India is unique. One can enjoy its various colours of spirit even in the heat of extreme summer election that has revealed how even the representatives of Dalits may be the richest candidates , how the members of parliament multiplied their assets multifold while in chair and how over the years the battle of election has transformed one of the riches.
But there is also another India, where some young men are writing a new history for India. A woman from Manipur works against gun violence. Another one fights against the land mafia in Kerala despite a physical threat. An activist couple fights for the Dalits. A young writer leads a movement in Bundelkhand to fight famine through water conservation.
Another set of young men and women are busy to innovate and enrich. They start media networks, work towards advanced crop technologies and train talent in the rural sector. If for one the power of innovation lies in tapping into the unorganized cycle rickshaw market, for another it lies in providing an online platform for jets. If for one the phrase out-of-the-box refers to a sports management or a backpacking company, for another it translates into selling puja kits.
For one, it meant giving up a high-powered job to start his venture, a one-of-a-kind that offers consultancy services in real estate. For an IIT engineer, it was to turn farmer and to work towards production of affordable food and become an inspiration for other farmers in Tamil Nadu. For yet another, the son of a politician, it was to forgo politics and start a media company, giving competition to one of the biggest news agencies in his state. And what about the woman engineer who has dedicated herself to setting up rural BPOs? These are people who prefer to beat the crowd and stand out. These are youngsters who swim against the tide and use unique ideas as a means to change.
And the rural India is surging as a consumer market to sustain the big companies, be it mobile operators, car or motor cycle manufactures, or white goods and electronics manufacturers.
A new breed of entrepreneurs is trying their hands and minds in sectors that one would not have imagined few years ago.
While some are busy with floriculture, the other group is trying their luck by producing Italian cheese.
And there are some frugal innovators who can’t get unnoticed by reputed foreign media too.
A recent report from Monitor, a consultancy, points to LifeSpring Hospitals, a chain of small maternity hospitals around Hyderabad. This for-profit outfit offers normal deliveries attended by private doctors for just $40 in its general ward, and Caesarean sections for about $140-as little as one-fifth of the price at the big private hospitals. An Indian hospital chain has pioneered “beating heart” surgery that causes little pain and does not require general anaesthesia or blood thinners. This is just one of many innovations in health care that have been devised in India. Its entrepreneurs are channelling the country’s rich technological and medical talent towards frugal approaches that have much to teach the rich world’s bloated health-care systems.
I am sure the Indian voters will rise to the occasion to elect the best among those who are contesting election 2009. That could have made the journey of India among the best of the developed country fast.