Tatsat

People, Planet and Profits!

Think Global, Act Local August 31, 2009

Filed under: Opinions and Views — muraliduvvuri @ 6:29 pm
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I came across this piece of reading in a Community Friendly Movement website.

Commercial supply chain dynamics do not by themselves address the challenges of third world employment and quality of life issues. However, it is apparent that global trade, essentially in the worldwide industries can either exploit for unilateral gain, or collaborate to “share gain” for overall development of work force.

Corporate Social Responsibility has become a major issue these days for the many major MNCs, who have been establishing in-house fund-managers and PR managers to mange their Brand Image both in the developing countries where they have their back-ends of their supply chains and also at the destination countries for their goods/services.
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But then, such an arrangement which is dictated by the market forces cannot always be totally reliable. This is where the Government and the Community can get involved. Since last year a new debate had been cause for lots of firewood being burnt over various intellectuals meeting and discussing about the extent of involvement that the government should be undertaking in both the developmental activities as well as maintaing the economy from falling of a cliff. How much should a Government interfere, and at which segments of its peoples life can it interfere??
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I found this in a recent Swaminomics article, “Cash transfers better than drought relief works”

I became a journalist in 1965, when two successive droughts killed thousands and forced India to beg for US food aid. India’s share of global food aid was so large then that a best-selling book claimed that India was unviable and should be left to starve, conserving food aid for viable countries.

A lot has changed since then, we’re still being affected by droughts and as has been discussed in the above-mentioned article, the major difference since then till now is that, India has far less percentage of people who are starving. This is because of schemes like NREGS which provided the people in the drought affected regions some much needed purchasing power, this in-turn decreased the sufferings from mass-starvation, though probably not mass-hunger. Maharashtra was the first state to adopt this strategy and succeed.

Government involvement in relief works has always proved very controversial, with the Prime Minister himself stating on one occasion that for every rupee that the government spends for the poor, they get the benefits of only 10 paise, the rest being eaten up by the mind-boggling numbered layers of middlemen.

Even various Non-Governmental Organizations suffer from these middlemen, probably to different extents. This has been a major reason for the success of the NREGS(National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) where apart from implementing various developmental programmes at the rural level, the purchasing power of the poeple is being increased and the choice is being left to the beneficiaries to utilize their earnings.

The benefits can already be felt with various companies setting up shop in the semi-urban and rural areas and taking this segment of the population seriously as one of their major customer segments. Now this is Inclusive Development.

The drought that is occuring this year might setback the pace of all these processes, but how the rural customer can overcome this time can determine how fast a domestic market can be nurtured and developed in India.

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Breathe In, Breathe Out…… August 26, 2009

Video can be a very powerful tool to convey thoughts and ideas. Especially now-a-days with the information explosion, and the huge amounts of advertisements, catchy captions that are being put forward by one and all. A small video can help a long way in garnering the support from the segments of the populace who are traditionally supportive of your cause.

Here is a small video made by the Salvation Army.
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This had been released in the “This Ad costs Nothing Campaign”. They hit the bulls-eye with such a simple yet powerful way of waking both the sympathizers and the Not-for-profit Organization from their trance. Many NPOs had been sleep-walking where they had been spending insanely high amounts of money to advertise the Good work they are doing, in order to gain public support. YOU DON’T NEED LOTSA MONEY TO GARNER MORE SUPPORT.
For the general public, their view can be seen as a call for voluntary support which need not be financial.
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I also wanted to share this video made by Greenpeace International. Another very simple, very small yet powerful video. Especially for this year, which can turn out to be a watershed for our future policymakers regarding Environmental Policy making.
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Boasts more than 7 million views. Translated into more than 10 different languages. This 20-minute video has a dedicated website which provides the users with many resources, the interactive video being one among them. This video may not have been simple to make, nor that short, nor too cheap. But it is an educational video, which stresses on educating the viewer through a very novel and original animation and a narrator who takes over the issues regarding the over-consumptive attitudes that are beginning to plague a lot may people all over the world.

So, here, after a very, very boring day, I have come up with three distinct, yet similar, but thoroughly novel videos that can help any organization to gain insights into making a good video in order to convey their message in this ocean of multimedia information.

Adios!

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Nano Indians? July 28, 2009

Filed under: Opinions and Views — muraliduvvuri @ 8:59 pm
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What will the next generation of the upwardly mobile upper-lower classes and the middle classes be called? The Nano Indians?

I might be outrightly naive, I might be poking my eye with my own finger, but still I am going to safely stand by my prediction. The way this Tata’s Nano story of birth is turning out to be resilient in the face of the various internal and external strife that it encountered, I am impressed, hopeful that this is going to be a new chapter in the country’s way ahead.

The economic crisis, the oscillating global prices and even Mayawati have failed to deter its path towards salvation!

Well now into the serious matter of Tata Nano and the serious environmental implications that this might be holding for India in particular and the world, also in particular! Don’t get me wrong I believe myself to be passionate about the environmental issues, but somehow I just cannot get myself to make Nano the burning effigy for all the internal rage that I might be building due to the global warming.

