Laser-Focused on Villages
To help the 3.4 billion underserved people on earth who live in villages to prosper, policies and actions that address rural poverty are critical. Revitalizing rural areas so they are productive, sustainable and healthy places to learn, work, and live would strengthen the connection between rural and urban economies and have a tremendous impact on global poverty. Rural areas have the potential to become hubs of innovation and drive the transformation of food systems and overall livelihoods.
We Are All Connected
The Post Covid-19 World is a game-changer, requiring new ways of thinking. In the midst of the global pandemic, food, industrial and human resource supply chains were disrupted. Urbanites living in cities are now painfully aware of their inter-dependence on the rural work force and how critical farmers and Agribusinesses are for uninterrupted food supply. To establish strong and secure market linkages, we must include villagers and rural workforce in our business models.
The Smart Village Movement is all about an effort to lift millions of villagers out of poverty while entwining them in the larger fabric of the national and global community. As our efforts spread around the globe, millions more are sure to benefit.
Economic Development vs. Aid
Nearly 70 percent of India, or 900 million people, live in over 600,000 villages. About 200 million of them live below the poverty line or BPL. As Solomon Darwin reflects in his book, How to Create Smart Villages: Open Innovation Solutions for Emerging Markets’ –
“Villages in India have received government aid through several programs over the years. Although these programs help villagers in the short term, they do not lay the foundation for sustainable economic development. Once government funding for a program end, there is little to sustain it further at the village level. Creating economic opportunity would help the village and the government, which could potentially reduce expenditures on aid while improving villagers’ lives.”
Traditional Aid Instils Dependence
There is no doubt – while targeted and finite aid programs that address specific goals do help to address significant problems or emergency situations, much of the aid in low-income countries is continuous, instills dependence and is ineffective in fulfilling the promise of sustained economic growth and eradication of poverty. Very often, governments and companies have not involved villagers in the design of their aid programs, so programs often do not address villagers’ actual needs or aspirations. At times, traditional aid programs have often led to unintended consequences of dependence which can harm otherwise successful local businesses, and restricts economic growth for beneficiaries.
Redefining Rural Development: Empower Villagers to Shape their Own Futures
Smart Village Movement provides villages with information, training and other tools they need to become successful entrepreneurs. We engage with the community at every level by learning from families, farmers, educators, artisans and village entrepreneurs about their real needs and aspirations.
SVM is founded on Open-innovation principles that facilitates collaboration between Government, Academia, and Corporates for the Community through our Platform. We call this the Triple Helix Model. SVM NGO’s role is to build and manage this open ecosystem, by facilitating collaborations among relevant companies and organizations and create an integrated solution for rural populations.
Our solutions focus on solving real problems that villagers face rather than addressing what people outside the village assume are problems. This does not require substantial infrastructure development or large outlays of money. The crucial elements are uninterrupted internet connectivity, community engagement, and skill-building. With these resources, villagers can identify and pursue their chosen entrepreneurial paths to economic independence.