Hunar Ghar integrated development developments

By economics, Uncategorized

Yesterday Deepak, Neha and I had a bit of a brilliant day. In the morning we went up to see Stephen, an old friend who works at the Global Hospital in Mount Abu. Global Hospital is run by the Brahma Kumaris, and is a very high quality charity orientated hospital. He’d set up a meeting between us and Dr. Pratap, who is responsible for the hospital’s activities in the surrounding communities. Neha and Deepak had met with him before, and Neha had written a fab proposal for him about a partnership between the hospital, Educate for Life, and the Bakhel community, and we’d gone to discuss next steps.

The long and short of it is that the three stake holders will be forming a partnership. The Global Hospital, in collaboration with RNT hospital in Udaipur which specialises in community health, will be pre-testing, intervening and post-testing consistently and iteratively on 5 health issues: diarrhea, immunisation, malnutrition, respiratory diseases and anaemia. They will also provide basic health training to all our teachers to help them act people who can flag up people in the community who potentially need support in these areas. I also intend to talk to the local government health workers and have them receive this training too, so we can help them have more ongoing training and support and perform their work to a higher quality, as well as build them into our team and connection with the hospitals.

In the afternoon we went to see Heike and Wolfgang of Solare Brucke. Wolfgang developed the Sheffler reflector (his surname is Scheffler) , an efficient parabolic reflectic disc and sun tracking system used for capturing solar heat energy. We’ve been wanting to have a solar cooker at Hunar Ghar for years, since it’s beginning 5 years ago, but they are hard to comeby and organise for a cooking capacity of 150 students. But if you want to be able to cook for a lot of people, Wolfgang and Heike are your people; we met them in Abu Road on one of their current projects – construction of a 1Mega Watt solar power plant which will provide all energy needs for a community of around 15,000 people. They have already installed a solar kitchen that cooks for up to 30,000 people a day.

Hunar Ghar is small fry in comparison, but it’s the beginning of a larger network of developmental initiatives and intentions.  We discussed our need and we’ve invited them to Hunar Ghar tomorrow to come and check out our setup and how to go about installing the dishes.

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Deepak reflected in a small solar cooker.

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Fixtures ready for the solar dishes to be attached

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Deepak in front of a Sheffler reflector

To donate or not to donate: that is the question.

By donate, economics

As much as we would like, no, need the extra money, I think we have a responsibility as an organisation to make people think twice before giving to us. If someone is informed about what we do then they should be able to go right ahead unhindered and give us a couple of coins every so often. But to allow someone to just donate without understanding a few key principles, isn’t that encouraging bad habits?

Let me explain: Read More

Secondary Education, Development & Poverty in India

By economics, posted by Ash

I’m skim reading through a paper by Jandhayala Tilak about the linkages between education, development and poverty in India. It makes a pretty straightforward case for greater investment beyond primary education and begins to touch at the complex relationship between Education and Development and how they both feed into each other.

At Hunar Ghar, the older children are coming to a stage where they’re ready for seconday education, but unfortunately we’re lagging behind. Getting the right personnel, infrastructure and curriculum in place are massive tasks that we need to start working on!

You can read the abstract to the paper below, or dowload the whole article by following the link below.

Tilak- Poverty, Education & Development India.


There is a general presumption among many policy makers that secondary and higher education is not necessary for economic growth and development. On the other hand, it is literacy and primary education that is argued to be important. Estimates on internal rate of return also contributed to strengthening of such a presumption. Increased national and international concerns for Education For All, also led to overall neglect of secondary and higher education in many developing countries. The problem of resource scarcity added further to the problem. Accordingly, secondary and higher education do not figure on the poverty reduction agenda of many poor countries. Indian experience also testifies to all this. Secondary and more strikingly higher education has been subject to neglect by the government and the current situation with respect to not only elementary education, but also secondary and higher education is far from satisfactory.
Based on some of the recent research, and based on further research evidence on India presented here, it is attempted to show that the general presumption on the weak or negligible role of secondary and higher education in development is not valid and that post elementary education is important for reduction in poverty, in improving infant mortality and life expectancy, and for economic growth. Accordingly, it also pleads for sound and comprehensive education policies that recognise the importance of not just elementary education, but also of secondary and higher education and for integration of educational planning with development planning.