Partnerships provide a potent advantage, on paper at least, when creating social development programmes that are enduring and impactful. The case for collaboration becomes stronger still in the Indian context, where so much needs to be done in village and hamlet, city and town, and where no one entity can, on its own, fulfil the full potential of efforts required to lift people and communities. However, coming together to seed and spread social change is not always a simple affair. After all, it’s on the ground, rather than on paper, that promise is realised and benefits secured.
Commonality of purpose and a shared commitment to community development are often cited as the principal requirements for partnerships in the social sector to prosper. These are the attributes the Tata Trusts seek out when pursuing alliances that can deepen the impact of their initiatives. Our cover story traces the trajectory and gains of the alliances the Trusts have cemented to scale up and sustain social development endeavours in a range of areas — most substantially with the government and also with fellow-foundations and NGOs.
The best partnership is, of course, with the community, and this edition of Horizons reveals plenty of that. Our special report profiles a dairy farming programme that has reached more than 1,700 villages in four states, and our feature stories highlight a bunch of differently-hued projects: tackling the stigma still attached to menstruation; enabling teachers and students to get a taste of experiential learning; chronicling the oral narratives of those who witnessed the heartrending partition of India and Pakistan; lending a hand to help migrant families get back on their feet; and making people participation the centre of a development corridor plan.
Our guest interview this time is with Naveen Namboothri from Dakshin Foundation, who speaks passionately about coastal communities, climate change and the damage being inflicted on our oceans. In a similar (if less optimistic vein), is a piece by the Tata Trusts’ Arnab Mandal, on the dangers of air pollution and what can be done to diffuse them. Additionally, we have entrepreneurial stalwart Subroto Bagchi on the accomplishments of the ‘Skilled-in-Odisha’ brand that is helping youth in the state reach for the stars. Odisha is also the setting for our showcase spread, which picturises a path-breaking effort that has got the urban poor out of slums and into proper homes and liveable surroundings.
Cheers and all the very best, dear reader, for the new year.Christabelle Noronha
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