1. No blame game. A blames B, B blames C, .... the cycle goes on. Let us do what we can do and lead by examples. The more we do, the more is the increase in our capacity.
2. No policy, no welfare scheme, no manifesto is bad. All speak of upliftment of people. What is needed is proper execution. The execution is again done by people.
3. "Make men first. Everything else will be ready ..... we need man-making character building education", said Vivekananda. The more we empower people (through higher education etc.), the more is our responsibility to see that they come up as a better human being with love for fellow being (this power is to be used for the good of all).
4. The inverse of 2nd part of point 3 is also true. The more we feel ourselves responsible for the community, the more we should give effort to elevate ourselves to a position which helps us to deliver greater good. If I am a student, I should not be satisfied with a lower percentage of marks or a poor career.
5. If we address the symptoms and not the disease, then the problem will resurface in another form in another place. It is more like taking the dust from my door to my neighbour's door.
6. Means and end both should be noble. A noble end cannot be achieved by tricks or by means which is uncorrelated from the end. All prophets talked about imbibing spirit of service, sacrifice, following the path of truth and love.
7. All of us have the potential of becoming Buddha, Christ. Vivekananda says, "If you cannot become Buddha, Christ then they never existed."
8. We were and are never short of ideals in any era. There are always example before us - good people doing good deeds. We need to read those lives and draw inspiration, develop a positive attitude.
9. Again Vivekananda who says, "Purity, patience, perseverance are three essentials to success, and above all, love."
Today Economic Times (ET) ran a front page story on micro finance companies who started as NGO (not for profit), then converted to NBFC (for profit) where underprivileged were included through MBT (Mutual Benefit Trust) and finally elbowed out from the company which is now completely owned by promoters. This article is aptly titled 'Uplifting promoters in the name of downtrodden'.
It says, "An ET investigation shows 45,000 women who were shareholders in the country’s top three microfinance companies have missed out on the benefits of wealth creation—some due to transactions engineered by promoters, some due to the structure used to house shares owned by the poor. "
ET followed it up with a detailed report inside on three companies which is titled "The Poor as Puppets".
Excerpts from it goes like this. "IN THE 2004-05 ANNUAL REPORT of Share Microfin, promoter and managing director M Udaia Kumar proudly declared: “Most of the shares are held by poor women who are part of the microfinance programme implemented by the company for poverty reduction and livelihood promotion, except the initial promoters and their relatives holding 0.97%. The company is striving to remain a community-based, mutual-benefit financial company.”
Within two years of that proud declaration, there was little “community-based” or “mutual benefit” about Share Microfin. As on March 31, 2007, promoters, associates and employees, led by Kumar, owned 98%, having bought all the shares held by the poor women, which were housed in mutual benefit trusts, or MBTs (The story on Page 1 explains their working.)
About the time the promoters finished taking control of the company also marked a breakout point for the business. Between 2006-07 and 2009-10, revenues of Share Microfin increased from Rs 62.9 crore to Rs 475.3 crore—a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 96%. Net profit increased from Rs 1 crore to 108.7 crore—a CAGR of 372%. In other words, the poor women bore the risk during the building phase of the business. But it was the promoters who reaped the rewards from the business taking off. "
An IIM-Ahmedabad faculty member helped in the research.
We had a discussion on this before at http://gskgp.blogspot.com/2010/10/flat-rate.html
One can find a correlation between first conversation and the flat rate story. It is time that we address the root cause and not play around the bushes.