Printer Friendly

Social Gems.

Summary: At a fest organised in Hyderabad late February by Ashoka-The Lemelson Foundation, the world's most respected social entrepreneur grouping, two Indians and a Nepali shone.

RICKSHAW BANK Not only has Pradip Kumar Sarmah, a veterinary doctor by profession, developed a safe and ergonomic cycle rickshaw, he has also set rolling a self-employment programme for marginalised rickshaw pullers. Dubbed the "Rickshaw Bank", the initiative issues an asset-based loan to a rickshaw puller, who can repay the debt in daily installments of some Rs 25 over 18 months.

So, while a regular rickshaw costs Rs 8,500, a Rickshaw Bank variant comes for Rs 13,000 and besides a pullerfriendly rickshaw, it has accident and life insurance, uniforms, a licence and photo ID thrown in. Advertising on the rickshaw's canopy has the likes of ONGC, Indian Oil and Hindustan Unilever signing up. The Rickshaw Bank has "sold" 5,000 rickshaws so far in Assam, Tripura, Chennai and Surat (where it is a push cart with a similar model) and Sarmah's plans are to sell one lakh rickshaws in five years.

CLEAN POWER, WATER Kathmandu-based Anil Chitrakar's portable solar-powered invention lights a lamp and runs a radio making it a pretty substitute for kerosene and rechargeable batteries, both of which are not quite environment-friendly. Here's the clincher: Connected to an electrode, it produces chlorine (used to disinfect water) from salt water. All this comes on some Rs 2,500 credit repayable over 500 days.

HEALTHY GAMING Evidently, Hilmi Quraishi, co-founder and chief learning technologist at ZMQ Software Systems, knows how to grab attention. His public health messaging built around HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is embedded in mobile phone games. Also delivered is treatment management tips such as when to take medicines. ZMQ has a revenue-sharing model for games with telecom operators (he subsidises the cost of free games by selling commercial games). The Quraishi Effect: ZMQ has recorded 10.3 million social game downloads to date and he is targeting a billion in three years.

Reproduced From Business Today. Copyright 2010. LMIL. All rights reserved.

Provided by an company
COPYRIGHT 2010 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Today More (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 18, 2010
Previous Article:Now, salt with the double edge.
Next Article:Gamble pays off, time to fix the basics now.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters