Debates on whether aid works, how much aid budgets should be and how they are spent ought not to be the only focus, says the India800 Foundation, a charity that will present its work at the House of Lords in London on Monday. Instead, argues India800, poverty should be tackled by clearly identifying what specific problems are faced by the world’s poorest people, then by developing science and technology-based solutions to tackle those problems, with the results clearly evidenced. The India800 Foundation believes this will also help prevent ‘compassion fatigue’ and the feeling by many that poverty issues are far too huge and complex to actually be ever solved.

The India800 Foundation is taking precisely this approach in its work with India’s poorest people – the 800 million who live on less than $2 a day – harnessing the power of science and technology – through social innovation –which leads to sustainable interventions.

For instance, their work on social innovation includes solar powered lighting systems to eliminate the use of kerosene lamps, the development of cheap mobile phones and a number of other health related technologies.

“Our theme is Building One India, and our work is always solutions-focused,” says India800’s Chief Executive Krishna Sarda. “We are aware of the enormity of the challenge we have set ourselves, but we must work to ensure all emerging economies secure inclusive growth. If we do not secure this we will have wasted the opportunity to lift millions out of poverty.”

To this end, the charity will also call for the establishment of a Ministerial group on Social Justice from the emerging BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) to share best practice on inclusive growth and developments in science and technology.

The India800 launch is hosted jointly by the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group and EMF – a Social Justice Foundation

Web link:     www.india800.org

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