Editorial

The passing away of RK Krishna Kumar marks a sad beginning to the new year for everybody who knew him. An outstanding business leader who accomplished much with the Tata group over the course of a distinguished career, RKK, as he was widely known, also served the Tata Trusts with distinction for long years. Entrepreneurial excellence and social consciousness blended in the character of RKK, and that comes through clearly in the poignant remembrance of him by the former director of the Tata Medical Center, Mammen Chandy, in the current issue of Horizons.

The Tata Trusts’ efforts to lend a helping hand to rural communities in Jharkhand — the setting of our cover story — reflects the commitment to social development that RKK held dear. In Jharkhand, this has translated into programmes of substance in livelihoods, water and sanitation, education and sports. More than 30,000 families, the majority of them from tribal-dominated regions, have been reached through initiatives with the potential to be as sustainable as they are impactful.

In our centre stage section, we track the progress of a partnership with Khan Academy India (KAI) to radically change how education is imparted in underprivileged regions. KAI’s trailblazing digital education platform is being used in 7,376 government schools in the rural reaches of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The effect it has had on learning outcomes is sizeable, measurable and enduring.

Our feature stories’ lineup comprises an appealing mix: a training programme in emergency care that is benefitting Kerala’s health setup in life-saving ways; an ‘artificial glaciers’ project in Ladakh to help village communities cope with water scarcity; an onion-farming breakthrough in Uttarakhand; a collaborative endeavour targeting mothers and children at risk of malnutrition in Andhra Pradesh; and a women-centred poultry initiative in a tribal pocket of Maharashtra.

This edition of Horizons also features Khursheed N Khurody, country chairperson of the Shivia Livelihoods Foundation, adviser and consultant to nonprofits, the guiding light of a hospitality startup and, not least, a believer in the power of music and the liberal arts to mould leaders. Additionally, we have a perspective piece by Sita Rama Budaraju and Satish V Khalikar from the Tata Trusts’ health team on how India can enhance its public health system.

Livelihoods is the focus in the showcase segment of the magazine as well. The canvas of images here captures the story of ordinary folks in the Northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh putting their hard work into agriculture and horticulture, animal husbandry and tourism. Financial aid, productivity-enhancement services and market linkages are part of the package they have access to, and they employ these to profitable effect.

Before I sign off, dear reader, my best wishes to you and your families for the new year.

Christabelle Noronha

We hope you will help us make Horizons better with your valuable feedback. Please do write to us at horizons@tatatrusts.org.

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