Even when the giving is for an institution or an organisation, it is the individual that counts for most in any measuring of philanthropy and its outcomes. The ‘individual grants programme’ (IGP) of the Tata Trusts personalises this concept to the greatest extent while rendering financial support to the truly needy for education and for medical emergencies.
The cover story in the latest edition of Horizons profiles IGP and charts the changes that are enabling it to better serve people from different walks of life. Drawing on a legacy of benevolence that began with the setting up, in 1892, of the JN Tata Endowment, the programme has expanded as it has evolved and now reaches more individuals than ever before.
Our centre stage section is occupied by a trailblazing water-monitoring system based on the Internet of things network. This trailblazing solution will, if all goes well, soon be a crucial component in India’s aspirational effort to provide tapped water in every rural home of the country by 2024. Sensors, software and other technologies are the levers here but the onus is on village communities to make a success of the initiative.
A variety of subjects and themes are covered in the collection of feature articles we have put together for this issue. The highlights in the blend are a story on how the Internet Saathi project has enabled some 30 million women in 20 states to become digitally literate, another on a water-centred initiative that is helping more than 9,000 farmers in Maharashtra, and a piece on the relief and rehabilitation programme undertaken by the Tatas for victims of the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
We have two illuminating interviews as well, the first with Ajay Mathur, director general of the International Solar Alliance, who talks about the revolutionary potential of renewable energy and the climate change challenge, and the second with social scientist Ravi Srivastava, who articulates his view on the social and economic path that could work best for India.
Offering more pointed perspectives are Deepika Sorabjee of the Tata Trusts on the nature and meaning of support for art and artists in these difficult times; Valay Singh and Niyati Singh on the criticality of reforming India’s justice system; and Dr Abhay Bang, who pleads the case for tribal communities left in the lurch by the country’s healthcare setup.
Last but far from least, in our photo feature we turn the lens on a beekeeping project that is bringing sweet rewards for a bunch of enterprising villagers in Andhra Pradesh.
Cheers to staying safe and keeping the reading habit going.Christabelle Noronha
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