Of Lamps and Progress

I  recently organized the purchase and delivery of solar powered lanterns. These lanterns have been dispatched to 2 villages in the Jawadhu hills which are inhabited by the Malyali tribals. The journey from Chennai took 4 hours by small truck. Although it did occur to me that sending them by road means adding to the carbon emission, but at least the lanterns are solar. Our own version of carbon off-setting!

These lanterns were generously financed by a donor to Friends of India (Chilasa’s Co Founder) and are sure to positively impact the tribal beneficiaries.

Tribal people constitute 8.2 %(over 84 million people) of the total national population and a majority of whom still lack access to the most basic of human needs. The Tribal people constitute 1 % of Tamil Nadu’s Population and as is the case with most other Tribal in India, they have missed the fast moving bus of economic rise.

Recently there has been a lot of debate over the change in the poverty line, which says that poverty levels have dropped (it still estimated 1 out of 3 Indians is poor) Whichever argument one tends to support the numbers are simply shocking.

Chilasa has been launched to identify entrepreneurial talent and zeal in the areas left behind by the high GDP of India. My job is to lead the discovery process to unearth “hidden entrepreneurial gems” at the grassroots, due diligence, and  eventually the monitoring and evaluation.

With around 70 % of India’s population still living in its villages the rural age of development can be a reality  provided the right financial, capacity building, and strategic support is made available.  This our mission and passion at Chilasa.

I will be sharing some insights and experiences with social entrepreneurs along the way and look forward to your comments and dialogue.


Advitya, Portfolio Manager

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