Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Power of entrepreneurship in solving the problem of poverty in India…..

N.R. NARAYANA MURTHY writes in his book (Excerpt published in outlook 20 April 2009 from A Better India: A Better World by N. R. Narayana Murthy; Allen Lane (Penguin India), Rs 499): 

  • “The enigma of India is that our progress in higher education and in science and technology has not been sufficient to take 350 million Indians out of illiteracy. It is difficult to imagine that 318 million people in the country do not have access to safe drinking water and 250 million people do not have access to basic medical care. 
  • Why should 630 million people not have access to acceptable sanitation facilities even in 2009? When you see world-class supermarkets and food chains in our towns, and when our urban youngsters gloat over the choice of toppings on their pizzas, why should 51 per cent of the children in the country be undernourished? 
  • When India is among the largest producers of engineers and scientists in the world, why should 52 per cent of the primary schools have only one teacher for every two classes? When our politicians and bureaucrats live in huge houses in Lutyens’ Delhi and the state capitals, our corporate leaders splurge money on mansions, yachts and planes, and our urban youth revel in their latest sports shoes, why should 300 million Indians live on hardly Rs 545 per month, barely sufficient to manage two meals a day, with little or no money left for schooling, clothes, shelter and medicine?
  • These questions have been troubling me right from that day when I spent a lonely, hungry, cold and introspective 21 hours in the guard’s compartment on a freight train going from the historic city of Nis, in what was then Yugoslavia and is now Serbia, to Istanbul, way back in 1974. I have had some success in demonstrating the power of entrepreneurship in solving the problem of poverty through my experiment of creating Infosys. Yet, when I look at the big canvas of India, I often feel confused, agitated and powerless—but also motivated to find solutions to this problem.

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