The most significant issue faced by the informal sector in India has been the shortage of finances or the very limited access to resources to run one’s business. It is very evident that the informal sector in the last several years has been going through severe crisis one after the other, along with existing issues demonetisation has played havoc in the informal economy. In such circumstances, fintech like Kalediofin has started offering solutions to address the issues in the informal sector.
Product offering niche
Kalediofin has started in 2017 with an initial investment of Rs 10 million and so far added 2,500 customers have benefited from the innovative product offerings from the startup. The fintech startup is a platform that provides tailor-made financial solutions to households through its products like Ummeed, Lakshya and Udaan. The product offerings from this start-up have a unique proposition like offering tailor-made solutions based on one’s personal goals & individual’s saving habit. The product mix encompasses the aspects of savings, investment, credit. The solution gathers its strength using the latest technologies and algorithms. The delivered to the customers seamlessly at their doorstep, above all the rates offered by Kaledin are affordable and cost-effective.
The startup has clocked a revenue of Rs 1million in FY18 and raring to expand its operation to other states also, Currently, it has a presence in Tamilnadu, Bihar & Gujarat. Kalediofin focuses on providing small loans to households, it can provide the necessary impetus to the informal sector, helps to improve households’ living standards above all it helps the women folks to be empowered by achieving financial independence. It would also lead to an increase in disposable income to rural households and thus increasing their purchasing power in the economy. Kalediofin has been a perfect example of an ecosystem which combines the power of the latest technology and innovative business idea which has the potential to create a perceptible social transformation in the informal sector.
The Idea and driving force behind Kalediofin are Sucharita Mukherjee & Puneeth Gupta who founded this entity after working together at Institute of financial management and research.
The group of young innovators from Genrobotics couldn’t have done anything better than bringing a smile on the faces of people who are involved manual scavenging works for decades. The shocking images of the people who earn their lively hood by risking their lives cleaning the sewage by immersing themselves in neck deep of liquid waste has prompted everyone with a question , when are we going to change the ordeal of this community who risks their life every time while clearing the clogs in the sewage pipes underground. The group of young innovators from Genrobotics, Technopark Trivandrum has come up with a semi-robotic device named “Bandicoot “, which has the potential to address the problems and rescue the workers from risking their lives.
The semi-automatic robot with its inbuilt arms can get into the bottom of sewage pipes and scoop up the liquid waste and get it dumped into the collecting vessel. The Safai Karmachari Andolan has been fighting to eradicating the manual scavenging in India for many years, In spite of their mission to wipe out the manual scavenging from the society, Our deep-rooted and century-old caste system always prevailed over the basic humanity to rehabilitate all the scavengers from this undignified profession. The team of youngsters had spent weeks in the different parts of the country studying, how the manual scavenging has been done, After spending some much time watching the ordeal of cleaning the waste from the sewage pipes prompted the innovators to find a solution to address the problem through the means of the technology. The team from Genrobotics after careful analysis of the situation designed a “Bandicoot” completely functional robotic model within a span of two months. The device is equipped with a user interface and can be controlled easily by training the workers. Social Innovation by this youngster devoting their time and effort to improve the lives of this vulnerable section of the population should be considered as an activity having the elements of compassion, empathy. Great step with innovation can save the lives of people who often die breathing toxic gases emanating from the sewage pipes.
Although in 1993, manual scavenging practice was banned, it is still very prevalent and continues to claim lives. According to Socioeconomic and caste census 2011, 182,505 households in rural India with at least one member doing manual scavenging , According Wilson Magsaysay award award winner , 2016 says as per the study carried out by his organization revealed that around 1.6lakh manual scavengers in India, But the government figures are much lower, also 99 % of them who are involved in this activity are Dalits. The apathy towards this class of people still continues unabated and the government gives less priority to rehabilitate them. The innovation by Genrobotics is a great step in the right direction to protect the interest of these peoples. The “Bandicoot” semi-automatic robot can replace the manual scavenging jobs and in future, it can save many lives which otherwise could have lost if allowed to continue without any respite.
A sample survey of manual scavengers(A Summary of documented cases submitted to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment )
Manual scavengers who left manual scavenging after sample survey and awaiting for rehabilitation
The river Ganges holds such an important place in the collective consciousness of our nation perhaps its significance stems from its tradition & mythology. River Ganga is India’s largest and most vital fresh-water resources. But the irony is that it is among the most polluted river in the world. Although we revere the river Ganga as a mother goddess, however, on the other hand, the river gets polluted by our irresponsible behaviour by allowing the sewage water & solid waste from household and industries. The pilgrims add more than 8 million flowers each year into the river as a part offering prayers to god. The resultant action pollutes the water more with harmful chemicals used on the flower which can lead to waterborne diseases like cholera, dysentery, hepatitis & diarrhoea.
In 2015, the childhood friends Ankit agarwal and Karan Rastogi cofounded a social enterprise called HelpUsGreen. The aim of this enterprise is to devote their time and resource in reducing the pollution in river Ganga. The Team collects the discarded flower before it gets into river and processes them to create 100 percent Vermi-compost fertilizers and also manufactures incense sticks . The enterprise targets European and Indian markets to sell their organic products . HelpUsGreen employs women folks from the lower strata of the society and helps them to get empowered financially as well as delivering on the objective of reducing the pollution of this giant fresh water river. The team of women employed with Help Us Green collects 1.5tons of flowers daily from temples and mosques and convert it into organic fertilisers and incense sticks.
Helpusgreen also has plans to expand its product ranges to bath soaps, chemical free products, natural body cleaners. So this is one such social enterprise initiative which can deliver benefits in terms of reducing pollution, create avenues of people to get employed , also protecting the environment from waste accumulation . This kind of initiatives which uses the potential of resources and keeps their utility to the maximum by following innovative business practices, also creates value along with its process.
It is rare among the rarity of someone leaving one’s comfort of being the son of former governor and moreover to have had led the life of a former fighter pilot in Indian Airforce. Yes, the life of Steve has been one such sort of journey in a remote location on the hills of Uttaranchal.
The couple Steve and Parvati have been a living a subsistence lifestyle for the last 30 years at their home which is 6500 feet above the sea level. When they first arrived at this place they have nothing at all to start with, but they have set out to lead a lifestyle under the auspices & bounties of nature with full of oak trees, birds chirping & clattering monkeys.
Over the years the couple has built a home on the site which was once a cow shed and live on a monthly income of 2000Rs . They raise money by renting a pair of small cottages for passing hikers as well through farming. Although now Steve’s house has electricity, there no running water, or internet or any facility to warm when the temperature dips below zero degrees. According to Steve, he can’t imagine living in any other place other than his 34-acre estate. He keeps regular patrol around his estate to ward of wood pinching locals at bay.
Steve a Harvard educated the young chap met Parvati after he had been kicked out of the service for not following the orders. The couple has been living in this place for the last 33 years with no regrets. Their lifestyle has been a perfect example of leading a life which is near to nature devoid of any pollution or disturbances. Both He & wife took care of there surroundings well without disturbing its ecosystem, Both their two kids were born and bought up in the estate, later they got educated from Delhi. Steve owns a couple of Royal Enfield bullets, which he likes repairing and riding them often.
Steve had dug a grave himself a long time back, he is well prepared to leave this world when he kicks his bucket. Continue reading