Category: Opinion

  • Tina Turner: speaking up about domestic violence

    Tina Turner: speaking up about domestic violence

    THE late Tina Turner was known for her unique voice, on-stage presence and being the Queen of Rock and Roll. But more than 40 years after she went public about the emotional, physical and sexual abuse she suffered from her former husband Ike Turner, she is still known and lauded for being a survivor of…

  • Role of technology in scaling afforestation programmes

    Role of technology in scaling afforestation programmes

    AS the world faces the intractable challenges of global warming, climate breakdown and deforestation, planting trees is one of the best solutions to combat this, as stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, afforestation drives in India have been focused on achieving large targets or clocking records. The focus of many tree…

  • Why companies must prioritise CSR initiatives

    Why companies must prioritise CSR initiatives

    CORPORATE Social Responsibility (CSR) is a company’s requirement to act in a manner that benefits society. This comprises promoting ecological sustainability, caring for personnel and supporting local communities. CSR is not just a moral commitment but also a legal one. Many countries, including India, have laws that require corporate and commercial establishments to participate in…

  • The value of effective giving

    The value of effective giving

    I started thinking about the ideas expressed in The Life You Can Save back when I was a graduate student at Oxford. Like many young people, my consciousness of the world around me was expanding. I was becoming acutely aware of the economic inequality between the “developed” world and the “developing” world. I was surrounded…

  • Primary healthcare initiatives: Vital for tackling poverty

    Primary healthcare initiatives: Vital for tackling poverty

    In India, about 70% of expenditure on health is borne by the patients. As a result, every year, 60 million people slip into poverty because of out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) on health. As per World Health Organisation, “Primary healthcare is a whole-of-society approach to health that aims at ensuring the highest possible level of health and…

  • Climate Change: “Time is running out” for the planet

    Climate Change: “Time is running out” for the planet

    SUPPOSE last year’s weather events were a sign of the future ahead. In that case, our planet is in for a tough time on the climate front, warns a new report by World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The report by the United Nations body says that climate change will get worse, and the world will feel its ill…

  • Women in leadership roles bring change in rural India

    Women in leadership roles bring change in rural India

    THE power of the Healing Fields’ Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHEs), comprising women, came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic when the existing public health infrastructure was stretched to a breaking point. Take the case of Sarita Devi, one of the CHEs in Mau district in Uttar Pradesh, who demonstrated how leadership, education, and collaboration…

  • Global water crisis: Too big to ignore

    Global water crisis: Too big to ignore

    WATER is the source of all life. Whether humans, plants, animals or insects, no living organism can survive without this precious liquid, but the water crisis in the world is real. Water is arguably the most contaminated natural resource, hence the source of most illnesses. As World Water Day is marked worldwide, the statistics on…

  • Discrimination fuels poverty & why we must fight it

    Discrimination fuels poverty & why we must fight it

    IT has been established beyond doubt that discrimination against individuals or groups of people based on religion, race, caste and gender results in the impoverishment of those targeted, making it difficult for them to have their basic needs for leading a decent life fulfilled. Though poverty is primarily an economic phenomenon, both discrimination and poverty…

  • What’s stopping us from giving?

    What’s stopping us from giving?

    JUST ahead of Christmas, I had a WhatsApp reminder about giving from an organisation I know and trust, one that has been committed to cancer aid for the underprivileged for 25 years. I wrote back immediately saying I would contribute something. I was entirely sincere when I responded: Ever since I lost my mother to…

  • It’s time to be kind… again

    It’s time to be kind… again

    UNLIKE some others I know, WhatsApp is the last thing I check first thing in the morning. If this sounds like a conundrum, that’s because it is. Most people I know grab their mobile phones, bleary-eyed and start scrolling through the stream of messages that have filled their inbox while they slept: catching up is…

  • Why institutional giving in India can be “better, together”

    Why institutional giving in India can be “better, together”

