India’s biggest minds resolve to end poverty at ‘Charcha 2022’
Over 750 professionals from India’s livelihood sector, from across governments, markets and civil society, attended The/Nudge Institute’s flagship event ‘Charcha 2022’, India’s leading livelihoods summit. They resolved to bring an end to poverty in India before India reaches its 100th year of independence.
Charcha 2022 was the first exclusive, in-person gathering of over 750 key stakeholders in the nation’s development sector, including distinguished members from civil society, policy makers, changemakers, philanthropists, academicians, entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders.
“I believe that there should be constant feedback, constant monitoring and evaluation, and dispersal of funds must be based on performance. This would be a huge incentive for institutional transformation,” said Mr. Amitabh Kant, India’s sherpa for G20 and the former CEO of Niti Aayog, who was a keynote speaker for Charcha 2022. ”There needs to be focus on evidence-based policy framework and policies have to be grounded in data; without that we cannot make transformations and we need to significantly improve our ability to get data gathering and data analysis capabilities,” Mr. Kant added.
Since its inception in 2020, Charcha has amplified the importance of collaborations and partnerships for enhancing resilient livelihoods which enable large-scale social transformation. This year, Charcha’s programming focused on four areas: rural transformation (with BMGF), skill development (with MSDF), governance & state capacity (with VEDDIS and J-PAL through ASPIRE), and entrepreneurship (with GAME). There were events like Deshruption, Funding ka Funda, Tez Talks and Chai pe Charcha. ‘Deshruption’ was a spotlight series shedding light on technology-led disruptions at national scale, highlighting how organisations are creating economic opportunities in financing and skilling.
“We need to handle the livelihood puzzle. It should focus on the households at an intersectional level, on income classes and land-holding classes. At the convergence of these sections, we should focus our livelihood efforts on the vulnerabilities of these households and ensure that every one of them is able to earn a decent income that lifts them from the poverty line and allows them to lead a life of dignity,” the Chief Guest of the event, Mr. N N Sinha, Secretary Ministry of Rural Development said. “We need to do a lot of work for increased participation from the labour force and put efforts into skilling and entrepreneurship. We need to work in the areas of agro-processing and micro-entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and construction. Additionally, there would be opportunities in trade, transport, education, business, and health,” he added.
The segment ‘Living Books’ brought to the fore five distinguished changemakers with deep expertise in partnering with governments to spark policy change at scale, who acted as human libraries, and interacted with the audience. ‘Tez Talks’ introduced a wide variety of social innovations within the livelihoods sector through the lens of eminent leaders. ‘Chai pe Charcha’ was a designated networking space on the sidelines of Charcha for fostering better networking & collaboration over cups of tea.
“There is a need to get rid of the common Indian mentality of merely settling for a good job. We need to move towards aspirational entrepreneurship, which essentially means that the youth has a mindset to be self-employed and be a job creator,” Mr. Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi, said. “We have initiated ‘Business Blasters’, an EMC program, where students are provided seed money with a motive to invest, inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset. I believe that with interventions such as these and with support from corporates, organisations and other stakeholders, we will be able to support the nation’s goals in ensuring resilient livelihoods for all,” Mr Sisodia added.
Stakeholders across the board agreed that leveraging the immense potential of technology is the way forward for solving age-old livelihoods issues. They also felt that India needs to harness its ‘nari shakti’ to make India an inclusive country. There was also a consensus on creating an entrepreneurial mindset among the youth so that they can think of self-employment and job creation as lucrative opportunities instead of merely focusing on getting a job.
Charcha 2022 culminated with stakeholders committing to translate the discourse into action in the years to come. The day eventually ended with a concert by the Indian Ocean.