BHARATHAM EDUCATION AND SOCIAL TRUST (BEST)

BEST reminds the closest relationship between and among all people involved in the movement that all are brothers and sisters. In the background of the hierarchically stratified Indian society with numerous classes and castes including the Untouchables (Dalits) and in another sense it is revolutionary as nobody would call for an example, the Dalits on an equal terms like ‘brother or sister’. This would upset the traditional upper castes.

The word ‘Society’ indicates a legal body formed by the service minded, willing and bonafide founders of the Society, sharing and accepting a common vision for service and binding themselves with rules and regulations of the Society that has secured the official status of registration with the Government and recognition of the public and it cannot change the Rules and Regulations and the aims and objectives without the permission of the Government.

      India Overview

One third the size of the United States, India is home to over the billion people. The diversity and complexity of this country provide incredible challenges to its leaders: Complexity of language – 30% of Indians speak Hindi while 18 other languages have official status and English is the official government and business language. Complexity of religions – the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. At this point approximately 80% of Indians are Hindu, 12% Muslim and 2% Sikh 4% Christians 2% other. Religions tensions cause violence regularly.

Complexity of social-status castes still determine the future of many Indians and amplify the serious gap between the urban wealthy and 40% poor in the country. For nearly twenty years, Mahatma Gandhi led a nationalist movement to win India’s independence from Great Britain, and eventually succeeded in the year 1947. Although Indians embrace Gandhi’s legacy of spirituality and leadership, many lament the absence of those values in recent Governments who have not adequately addressed areas of sanitation, health care, education and housing for all citizens. India is primarily an agricultural Economy, Half of the country is under cultivation, with growing economies in textiles, tourism and high technology. Although urban roads are developed rural roads are often impassab le in heavy rains. The tsunami of 2004 that killed thousands of people and displaced 150,000 more was only one of numerous natural disasters that plague the country including floods, droughts and earthquakes. The challenges to developing a sustainable social intrastructure are vast.

Even as India touches new heights of economic growth, ther e is also a flip side to this story. Nearly 300 million people continue to live on less than one dollar a day. Almost 50% of the children below 3 years of age are malnourished. Surveys show that on any given day anywhere between 20-25 percent of govenment teachers and health workers are absent from schools and clinics they are serving. The country suffers from a massive infrastructure deficit; it has practically no interstate expressways linking its major economic centers and has only 8,000 km of four-lane highways. No city in India has water supply of 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The market cannot deliver inclusive growth. We need better quality public expenditure. In fact shifting resources from subsidy to infrastructure is what we need. For example Rs.60,000 crore worth of fertilizer and food subsidy can be put into roads, water management, health etc. This will contribute to deeper and wider reduction of peverty than merely giving handouts.

A web of complex developmental challenges confronts the country today. ICRIERums up the risks as follows: Populists policies, a weak infrastructure, regidities in the labor market, poor performance of the agricultural sector, slow pace of economic reforms, and poor human resource policies in the areas of education, skill-development and health service provision, Moreover, a core set of challenges on the implementation side with regard to delivery of basic public services contiues. The reality is despite being a growing economy and the world’s second most favored destination for investment after China, India’s development has been hugely uneven.