See the numbers…….gosh, I couldn’t get my hands on any of the numbers!

Well leave the numbers, one thing that you will accept is going to increase the vehicle population drastically and so increase the greenhouse gases and thus further fuel global warming until the planet melts off.

But we are in India, let us start fine-tuning this doomsday prediction to make it insync with the reality that is India!

1. The lack of proper roads, and the already congested roads (thanks to all the auto bhai’s and rickshaw pullers ou there, and then there are the private bus, semi-bus, big truck plyers). Enter Nano, 100 Nanos, 1000 Nanos, 1 million Nanos……….now, don’t you see that something smells wrong here, people will get over the new car syndrome when they take the car out for every small chore! Something’s gotta give, either the roads or the Tata guys, who need to make adjustments so that the Nano can start flying and stop depending on these clogged arteries which identify themselves as roads. So the number of car users cannot keep on sweeling indefinitely, there will come a time when owning a is neither a luxury, nor a necessity, but is a headache!
2. Yes, now that we put in some reality-check as to the swelling numbers, now with the increased car numbers. This will start putting pressure on the government and the people. On the government to set up a more reliable, stable and comfortable public transport infrastructure. On the people to first start egging the government to establish this infrastructure (it might even become a big electoral issue in the coming years…..the need for infrastructure development) and then to use the public transport and seeing the car as a means for only occasional family trips or likewise!
3. But when we are making all these assumptions, we just cannot forget about the alternative fuels for whose RnD, billions of dollars, rupees, yen, pesos, euros etcetera are being poured into. We might just get that dream car for an environmentalist or not. At the very least, we might hope for cars with much improved mileage.

But for now look at the accidents that can be avoided because of the Nano. Look at the hope it feels into the lives of the people offering them safer means to travel instead of those 4-seater-2-wheeler vehicles which are plying on the road. We need someting like the Nano, if not the Nano, and for now thats all we have got!

Epilogue: Like a friend of mine likes quoting all the time, Change is constant and we all have to change, we have to change in what we expect from the government, we just can’t throttle innovation at every step but rather keep on fighting all the ill-effects that are threatening to choke our society, the country and the world!

Just pray for a stronger government which can stand tall on the promises that it makes to the people! A dialogue from Swades comes to my mind, where the farmer Haridas says to Mohan:”Sapne mat dikhaiye Mohan babu”

Well though my signing off statement is just going to be:”In a democracy, the Government can only be as good as its people!”.

Let us all strive for a better country!

Sapne Mat Dikhaiye Mohanbabu!

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This Feels Like a Dream…. July 22, 2009

I am just into my second post and it feels like I am already hitting my writer’s block! Or has this become a cliche to put it by every aspiring writer who has got nothing to convey but is excited to do so……!

Why am I excited??

Cadbury has started a new This feels like a dream campaign. Cadbury Dairymilk has officially become Fairtrade certified. It has already started working with various NGO’s and trusts in Ghana and also built 365 well inthe communities there. Trying to make a statement i guess.

And to top it, the Teej Bazar at Hauz Khas is about to begin in less than 24 hours! For those who still have no idea about Teej Bazar, it is being organized by Tatsat, AADI and Ujala members. AADI is an NGO working with people with disabilities around New Delhi. There will be a SHRINGAAR (which is a henna and bangles event) and also a Painting Exhibition, “Monsoon Mystique” by Sanjay Biswal. Even if you cannot make it tomorrow that is the 23rd, not to worry, this even is on for two days. If you are in facebook, here is the link to the event and this is the link to the group Tatsat. We also have a fan page here.

Isn’t it ironic that the country whose most famous icon had sung praises to the virtue of cottage industries is poised to leap into the stratosphere to find a place among the Titans. Isn’t it even more ironic that like the classic tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, our country has two Indias. One India Shining….the India that is poised at the precipice of history, to grab the pen of fate to make its own history and share it with the rest of the world, and, the other India which is still coming to terms in living with this stark adversity in the rural areas, in some corners of the country where there isn’t even electricity. Some of the parts have been unfortunately dealt by the hand of fate to be in the”epicenter” of terrorism as Mr. Chidambaram puts it. If not terrorism, there is naxalism or separatism or other kinds of desi-isms like (babudom, corruption and bribery) which have eaten into the dreams and aspirations of these people. I was going through an article from Times Of India where the person says to the journalist in question that he (read journalist) does not understand the life there (the village). How farther shall we go before we can unite again? This disparity exists even in the more developed regions of the country!

With such a scenario developing, it might actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise that the USofA sneeze has made the whole world to catch Swine Flu. The economic crisis which is decreasing the exports and foreign demand has forced the government to look into its largely untapped rural segment of the population which has also been dubbed as the Sleeping Tiger in an era of epithets where our erstwhile economy was compared to the Elephant compared to the chinese economy which was dubbed as the Dragon!.

So the world should be beware of the Tiger which is atop an Elephant! Hopefully the new Indian economy which rises by the time the crisis has been deemed over to make the new and real India to be poised not just to share a table with the titans but also to be one of them!

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