of External Affairs Government of India - Monthly Economic Analysis Fortune 2006)





India’s Slow Human Development


India has moved one step up to be ranked 126 among a total of 177 countries in the recently released Human Development Report 2006 - leaves much to be desired!

HE UN HUMAN Development Report for the year 2006 has been released. This year's HDI refers to 2004. India has moved one step up to be ranked 126 among a total of 177 countries. India's HDI rank falls under the category of 'medium human development countries'.

The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and enrolment at the primary, secondary and tertiary level) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP , income). The index is not in any sense a comprehensive measure of human development. However, it does provide a broadened prism for viewing human progress and the complex relationship between income and wellbeing. AN IRONY "Only 25% of the poorest households in developing countries have access to piped water in their homes as compared to 85% of the richest households," says HDR 2006. The same report states that only 14% of people in India lack access to an improved water source. This implies that 86% of people in India have access to improved water, thereby rendering India almost in par with developed countries in terms of access to an improved water source. This figure has been definitely deflated due to lack of adequate and complete statistics. CONCLUSIONS The HDI or the GDP alone cannot give the real picture of any economy. Both the HDI and the GDP do not take into account the inequalities. India is a country which is characterized by stark inequalities in wealth, income, education, health, land etc. The authorities' rhetoric of trickle down effects of an 8% GDP will not work, due to lack of proper institutions to cater to the needs of the poor. Microfinance, an institution which is working needs to be implemented more effectively and in a transparent manner, because the misuse of Microfinance institutions can lead to more trouble than not having them at all. The Indian populace has been repeatedly told that India is reducing its poverty and that it is well under 30%. They are right. Keeping in mind the needs of the people for a decent livelihood a family needs at least an income of 2000 rupees per month! On the whole, there is nothing in the report that makes India proud. India needs to step up its expenditure specifically targeting education and health sectors. The draft to the Eleventh 5-year plan, speaks about inclusive growth, but adequate emphasis has not been given to sectors which need development.

About the author : Alex M. Thomas is an Economics undergraduate from Loyola College, Chennai, India. He can be contacted at alexmthomas@gmail.com To download the Human Development Report 2006 at http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/




Indian National Development Congress
HE INDIAN NATIONAL Congress, founded in 1885, started as an elitist movement. It was Mahatma Gandhi, with his slogan, 'India lives in its villages' who extended the idea of political freedom from the elite to the masses. This was a turning point for the Indian freedom movement. Despite their differences, leaders from across the country, inspired by mass actions, moved toward functioning as a powerful entity. Let us see how the freedom gained in 1947 was used by Indian leaders since then to give masses the freedom to exercise their full potential. We shall consider four important elements needed to express one's full potential.



people are unemployed. While there is excellent economic growth, over 300 million people are poor. Therefore, India is behind in human development. In the 2006 Human Development Report, of the 177 countries ranked, India's rank is 126. This is the result of unwillingness, negligence and discrimination by the government and others.

The Indian government, with all its power, natural resources and freedom is unable to lead India to comprehensive, inclusive development. There is little hope that it will change its ways and conditions. The average citizen accepts this. There is a vacuum of Food: India produces 80 million metric tonnes (MMT) of leadership in the country. Therefore individuals and rice, 70 MMT of wheat, 30 MMT of coarse cereals and organizations interested in India's development must 15 MMT of pulses annually. This come forward to fill this yields approximately 500 grams vacuum in leadership. of food that can give a minimum total of 2000 calories per person There are 1.2 million non per day1. Yet nearly 50% of the governmental organizations world's hungry - 350 million (NGOs) in India5. There people - live in India, consuming must be at least 1 million less than 80% of minimum Indians interested in energy requirements, according improving India. They can to the World Food Program. surely outnumber all of the corrupt and incompetent Water: It is estimated that 50politicians and people in the 100 liters of water is needed per country. These 1 million person per day. According to Indians can bring the Tata Energy Research Institute freedom needed to express (TERI), 6750 liters of water per the full potential of the person per day is available. neglected millions. However, the United Nations Development Programme If these 1 million Indians reported that 154 million people lack access to safe meet and march hand-in-hand, several million oppressed drinking water in India 2. Indians can unite behind them. Then India can progress on the path to all-inclusive development. But where are Employment: The Indian Minister for Labor and these 1 million people? How can we find them? How do Employment announced that at least 21 million youth we bring them together? Non resident Indians have been were unemployed in 2005. This number is growing vocal about the state of affairs in India and their interest rapidly to become 211 million by 20203. in being involved in India's development. Through NGOs and individual efforts, they can catalyze the process to Land: India does not use 62 million acres of cultivable establish a platform for this change - Indian National land4. Although it may take much effort to make this land Development Congress. Email : srao@afhd.org productive, using the large rural unemployed force, India Reference can get at least 50 MMT of additional food. While there is enough food, 350 million people still in live with hunger. While there is enough fresh water, 154 million Indian do not have access to safe drinking water. While 62 million acres cultivable land is unsed, 21 million
1 http://agricoop.nic.in/Agristatistics.htm 2 http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/ 3 http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/15/stories/2006081504790400.htm 4 http://dacnet.nic.in/lus/dt_lus.aspx 5 Invisible, Yet Widespread: The Non-Profit Sector In India, December 2002, PRIA




Development Networking


India Development Coalition of America
... Making a Difference

Third India Conference
Empowering Grassroots For Sustainable Development in India

WATER HEALTH EDUCATION LIVELIHOOD Venue: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi. Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi, 110016 Dates: January 10, 2007 Time : 9 am to 9pm
Contact: President Dr. Mohan Jain - mohanjain@comcast.net


25th Anniversary Commemoration Meeting Place: Rajkot, India Weekend beginning January 26, 2007
Share and Care Foundation USA will hold a Partnership Meeting with its strategic partners in January 2007. Share and Care is now embarking on a new bold initiative with a focus on Youth Development and Women Empowerment for sustainable changes contributing to the future progress in India. This meeting is used as a kickoff for this initiative. The specific purpose of this meeting, "Connecting Hearts over Horizon" is to provide a joint platform for the partners to present their current activities and benefits, discuss new ideas, share best practices and future plans in the fields of Youth Development & Women Empowerment.

Website: www.shareandcare.org. Email: info@shareandcare.org


Networking Meeting of Volunteers Working in Rural Projects in Tamil Nadu Place: IIT Campus (IC & SR building), Chennai Date: January 21, 2007 Time: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
The meeting will bring together about 30 field volunteers working in various aspects of rural development. The morning session will provide an opportunity for everyone to describe their projects, progress to date and their plans for future activities. The afternoon session will allow volunteers to network, seek help, find project partners. (Lunch will be provided)
Contact: Murthy Sudhakar - musu-infrasys@sbcglobal.net Ram Krishnan - ram.krishnan@yahoo.com

ANDHRA PRADESH Net work meeting of Volunteers in NGO sector in collaboration with Acharya Nagarjuna University

Place: Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur Date: January 21, 2007
International foundation for Human Development, Pragathi, Catalyst for Human Development and other NGOs in AP are organizing a meeting.
Contact: Srinivasa Rao - srao@afhd.org

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