In April '99, some of the 76 slum families of the Rajiv-Indira Cooperative Society mingled with industry and bureaucracy bigwigs to inaugurate a modest plinth structure at Dharavi in Mumbai. When complete, this building would be their pucca address.
Around the same time, at Maraimalainagar, 30 km from Chennai, a health centre came up to service 15 surrounding villages. It has a pharmacy, a diagnostic laboratory and a mini-surgical theatre on a one-acre plot and attends to 150 people a day, virtually free of cost.
In Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Chennai, 13 teenage, underprivileged blind girls would get back their most precious gift of nature,their eyesight.
In November '97, a 12-member management team from the British Airways head office came on special leave to Delhi to construct essential daycare facilities for Samadhan, a philanthropic organisation working for mentally handicapped children. These management professionals helped Samadhan build the walls, do the woodwork and paint the building.
These apparently remote programmes have...