Target 3 Billion: Innovative Solutions Towards Sustainable Development by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Srijan Pal Singh

The book talks about PURA : Providing Urban amenities in Rural Area. It talks about various social entrepreneurs who took a challenge or a task to transform their respective villages and societies. Dr Kalam along with Mr Srijan Pal Singh provides the readers with various steps which could be taken to eradicate poverty in the world by using PURA as a tool for development.

The book starts with mentioning about the other human kind which has no access to good life and lack basic amenities like portable drinking water and basic medical supplies.

Then Dr kalam talks about the vision of 2020 that he had set out when he was the president of India. A target he set that needs to met, in which all the indians would strive to make our country a developed nation by 2020.He talks about a form of socio-economic revolution that needs to take place.He rightly focuses upon the cause of rural to urban area migration.

He focuses on youth of India who could play a major role in this aspect in eradicating poverty. He talks that rural India is an opportunity and challenge at the same time for young entrepreneurs who could bring a socio-economic change.

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Dr Kalam provides a list of sustainable features which needs to be undertaken to offer solution to the problem:

  1. Economic sustainability
  2. Technological sustainability
  3. Social Sustainability
  4. Environmental Sustainability
  5. Value Sustainability
  6. Learning and adaptability

He talks how technology could become a major driving force to meet the goal.He also states that environmental conditions should not be harmed in the due process.

Agriculture and PURA:

In another part of the book Dr Kalam and Mr Singh give a detailed viewpoint as to how PURA could be used in agricultural sector.Since rural economies are largely dependent upon agriculture the world over, the work could begin from there to eradicate poverty buy unleashing the potential of agriculture.Both talk about the second green revolution and how India needs another green revolution in which these agro-businessmen of India could play a major role.They then provide information about the many case studies in this field. eg Chitrakoot PURA and WARNA cooperative sugar factory.

They also talk about the Milk revolution which needs to come again. India being that largest producer of the milk in the world and Indian dairy providing 13% employment and 5% to national GDP. The figures are provided to show the potential of Indian milk industry.India has 283 million cattles in the world more than any. Cattle breeding,cattle health care, cattle food and nutrition,processing and marketing of of milk is talked in detail.

Social Transformation and PURA:

Mr Kalam talks about the gap in the Rural and Urban amenities in detail. He provides a bunch of stats in this regard. Here he talks that how technology,management, entrepreneurship and investments need to be used optimally to create a revolutionary change in this decade.Society based on knowledge and skill could be used to utmost advantage in India.There are case studies of social entrepreneurs who made a huge change to society. They also talk how there needs to be building of value based society.

Eco-Friendly sustainable development:

They devote an entire chapter on how the development must be made on Eco-friendly terms. Any development which is done by harming the environment is not right and should be avoided. Climate change and reforestation is talked in detail. The use of renewable energy could be employed for power generation and they talk about the vision 2030 for global energy.

Community driven sustainable development:

In this part Public private community partnership model is talked. The role of community action is been talked in length.

The four fold participation by the community is talked:

  1. Planning
  2. Execution
  3. Sustenance
  4. Growth

Then there are case studies about the barefoot doctors of China which were part of Chinese rural health care movement (started in 1950s). It’s success is talked and how it could be used. Child journalist who create a voice for the community are also in another case study where “Bachhon ki pahel” news bulletin is mentioned. They talk about other organization too such as Magarpatta community, samaj shilpi dampati and female health volunteers of Loni.Emphasis is made on youth to meet the target.

Enterprise creation leading to empowerment:

This was the chapter which interested me the most where social entrepreneurship is talked. This focuses on how enterprises could help eradicate poverty and PURA could be useful tool in it. Micro, small and medium enterprise’s role is looked in depth. A constructive environment which is beneficial for all is talked about which could be built using an enterprise network. Technology’s role is again mentioned and given a prime importance.

Certain PURAs are talked in detail to give a perspective into the way working could be, namely:
1.    Chitrakoot PURA
2.    Periyar PURA

Working culture of Toyota and Fabio Rosa’s work towards bringing sustainable energy to Brazilian villages is also mentioned.

Realization of PURA:

In this part the steps towards implementation and realization of PURA are talked about. The many organizations or people who could setup PURA and worked are talked. It talks more about policy.

The people whom they mention could set up PURA and help realize the dream of poverty-less nation are:

  1.  Government
  2. Individual/NRIs
  3. Entrepreneurs
  4. Industry
  5. Village cooperatives
  6. Academic institutions
  7. International organizations and NGOs

It is mentioned that ministry of rural development in may 2010 launched national PURA program under private public partnership with an active role for panchayati raj institutions. The funding plans of the projects are also provided in detail.Rest of the book talks about that PURA cooperation could bring changes in development and result in the development of 21st century.It is a good book in understanding a solution that Dr Kalam brings about for solving the issue of poverty in the world and particularly in India.