D.light’s d.sirable business success

But what really has us excited is the excitement at the consumer level.  If you have a chance, visit D.light’s website to see hear some of the remarkable stories of their customers and how light has impacted their lives. And also take a look at the letter that D.light just received from a resident in Orissa living in D.light’s first 100% solar village. We’ve got thousands and thousands of villages to go, but a very exciting start.

From a Nextbillion.net article on this disruptive company aiming to provide solar energy to India’s rural poor. This article emphasizes what is one of the most important aspects of a successful business, partcularly startups, which is knowing your customer and focusing on developing your entire business model to what they need and want.

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TC-I Tidbits

  • Technology and Education: IIT and YouTube have tied up to post video lectures for undergraduate engineering courses online.
  • Health:
    • According to a WHO survey, the Indian workforce is on the whole pretty unhealthy. 47% of workers were overweight while 27% suffered from hypertension.
    • Abhijit Banerjee, an economist from MIT, said that the country’s maternal and child health is worse than that of Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, nearly half of the country’s children aged below five will suffer from stunted growth.
  • Economic Development: A World Bank study revealed that Orissa has made a positive fiscal turnaround in the last six years and lifted 3 million people out of poverty.
  • Education: With a view to harness skill potential across the country 1,500 more Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and 50,000 Skills Development Centres will be set up under the proposed ‘Skills Development Mission’ of the Government of India. [Source: iGovernment]

Transporting Water the Traditional Way

A human interest story by InfoChange India puts the spotlight on tribal women in Orissa who decided to take water woes into their own hands, rather than waiting for the government to finally recognize them.

Over a hundred women from the five villages embarked on a project to cut, polish and join bamboo pipes that would transport water from the stream to the villages. The plan was successful. Soon, water began to flow to the villages through the pipes and the arduous trudge up the hill stopped.

Government projects often focus on large development infrastructure, like dams. These projects do not always reach interior tribal areas, leaving rural needs neglected. On their own, these women were even able to take this initiative a step further:

During summer, however, the bamboo pipes could not supply enough water to the villages, even though the stream had sufficient water flowing in it. The women then began on the second phase of their project. They collected dry wood from the forests, cut the pieces into two equal halves and carved them into the shape of a boat. After joining the logs together, they were able to divert all the water from the stream to the villages. They built tanks in the villages to collect the water, and then transported it to their homes using bamboo pipes.

Social innovation does not always need technology – sometimes, all that is needed is a new take on a traditional approach, determined initiative, and a collaborative effort.

Show us what you can do ArcelorMittal

The Hindu reports that AcerlorMittal, the worlds largest steel company has promised to spend US$ 500 million on CSR initiatives focussed on Jharkhand and Orissa. Its no coincidence that the company has multiple project sites within these states.

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal-promoted world’s biggest steel company has announced two steel projects in Jharkhand and Orissa of 12 million tonnes capacity at a total cost of about Rs 80,000 crore. “We will spend about 500 million dollars in Orissa and Jharkhand to achieve an appropriate balance between the Corporate Responsibility (CR) and the growth in business operations,” ArcelorMittal Vice President Remi Boyer said

By the way, Orissa and Jharkhand are two of the poorest states in the country. Half a billion dollars, if spent wisely could really improves that lives of people in these states.

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Some bits of tid for you all:

Forget that judicial system is not accessible to the vast majority of people in India, even worse is the fact that it is increasingly acquiring an elitist and anti-poor character. A recently held convention in New Delhi talked of reclaiming and reinventing the judiciary for the poor.

The government on Thursday acknowledged that there was a public demand for lowering of interest rates on home loans up to Rs 20 lakh, but said it was for the banks and RBI to take a call. 

In a significant, albeit token gesture, the impoverished eastern Indian state becomes perhaps the first state to offer monthly benefits of this nature to people living with HIV/AIDS.

When local populace and officials work in tandem, the chances of any conservation efforts succeeding are more. This became clear when villagers in the hilly state of Uttarakhand in northern India and forest department came together to help protect wildlife in the famous Jim Corbett National Park.