    INSTITUTIONAL Giving is not new in India. Large corporate houses like the Tatas have been pioneers in setting up organizations and structures for doing philanthropy at scale decades before CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) regulations made it mandatory for qualifying corporates to spend a percentage of profits every year. While most do the minimum as required…

  • ‘The world is not perfect, but it can get a lot better’

    I MADE my first donation on Give around 2006. At that time, mobile phones meant Nokia and you could easily sign up for firstname.lastname@gmail.com. Online commerce was rare and online donations were nonexistent. I remember wondering how powerful this platform could be, if millions of people donated a small part of their income to causes…

  • Give launches its Institutional Giving Practice

    TODAY, philanthropy is growing globally, and private giving has gained an important role in addressing human suffering, social justice, equitable economic growth, and so much more. As an organisation that is deeply passionate about addressing the inequalities and resolving social issues impairing our collective growth, it has been fascinating to see different approaches to philanthropy.…

  • The softer side of technology for development

    IN a training session organised for rural women on millet snacks, a fascinating argument ensued among the participants on why they should go by a recipe card and not stick to eyeballing measurements of ingredients as they have always done. This was part of a series of training offered to women involved in home-based, food…

  • How much should you be giving?

    FEW people would argue that one should not ‘give’ to help others. Even the most hardened “market” believers will agree that they have been beneficiaries of ‘giving’ by their own parents – imagine a new-born child asked to “fend for itself in the marketplace” and compete for everything. But how much should one give? What…

  • Giving the voiceless a voice

    WHEN I first started working almost 30 years ago in an NGO in Rajasthan, I was associated with a group of weavers from the Meghwal community, helping them revive and adapt their traditional craft. I became very close to them and they to me, and for months we would live and work together. With help…

  • Freedom from poverty is not an impossible dream

    TODAY, as proud Indians, we will all be marking the birth of an incredible nation, celebrating our hard-earned independence from foreign rule 74 years ago. At the outset, our forefathers envisioned a country that would give every citizen the right to enjoy this heady taste of freedom from subjugation and oppression. But are we? As…

  • Mental disorders need everyone’s attention

    MENTAL health issues are disabling to the persons affected and burdensome to the families. People affected by mental disorders experience stigma and discrimination both within and outside the family. This is because of persistent and progressive disability in two-thirds of persons with severe mental health problems and poor functionality. Both the factors are related to…

  • Skilling youth: A journey of hope

    ON World Youth Skills Day, I reflect on my decade-long journey in skilling youth, especially our young underprivileged boys and girls, and placing them in jobs. I have done this in several avatars – in senior government positions, with multilateral funders, and now as a changemaker. It started with the rural and tribal youth, and…

  • The arts both connect & comfort us through difficult times

    IMAGINE a time somewhere in the near future. You step out to meet a friend. There’s the corner chai shop. You spot them and smile, and they rush over and you hug. Chai and conversation happen. No one is wearing a mask. See what I did just there? I told you a story, and for…

  • Myopic philanthropy needs new glasses

    How do we change the inherent thinking about the right to equal resources among India’s growing population of wealthy professionals? THE affluent professional in India has a problematic relationship with philanthropy. The notion of sharing their own, burgeoning wealth – which they consider their natural due in recompense for their work – is not informed…

  • Development Management is the new black

    A look at what leadership means in the social sector – and why it is different from business management IT is often easier to say no rather than yes, to articulate what one doesn’t want in life rather than what our actual desires and dreams are: I don’t want to become an engineer, I don’t…

  • The mountains are suffering – are you listening?

    The mountains are suffering – are you listening?

    We can all do our bit to protect our natural resources and prevent disasters like Chamoli  THE quiet of a Sunday morning was shattered by the news of the glacial avalanche that had wiped out a hydroelectric project and bridges that connected mountain villages. Videos of the ferocity of the water and ice made it…

  • Why you’re unlikely to notice the less affluent

    IMAGINE that you are buying a phone cover worth ₹200 and you learn that another branch of the same store is offering the same cover for ₹150. That branch is 10 minutes away. Will you go to the next store and save ₹50? Most people will. Now imagine that you are buying a phone for…