A New Medium for Change

<p>I have been working on the technology side of JustMeans for over seventh months. In that period we have developed some great features, but the best is yet to come.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I am based in Maharastra, the state in which Mumbai (or for you Westerners, Bombay) is based.&nbsp; When I started working with JustMeans, I had heard the buzz words &ldquo;CSR, social entrepreneurship, sustainability (etc etc)&rdquo;.&nbsp; My first reaction (and arguably one of many Indians about Western concepts) was &ldquo;here comes more hype from the West&rdquo;.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In conversations in our office here, I even mentioned to Vikrant (JustMeans System Architect) that the whole field is BS and these guys only want to make money, another quick flip.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> After reading quite a few books ( How to Change the World by JustMeans advisor David Bornstein, Banker to the Poor by Yunus) and articles ( many of them posted here on JustMeans),&nbsp; I started realizing that while in no way perfect, the people and companies that are tinkering in the worlds of social enterprise and sustainability may be onto something.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Yet, my apprehension persisted.&nbsp; Here in India these grand concepts are great but I continued to wonder how these efforts would reach the people who need the basics of life today.&nbsp; How could technology help the millions of people who live in slums not far from our office, or for that matter across any city in India?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Then, I read the book on BABA (Father) AMTE, who spent his entire life working with leprosy patients before there was any social awareness or support.&nbsp;&nbsp; Baba Amte's story is a fascinating one -- one man's colorful odyssey to conquer his own fears and expand the notion of justice and peace through innovative experiments. Baba's most famous experiment is Anandwan , a home for leprosy patients and other marginalized people who are shunned by society.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Dalai Lama described his work as "practical compassion, real transformation; the proper way to develop India." <br /> <br /> Baba Amte is also known for his advocacy work including peace and justice marches across the length and breadth of India, his solidarity with the aborigine tribes of India, and his opposition to the Sardar Sarovar Dam, a controversial and colossal "super-dam" project across one of India's largest rivers.&nbsp;&nbsp; After a long life of service, Baba passed away in February 2008.<br /> <br /> The one message that really resonated with me was when Baba stated that he wished he had a medium to reach more people.&nbsp; In that message, I began to realize how technology could be the backbone for lifting millions of people out of poverty.&nbsp; JustMeans is creating a platform that showcases the social activists of the past and the present (from all sectors), those that are trying to create true value for society.&nbsp; I feel we are beginning a new conversation, connecting people, showcasing models of collaborations beyond traditional notions of regions, nations or continents.&nbsp; This is how globalization must work for my generation.&nbsp; Technology and social media is the medium Baba was looking for, now we have a platform for a new definition of value.</p>