Tag Archives: Business

This is how we do it!

This is how we do it!

Half the world’s population simply wants what the other half takes for granted.

At the turn of the new Millennium, the World Bank carried out a massive effort designed to understand poverty from the perspective of the poor, interviewing more than 60,000 underprivileged women and men from 60 countries for its landmark Voices of the Poorproject. What was most important to them?  Providing for their families good food, healthcare, education for their children, safety and dignity. In other words, half the world’s population – the 2.5 billion women, men and children living at the base of the pyramid — simply wants what the other half takes for granted.

There is a deal of talk on Social Innovation and solutions that can provide succour to underprivileged people, particularly in rural areas, education, access to healthcare, good jobs, higher incomes and better social status.

Fostering equity, sustainability and enterprise require reforms at every level, from government to business, community and the economy. But such change doesn’t happen organically; it is brought in by social entrepreneurs who catalyze the need in every individual to move towards freedom, self-sustenance and opportunity into a vital force to help people help themselves.

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This Century waits for this big innovation

In the 1890s two major inventions came about, both of which we cannot do without every day. One is the telephone and the second is electricity. A hundred twenty years later we still continue to use these products. The phone changed to become wireless and the world has saved many million tons of copper that went into making millions of miles of telephone cables in the earlier days. Although, we continue to have landlines and optic fiber cabling, the quantum of such cabling has come down very dramatically. Can the same happen for electricity where it goes wireless? The next big game changer in the world after wireless telephones, will be wireless power. Who will be that inventor who will make $1 billion on this invention?

 

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The development process to turn raw earth into steel merits a high spot on a list of mankind’s most ingenious achievements. The metal provides the backbone of skyscrapers, bridges, motorways, internal organs of cars, fridges, washing machines and buildings. It makes up 95 per cent of global metal production. Iron ore, the raw material from which it is made. does not attract too much attention.

 

It is startling.

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Power & water crisis-III: Get your home in order, will you?

Litre LightPaintingThe cost of power

There is also the cost the government incurs to generate energy. It is way beyond what we pay. In Pondicherry, people pay a paltry Re.1.50 per unit consumed while it costs about Rs.18 per unit for the government to produce/procure the power. Who bears the deficit? In Bangalore we pay Rs.4 per unit on an average. In Gujarat, Kerala and AP, people pay a little over Rs.8 a unit used. In Tamil Nadu the tariff for homes is about Rs.5. These deficits in cost recovered will guarantee that this route of power generation and distribution with massive subsidies will not sustain for too many years. Continue reading

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Power & water crisis-I: Get your home in order, will you?

Wind turbines (Vendsyssel, Denmark, 2004)

Image via Wikipedia

This is a four-part series titled ‘Get your home in order, will you?’ If we stopped fretting over what the government has not done on energy and water, and sort some things at home, more than half the solution will spring before us.

Part 1

The power scene at home

Have you looked at your energy bill recently? What is the amount you pay every month for power? For water? Have you asked yourself what the break up of power used in your house is? Do you realize how much of the power bill is coming out of use of your geysers? How much is consumed by fans, your lighting, your TV set, the grinder and mixer in the kitchen, or worse that electric oven that your mother gifted you on your last birthday? How much of the power is used in your kitchen by the refrigerator, the heating plate, and such other appliances that didn’t even exist 30 years ago? Continue reading

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India will draw coal four times more than now

Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper by David J...

Image via Wikipedia

Demand from the key six big sectors will grow fourfold to two billion tons by 2030. Home production of coal by that time will be about 1.5 billion tons. Demand at two billion.

Business as usual will have India import about 500 million tons of coal to meet requirements of just the six sectors. Even in low carbon coal need will be about 1.5 billion tons in 2030, thrice the current level of production.

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Freshwater consumption will more than triple by 2030

Freshwater consumption will more than triple in the next two decades and reach 18,000 million cubic meters in 2030. This is water that is lost and has serious social and environmental implications.

The power sector will account for the major share of freshwater consumption; its share will reduce from 90.5 to 85% in 2030. Water use will increase most dramatically in the iron and steel sector, in the cement sector and the aluminum sector. These sectors will see a six-fold increase in water use.

In low carbon freshwater use in 2030 is about 10% lower than in business as usual, this is largely because of reduction in power generation from coal-based power plants that one hopes will happen.

Pic: osawaterworks.com

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Nepal’s Pinthali village goes off-grid, now suffers

The meticulously planned off-grid systems of power generation in a village suddenly can suffer a major undoing of the gains if grid electricity is brought to the place.

Isolated off-grid systems usually fail when the government does not have a clear roadmap on what they want to do in the village as far as electrification goes in the long term. Their very small scale of generation makes it difficult for off-grid producers to partner with electricity user groups. Continue reading

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Alexander Parkes & that plastic thing…

It was Alexander Parkes who invented plastic in 1855; little did he know that it would turn into a curse polluting every thing it touched. 150 years later we are still trying to get rid of it. Tons enter the world’s oceans annually and endanger marine life. Continue reading

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This ‘Chatting Toilet’ is now the rage

They called it the Mahila Gappa Shauchalaya. Which roughly translates as the ‘women’s chatting toilet’. It was an instant success when the model was put up. It offered a safe and healthy experience to women. They could talk to each other as they went about their business. And there was fresh air.

The village is Deolgaon Mali. In Mehkar tehsil. The district is Buldhana in the bowels of rural Vidarbha, of eastern Maharashtra.

It began about three years ago with a regular tussle that the villagers had with the BDO for they refused to offer the money for a community toilet. Continue reading

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