It was on August 15th 2007, as India turned 60, that the Growth-for-All movement was launched.
In an email to several friends, I had shared my thoughts, “ GROWTH-FOR-ALL will be a significant development-sector initiative which will involve a large number of individuals & organizations( corporates, NGOs, CII, etc) to see how our collective efforts can achieve a lot more. Over the next year or two, we hope to run some key ‘pilot projects’ focused on urban & rural poor communities.”
A year later, this collective effort has blossomed. The core idea of individuals, corporate and governments working together to focus on inclusive growth and integrated development has taken off. The first ‘pilot’ project in Delhi’s Savda Ghevra resettlement colony is now almost 8 months old.
When Delhi CM’s office pointed us towards Savda Ghevra a year ago, they knew that they had a problem on their hands. Several thousand slum dwellers had been hastily relocated to a barren patch of 256 acres on the outskirts of Delhi. Growth-for-All’s household census also revealed the other problems. Among the 11,381 residents of Savda Ghevra, there are hundreds of people without livelihood. 655 kids don’t go to school for myriad reasons – admission problems, perceived cost, lack of interest, etc. Almost 1400 adults can’t read or write. No water supply; over 1500 families don’t use the community loo. Only 262 families throw waste in the dumpster. Just one doctor in a 3-hour shift.
Since the Growth-for-All initiative began, over 100 youth enrolled in a 3-month vocational training by Dr Reddy’s Foundation, and now work at places like Pizza Hut & Spencer’s. 20 women are about to start carpet weaving for Jaipur Rugs Co. Over 2000 patients visit the 3 Suraksha Clinics each month… supported by Samir Arora. Health camps & ambulance service about to start. 15 women enrolled into TCS’ designed Adult Literacy Program. Almost 100 youngsters( mainly girls) learn music and dance over week-ends, at Hasmukh Kala. Computer classes are on the anvil, thanks to PCs contributed by my friend Deven Taneja’s company, PC Solutions. So, that’s the integrated model of Growth-for-All at work, with multiple partners & individuals chipping in what they are good at.
Lot more remains to be done. 468 people want to start their own business, ranging from general stores to tailoring shops & beauty parlours. Over 400 want jobs. 1500 adults want training in areas ranging from computers and English, to construction skills and tailoring. In the absence of running water, arrangements for Rain-water harvesting need to be made so that water becomes available. Kids who can’t go to school need to be nutured via non-formal education; likewise, those who are enrolled still need supplemental education.
Where can individuals & organizations help?
Individuals can help in many ways – either with their ideas, time or financial support. In teaching kids for a few hours each week-Maths, English, computers, Science, etc.. By mentoring adults who want to start their own business.
Corporates and other organizations can help with Rain-water harvesting, Strategies for waste management & sanitation, or by supporting other programs like sports.
The power of Growth-for-All’s collective model lies in large-scale participation. Big or small, everything helps. Ideas, time or financial support.
As the idea of Growth-for-All becomes a year old, and the successes are visible, we look forward to active participation from many more.