It was a hot day in early June many years ago when we – Anirban and Anish – were walking through through Gumla in Jharkhand, with the then Managing Trustee of TATA Trusts. Our conversation cemented an inkling we’d had for a while.
After noting the progress in the last quarter, we stopped to chat with a young farmer. She had experienced a significant increase in her annual income, a tenfold rise reaching Rs 2 lakh per annum through her work in a self-help group (SHG). We were all pleased her income had improved and food security was possible. But there was more to her story. For many aspects of her hard life remained unchanged.
“What would you like your children to be when they grow up?” the Tata Trustee asked her.
“Like you,” she responded.
The question was simple. The answer was even simpler. But that one moment put us in touch with both the aspirations and the gap at arriving there.
Schools in her village were non-operational and healthcare services were non-existent. So her enhanced income did not translate into improved opportunities for her family. We realised livelihood was just one dimension of life. It did not necessarily improve quality of life. And it definitely did not naturally extend to intergenerational prosperity.
Thus, TRI was born, with one single radiant vision – to transform opportunities for rural Indians by implementing multidimensional and systemic change for widespread impact. In our own way, our goal was to reimagine and redefine the idea of “development.”
– Anish and Anirban