Corporates, startups, individuals, and businesses are not content to just talk about poverty and inequality in today's volatile socio-economic environment.
Corporates, startups, individuals, and businesses are not content to just talk about poverty and inequality in today's volatile socio-economic environment. They are not content to sit on the sidelines creating positive social impacts for the people at the bottom of pyramid (BoP). They are the change-makers who will bring a new approach to solving age-old social problems. They are willing to take risks to make a difference in the lives of those who are least fortunate.
India's poorest segment needs social impact
India's vulnerable and poor social strata, which includes drivers, cooks, domestic helpers and waste pickers, are a major opportunity for social entrepreneurs to make an impact on the innovation ecosystem. A recent study found that 34% of these people are between 10-25 years old and want a better lifestyle. Social changemakers need to tap into India's aspirational classes, tomorrow's neomiddle class. This under-served segment is crucial to unlocking India's potential economy.
There is now a new breed impact investor that caters to the aspirations and needs of the lower-middle class and focuses on opportunities that could allow them to have a better quality life and better livelihoods.
The Aavishkaar Group is a major player in India's Impact Ecosystem. This organization has been helping social entrepreneurs for over two decades, aiming to create an inclusive and sustainable future in India for the country's most marginalized communities. Aavishkaar funds social enterprises in rural low-income areas in sectors such as healthcare, education, water, livelihoods support, and sanitation. Arohan, a member of the Aavishkaar Group offers microfinance for families and communities in India’s remote rural areas to foster innovation in local economies. Arohan's Sanitation Loan Facility helps rural women build toilets at home. This initiative promotes sanitation in India's villages and empowers rural women to regain dignity and protect their privacy.
Other game-changers are also working to create an inclusive innovation environment for the disabled community. AssisTech Foundation, for example, is a non-profit organization that fosters and supports assistive technology innovators and startups to improve the lives and livelihoods people with disabilities. This organization invests in startups that use digital technology to create affordable assistive tech products that empower people with disability.
Technology as an enabler
India's digital infrastructure is a great asset for anyone who wants to use technology to make a bigger impact. Social entrepreneurs and innovators have been able to develop new models of change and accelerate social impact through the growing use of smartphones and high-speed internet connectivity in rural regions.
Unitus Ventures, for example, is an early-stage venture capital company that uses technology to solve long-standing problems. It invests in FinTech, Healthcare, and JobTech to help startups that serve low-income communities. Utter is one of its portfolio companies. It focuses on India's unorganized blue collar workforce (app-based taxi drivers, food delivery workers and e-commerce delivery personnel) by providing them with workplace skills in a range of sectors such as transport and hospitality. The company's AI-based multilingual mobile education platform uses chatbots and live tutors in combination to teach English language skills and workplace skills to those who don’t have access to traditional classrooms.
Villgro, a social enterprise incubator founded by pioneers, addresses the gap between startups that are able to attract large amounts of venture capital funding (e.g. Airbnb) and those who struggle to get funds. This includes those in the areas of sewage cleaning or road development.
Villgro and other impact players help dispel the myth that the social sector isn't receiving enough funding to provide education and healthcare for its most vulnerable. This is because this group lacks a profitable business model and the talent necessary to expand the BoP (base-of-the pyramid) segment.
Villgro's investment strategy is focused on education, employability and agribusiness in order to foster innovation for those who don't have the means to do so.
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If you want to avoid problems such as strokes and heart disease, there is an easy way.
Get more fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains are better than refined ones. Brown rice is better than white. Switch to whole-wheat pasta
Consider lean proteins such as poultry, fish and beans.
Reduce your intake of processed foods, sugar, salt, saturated fat, and other unhealthy food.
Flexibility is key to eating well, according to Joyce Meng, MD assistant professor at UConn Health's Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center. You can follow a strict diet plan if you prefer. It's okay if you don't like following a strict diet plan.
Tricia Montgomery (52), founder of K9 Fit Club knows firsthand the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Her favorite things are eating healthy food and making small, frequent meals. She says, "I don’t deny myself anything." "I still enjoy dessert, key lime pie, yum!" -- I love frozen gummy bears and moderation is the key.
Get regular checkups. Your doctor will keep track of your medical history so that you can stay healthy. If you are at high risk of osteoporosis (a condition that weakens bones), your doctor may recommend more vitamin D and calcium.
You may be recommended by your doctor to have screening tests done to monitor your health and detect conditions before they become serious.
Be open to communication. Meng said, "If you have any questions, ask your doctor." "Ensure you are satisfied with the information." Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about any medication or procedure.
It can be very detrimental to your health. It is impossible to avoid it all, but there are ways you can reduce the effects. Do not take on too many responsibilities. Set limits for yourself and others. It is okay to say no.
To relieve stress, try:
Talking to a friend or family member.
Develop healthy habits
You can prevent problems from coming your way tomorrow if you make the right decisions today.
Brush your teeth twice daily and floss each day.
Limit your alcohol. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day.
Take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Get better sleep. Try to sleep for at least 8 hours. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping.
Keep out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Wear your seatbelt.
Meng suggests that you take time each day to invest in your own health.
Montgomery was able to see the benefits. Montgomery says that she has overcome health issues, is happy, and has a positive outlook. She says that her life has been forever transformed.