Thursday, 18 September 2014

On the visit of Raghuram Rajan to Somaiya Vidyavihar

It was wonderful to have Dr. Raghuram Rajan to commemorate the foundation day of Somaiya Vidyavihar.  He saw our student innovations and gave away the awards with the patience that they deserved.  

He spoke at length about growing inequalities, and the absence of any innovation of the type that occurred in the early 20th century.

He spoke on how the routine jobs are being 'automated' leading to loss of jobs and opportunity, and the non routine skilled jobs are being paid even more.  That is leading to greater and greater inequality.

In many ways, what we are trying to do, is to address these inequalities.  Our work at in providing scholarships to those students who are needy and promising, ensures that they have opportunity, that they would have otherwise not had.  

Similarly, we are trying to provide education in rural and urban communities.  Recently, in a meeting if our Sakarwadi school, our member Mr. Saudagar complained, that after we nurture students until the 10th, society loses them, because they have no bride to take them to college. 

With that inspiration, we have now decide to apply to te government to allow us to expand our offering until the 12th in these schools.

Similarly, in our K. J. Somaiya Vocational training institute, we have tried to attract students from the Pratikshanagar slum, where we also run a health centre in association with the Ramkrishna Mission.  Bhanupriya, was one such student from Pratikshanagar, who graduated from our program, and is now part of the skilled workforce in a company in Mumbai.

He also mentioned on how we need to do major innovations.  These should help transform productivity, and provide opportunity.  

I think innovations should be such to also provide solutions to the problems plaguing society.  Such as water, food security, health and livelihoods.  

At nareshwadi, we are trying to engage our Environmental Students under the guidance of Rajendra Singh (waterman of India) to help make more water available using traditional techniques.  And to work with other organizations to help in sanitation.  

We are trying to add to livelihoods by providing a jasmine growing Programme, and now planning to create a extraction plant and sell te same to international companies such as IFF.

Hope that we can make the world a bit easier for others.  As Sureshbhai had posted a poets words:

माना के इस ज़मीं को गुलज़ार न कर सके 
कुछ खार तो कम कर गये गुज़रे जिधर से हम