My latest reading is “End of Poverty” by Jeffery Sachs. This is a very good book giving details on reality bites of Poverty. I am just 25% done with the book, but am getting to understand few grass root concepts of Poverty. Probably, by the end of the book, I can get few ideas on how I can personally contribute to the idea of Ending Poverty in our life times. Poverty is not about living above the poverty line and making a living. Poverty in terms of quality of life. We have always known the 3 basic necessities of life – Food, Clothing and Shelter. However, I would like to add 1 more necessity which can address the above 3 with umberalla activities – HealthCare.
When I started to dream about entrepreneurship, I always wanted to create something which can improve the Quality of Living of individuals along with making money for myself and others around me. As I started 2006, my dream was coming to reality, we registered our organization and were very strong in our minds that 31 Dec 2006, we would be working for ourselves. As on date (31 Dec 2006) our dreams many not have matured physically as an organization, but sure we have matured as individuals and drawing a blue print for our future.
I was speaking to my cousin couple of days back and discussing aspects of Social Entrepreneurship. He works with a charitable organization and his area of focus is primary education in rural areas of Visakhapatnam District in Andhra Pradesh. When speaking about “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, he mentioned that he is not too excited about the idea. I was curious and continued our discussion. He mentioned, “Look, we are speaking about e-Choupals and selling small quantity of branded goods to consumers in the rural areas and there by organizations making a forture, but let me tell you a reality – Will you believe that the cost of a bag of rice has not changed in the last 14 Years!” I was dumb struck. I still cannot believe this, but he said that this is the truth. Cost of seeds, pesticides and rent of land have been increasing with the increase in consumer goods costs, but the farmer is still getting the same price for the bag of rice for last 14 years. As I was on a phone line, I could not get into the statistics and facts, but when I meet him next time I am going to understand more of this and share with you all.
PS: The above context is with respect to Indian and espically local to Andhra Pradesh.
I wish all my readers a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2007. May this year bring in more light to all our lives.