Mrs. Reva Maini of the Gramothan Foundation of the Maini Group shared about the work being done by the Gramothan foundation for the holistic growth of villages. It involved improving the quality of life of villagers by engaging with the villages and helping them upgrade their skills. The programmes include, empowerment of women, health and healthcare, setting up the Gramothan vividhi desha southward and a sahakari bank to help them set up business, education, organic farming, cooperative farming, and value addition especially for women in form of skilling the population, making them employable and empowering them economically and socially.
Prof Shoji Shiba, chief advisor, champions for societal manufacturing project, in his address to the participants, shared with them the insights on the three eyes of Buddha and it’s implication for the village Buddha project. He said that the first eye is the eye of control, self control and the necessity to maintain standards; the second eye is the eye to step up incremental improvement, the kaizen and the third eye, is the eye of breakthrough, the eye of innovation. It is what brings in the transformation and it is this transformation that brings in a holistic development.
Prof Shiba also said that in this age of transformation changes are happening in the Indian villages at a great speed and the villages are at a tipping point of this change, brought about by easy access to information, transportation, and availability of finance, education, health facilities and availability of products in the market. This has greatly increased their aspirations, and these can be met by new business ideas and new concepts for transformation. Village Buddha project aims to be the link and present a new approach to meet the aspirations of the villagers, leading to a holistic development of the entire community.
In the first phase of Village Buddha, the pilot will focus on training these volunteers by improving the concepts and process of activities of Kaizen in the villages. This will create a standard process for village development, a diffusion strategy for implementation of this standard process, to be followed by up-gradation and scaling up. As it is rolled out, more and more companies, with the mission of an inclusive agenda, are welcome and encouraged to become part of this national movement created by CII. Subsequently, in the next phase, the programme will focus on supporting companies’ village businesses, and creating new business opportunities for emerging markets. Though the idea is still in the infancy stage and is open to suggestions and discussion, the models would be demonstrated through pilots. CII would build up capacity to support and grow these activities over the next couple of years.