Sunday, April 24, 2005

National Rural Health Mission

According to this news, the central govt announced the "National Rural Health Mission" in 18 states in the North and North-East. It has many interesting features (very decentralized; based on trained female health workers -- called Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) -- in each village; focus on comprehensive health (rather than specific diseases) etc. It looks like a very potent measure.

Also, the PM has said that the govt is committed "to raise health spending from 0.9 per cent of GDP at present to 2 per cent in the course of the next few years."

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

ITC Rural Malls : shaping 21st century rural India

Drishti notes in his blog:

Recently, ITC has launched the first rural mall-Choupal Sagar at Rafiqganj that is a little village about four kilometres from Sehore town in Madhya Pradesh. In continuation with its project e-Choupal, Chaupal Sagar is the first rural mall in the country andt stands on an eight-acre plot with a shopping area of 7,000 square feet.

The farmers can buy soaps, detergents and toothpaste, almost everything they need for the family including TVs, DVD players, pressure cookers, room heaters, watches, sewing machines and grinders and, of course, cigarettes. Motorbikes or even tractors are also available. The company is marketing a new range of clothings and shoes too for the rural customers. And the plans are very ambitious. Starting in the first week of October, the daily sale is already between Rs 70,000 to 80,000- not bad as a business proposition too.

The idea is to create a one-stop destination for farmers. The farmer, with his family, drives into Chaupal Sagar in a tractor trolley laden with the produce from his field, he proposes to sell. His grain weighed on the digital weighing machine, he drives on to the godown where the produce is unloaded. Meanwhile, his kids can enjoy the swings and video games and his wife may like to move around and select the items she needs for the household. As soon as the farmer gets his cash, they make the required purchases and drive back by evening. They can, for a change, have their lunch in the cafeteria. If he intends to, he can even carry fertilisers and pesticides and get a diesel fill for his tractor.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Brass containers prevent diseases : Indian traditional knowledge scientifically approved

According to rediff news, NATURE published an article on one of the Indian traditional ideas of water treatment and found a microbiological basis for it.

Indians believe that traditional brass water containers offer some protection against sickness. The idea, intrigued Reed (UK scientist) , who was in Asia (along with his Indian students) investigating the anti-bacterial effects of sunlight on water.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Rural Technology Course at Vignan Ashram, Pune, India

A mail from Vignan Ashram:

Admission for Diploma in Basic Rural Technology (DBRT) batch 2005-2006. We are always giving preference to the candidates coming from the NGOs :
1) Who wishes to start similar activity in their organisation.
2) Which are willing to do handholding for establishing the students as entreprenuer.

Next Batch of DBRT will start from 1st July 2005.
Duration : 1st July 2005 - 25th June 2006
Capacity : 24 nos. ( 20 boys + 4 Girls)
Fees. Rs.2500/- (Course fees) + Rs.6000/- (Food expenses) = Rs.8500/- (To be paid at the time of admission)
Eligibility : Min 8th std pass, Willingness to work by hand, enthusiastic, {Preference will be given to students from Tribal/Rural areas}
Syllabus : Students will be given training in the area of :
i) Engineering : Construction & Fabrication
ii) Energy - Environment : Electrical, Solar, biogas, Smokeless chulha, Motor rewinding
iii) Agri-Animal Husbandry : Agri, nursery techniques, Poultry, Goat Farming
iv) Home & Health : Rural Laboratory, Food products, Sewing etc.
students will spend 3 months in each section and will work with the instructors. He has to complete one project in each section. He has to learn computers for typing his reports and for giving presentation.
Contract work : For all the outside work orders received by ashram. Students will be given labour charge. It is necessary for the students to earn min Rs.1000/- by doing such work. It is expected that students should meet all his out of pocket expenses through his own earning.

Examination : National Institute Of Open Schooling conducts the exam and awards Diploma in BAsic Rural Technology.

Language : Marathi / Hindi

Admission criteria : First cum First basis

Prospectus : Please send Rs.25/- for prospectus and application form.

Please contact Sanjay Nimbalkar or Yogesh Kulkarni for more information.

Sanjay Nimbalkar
DBRT co-ordinator

Vigyan Ashram
At.Post. Pabal Dist.Pune 412403
Ph : 02138 292326

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

A legislation, Rural Employment Guarantee Act, is being enacted in Parliament. The Act will be the social safety net for the poorest in the rural areas.

This scheme guarantees that at least one person in a family gets work for 100 days in a year. If a person registers as unemployed and work has not been allotted for 15 days, he will be given minimum wages (as per state norms) since govt could not show him any work. Works may cover agro-processing, irrigation, on-farm processing, embroidery, weaving and printing.

This substantially will change the face of rural India. This project is estimated at Rs. 39000 crores, which is the 1% of the GDP.

I hope end user really benifits from this.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Can rural India replace petrol?

According to this news, rural india can replace all petrol/diesel/gas in India just by having few cows/bullocks with each family.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Andhra Pradesh (Indian State) goes broadband

According to this news, the rural broadband network in Andhra Pradesh (Indian state) is an innovative and revolutionary project with three broad components:
  • Electronic delivery of all government services to the people through 6,000 rural IT kiosks to be set up across the state. A team of specially trained rural women to be appointed through self help groups under the rural development department will run the kiosks.
  • Computer literacy for at least one person in each family in all Andhra Pradesh villages.
  • Broadband connectivity for all villages of Andhra Pradesh spread across the state's 2,75,000 square kilometers by December 2006.

Once if this project becomes alive then the face of AP village is set to change.

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

FMCG market is the next big thing in India

FMCG is the next big thing after IT, BIOTECH, REAL ESTATE, STEEL, AUTO .. Rural India will play a big role in FMCG market potential.

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