Archive for the ‘social entrepreneurship’ Category

A complete eye care is possible…

January 27, 2009 1 comment

Tata Jagritiyatra was full of excitement not only because of the cities we visited but the kind of exposure we got was beyond explanation. None of us had any idea that there is an eye care hospital in India whose sole purpose is to eradicate blindness from the country and to serve humanity. We visited Aravind Eye Care Hospital in Puducherry(India) and was stunned by the talk we had got from Mr. R.D. Ravindran. He told us everything about the hospital, how it functions, what were the stumbling blocks they had to face and how they overcame them, everything that could have interests us. The hospital was founded by Dr.Govindappa Venkataswamy. The hospital is named after Sri Aurobindo, one of the 20th century’s most revered spiritual leaders. The hospital has several branches in various locations both in India as well as in the world.

Aravind Eye Care is an eye hospital but its commitment is more towards serving the humanity through constant support to one who is in need. It is more of a social organization and there sole purpose is to eradicate the needless blindness occurring in India. There are more than 2 million children and some millions adults in India who are blind and many could be cured as they are not permanent blindness. The Aravind Eye Care’s is ophthalmological treatment is of world class where technology has a very vital role which includes examining patients eye through internet. The Aravind eye care is using every bit of technology to cut their costs so that they can provide free surgeries to those patients who cannot afford the costs. There are many people who have been benefited from their technology. The eye care does not send doctors to the villages as that would increase the cost so instead they only send the assistants and they do all the examination and send all the images of the patient’s eyes to the doctor through internet and doctors gives the desired prescription. About millions of patients who cannot afford the costs have been treated free of cost.

Apart from doing surgeries Aravind Eye Care also manufactures world class ophthalmic products. At present they do about 3.6 million eye surgeries in India. If this can be increased to 5 million, needless blindness can be eradicated. They do about 2600 surgeries per doctor per year in Aravind Eye Hospitals. The all India average is about 400.

For more information about Aravind Eye Care visit the link below:


The first leg of Tata Jagritiyatra…

January 17, 2009 2 comments

Tata Jagritiyatra was the initiative taken by the Jagriti Sewa Sansthan which is an organization headquartered in Mumbai (India). The theme of the yatra (Journey) was to visit different places across India where common people are working differently for the upliftment of the society. The motto was to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of the youths so as to enable them to generate employment and bring development. Tata was the main sponsor of the whole yatra. The journey started on 24th december 2008 and ended on 11th january 2009. There were many organizations that constituted the part of the journey. The first was the Shri Mahila Gram Udyog Lijjat Papad (SMGULP).

The first leg of Tata Jagritiyatra was in Mumbai (India) at the magnificent campus of IIT powai and was organized by the Ecell coordinators. A team of the SMGULP was asked to give a brief idea of their startup and the journey thereafter. SMGULP was a cooperative system controlled by women where women over the age of 18 could become members. Its foundation was laid a few decades ago and was the brain child of seven gujarati house wives. These ladies wanted to generate sustainable income for their family and the only thing they were good at was cooking. So they collaborated with each other and with an initial capital of Rs 80 started making Papads (Indian dish). In 2002 the annual turnover of SMGULP was Rs 3 billion and exports worth Rs 100 million.

Lijjat was the collective effort of the women and even now women are the owners. Men are only salaried employees and has no ownership rights in Lijjat. Lijjat believes in the philosophy of Sarvodaya and collective ownership. Lijjat is largely responsible for empowering women and had taken many initiatives to literate women and their families. All women are considered equal and are treated as the owner. The decisions are based on the consensus and any women has the right to veto the decision. The organization as of now is employing 42000 people in 62 divisions across India.

There are many organizations in the world but there is no one like Lijjat where women are given ownership and has a respectable position in the organization. Their entrepreneurial achievement is way beyond understanding and has reached the acme of success. If seven women could do wonders by thinking differently why not other women. The model of the Lijjat should be studied by everyone who aspire to become an entrepreneur.

To learn more about the organization visit the link below: