THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Kerala Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

I was thinking about a positive story to write as my first blog entry here. Fortunately, I thought of a couple, that gave me very bullish hope about the future of our state. Gok is implementing (successfully I should add) two very innovative initiatives to tackle the root causes behind our state’s stagnation. The best thing is that these programs are creating and nourishing thousands of entrepreneurs across the breadth and width of the state.

First of these programs that I want to highlight is the famous Kudumbashree program that has turned into a real up-lifter for the rural women in the state. Through this program, Gok is trying to combine one of its greatest strength, in implementing grassroots social programs with the ultimate recipe for development for any place- entrepreneurship.

I know in my village back home, lots of BPL women have changed the way they earned income and managed their finances, with the help of Kudumbashree. Now, more than 1.6 lakhs of Neighborhood Help Groups (NHG) have been operating in the state, involved in various enterprising activities. According to Kudumbashree financials, about RS: 1360 Cr worth of loans are outstanding to these units and about RS: 591 Cr of thrifts are being managed by them. They are involved in anything from contract farming, garbage disposal, food processing, live stock care to direct marketing, computer repairs etc. So far, most of the operations of NHGs are relatively small in scale in terms of individual capital expenditure but just the huge number of economic activities Kudumbashree is involved in will make it highly effective.

Foundation of any modern economy is built up on its so called ‘mom and pop’ enterprises, in Kerala Kudumbashree’s “mom and mom” micro-enterprises are taking up this role and silently revolutionizing kerala’s economy, along with empowering women socially, financially and politically. I am sure that as time goes on, these units will become more complex , entrepreneuring , innovative, independent and will contribute to the economy in even greater way.

The second initiative that I want to highlight here is the creation of Entrepreneurship Development Clubs across the colleges in the state. This is another brilliant program aimed at rejuvenating the culture of entrepreneurship in Kerala. I don’t know too much about the overall performance of EDC clubs in every college campus but from what I can tell, the faculty, the government and especially students are doing a great job for the success of this initiative. Our campuses badly need more productive clubs like this and our state need more programs promoting local entrepreneurship.

In the future, as a result of the programs like these, someone/group in Kerala are much more likely to take up the risk of starting their own business and thus will provide employment for otherwise unemployed. I am very optimistic that, one day, positive energy from local entrepreneurship will transform our state for better both socially and economically and that day is getting closer and closer!

12 comments:

Mind Curry said...

excellent post babin. i am also confident that such wonderful programs will further build the very fabric of kerala and its economy, apart from empowering women. kudos to the government for this.

the beauty of these programs, as well as the Employment Guarantee Scheme lies in the message they convey, as much as the programs benefit themselves. these convey the fact "you work, you eat". this is a very important concept people have to realise in kerala, as opposed to the communist thinking of "you work, we eat".

Babin said...

@Mindcurry
Yeap, the governments are finally learning the right lessons from 40+ years of worthless socialistic governance. Kudumbasree, Employment Guarantee Scheme, are not just poverty alleviation programs, they are much wider in scope than that...

silverine said...

Great post and very heartening news. I guess self employment will teach the self employed the futility of strikes and its effects on entreprenerial spirit.

Babin said...

Thanks for the comment, silverine.. I hope that to be the case as well. Entrepreneurship spirit was so oppressed in kerala under strikes and party politics... now it is contemplating a strong comeback with the help of grassroot supports.

rocksea said...

ya optimistic post. public needs to be aware that such n such things are going on, there to help them.

Babin said...

Absolutely Rocksea.. Positivism is very rare in kerala.. Politians/bureaucrats need to be appreciated for the good work they do, at least once in a while. Otherwise , there will not be any incentive for them to continue such work in the future.

quills said...

Good post. Nice to see the increasing numbers of women entrepreneurs and programs to help them start out. And one way we can help politicians or the government that brings about positive changes or introduce programs like this in the state is by voting for them.

Hiren said...

The fact that Kerala has a high literacy rate maybe to your advantage.

Babin said...

@Quills thanks for your comments..
Nayanar Govt started Kudumbasree programs with the help of lots of development agencies..Under the UDF government, it grew even further.. Both fronts are equally good to this program bcs so far they kept politics out of it. EDC program is initiated by UDF.

The IAS officer and other bureaucrats and grassroot activists working behind this program also deserves to take the credit for its success.

@Hiren Probably because of that, kerala is very successful in implementing grass root social programs because of high rate of participation from the educated masses.

Dewaker Basnet said...

great post:)

Babin said...

@Dewaker Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

There is a Group on Linkedin to support Kerala Entrepreneurs. These are people with a global perspective.

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