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Get together with a purpose December 2011

12th Dec 2011 in Mumbai (presentation by Prof. Trilochan Sastry)
This meet was attended by about 85+ friends. 
During this meet, Prof. Trilochan Sastry, (B.Tech from IIT Delhi, MBA from IIM Ahmedabad & Ph.D from MIT, USA), presently working as Dean–IIM, Bangalore presented his work.Prof Sastry spoke about both his organizations –

The Farmers Co-operative, viz., Center For Collective Development (CCD),  in Andhra Pradesh,which is doing good work to scale up the incomes of farmers in the two poorest tribal districts of Anantapur and Adilabad of Andhra Pradesh. It has very ambitious plans by introducing new methods of farming, exposure visits of the farmers, direct linkage to markets and export houses, hi-grade seeds, setting up a Mill for peanuts, their main crop, and value addition. This project got a big boost with the Axis Bank Foundation’s funding for the next 5 years. They plan to expand this on the lines of Dr Kurien's "AMUL" which inspired Prof Sastry.  In the long run this shall improve the lives of thousands of farmers in this region. It may set an example which may be followed by other NGOs working in different parts of our country in this area.

(ii) Prof Sastry's second project, Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR), generated even more interest. This is the only organisation in the CF family which works on issues of good governance.Thanks to untiring efforts of ADR, since the last 10 years or so the contesting candidates have to declare their assets, educational qualifications, and also details of any criminal cases against them. This has had far reaching impact on the masses and the politicians too. ADR has the support of more than 1200 Ngos all over the country who help them in the gathering and dissemination of information and data. ADR is also working on reforms in the election process. They have some eminent names on their advisory board like retired former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the former Chief Election Commissioner, Mr Lyngdoh etc. Dr. Ajit Ranade, an eminent economist, who is  associated with Prof Sastry since many years,  was also present.  He is looking to strengthen some important areas of ADR in spite of his busy schedule.  ADR also shares it's data with the media. In the current scenario of rampant corruption, the audience was happy to see a ray of hope in ADR.

Prof Sastry lastly spoke about the needs of ADR which is being run on a shoe string budget compared to it's nationwide reach. ADR is looking for support in man power and resources.

All in all it was a very enlightening meet, as was expected from one of the most highly qualified founders amongst our group ngos.