The growth of Indian cities has been widely studied and analyzed. Driven by industry led growth and the structural shifts in village based economy of agriculture and animal husbandry, we are seeing a significant shift in population towards urban centers. According to a study by McKinsey and Co, there will be 69 metropolitan cities by 2025, each with a population of one million or more, which collectively will be home to 78 percent of India’s urban population. Gandhi had written then that India is to be found in its 7 million villages and not cities. It may not be too presumptuous to say now that the future of India lies in how well it manages it cities.
Cities are seen as magnetic hubs of modern social development that attract enterprise through access to skills and markets, engender social diversity through cosmopolitanism and trigger technology led innovation and improvisations. However unprecedented growth, lack of foresight, political will and rent seeking across the spectrum have exposed the weak foundations of many urban cities. Water, solid waste, mobility, maintenance of commons like lakes/water bodies, ground water, parks and playground, public health, inequality (slums comprise a fifth of the total population in Indian cities) get inadequate attention from policy makers and public executive bodies.
A resilient city would seek to engage on important urban aspects with all its key stakeholders. Wipro through its community programs is working closely with industry, government and communities in creating platforms that enable working on some fundamental and sticky issues.
Themes of Engagement
- Participative ground water project: To develop understanding of ground water and how it can inform community led management.
- KSWN – Karnataka state water network: In association with CII, a platform to bring together different stakeholders to work on urban water issues. Since its inception in 2014, it has facilitated interventions and exchange of ideas between five water sustainability zones/areas in the city.
- Working with urban public transport body in Bangalore for better adoption of public transport by employees.
- Enabling employee groups on cycling and carpooling.
- Access to social security and benefits for city’s informal waste pickers
- Facilitated sessions on waste segregation and composting for employees and their families
- Working on an e-waste program for the Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA) cluster.