Monday, December 15, 2008

Blog Spotlight + Video of the week

Yatin Sethi has a great blog on social innovation largely focused on India. Its an aggregate site, in the sense that unlike the other blogs I've highlighted so far, Yatin's blog gleans content rather than sharing his own views on things. Its really good stuff, particularly if you are trying to figure out what the upcoming ethos of social innovation is in India.

One of my favorite posts from his recent stuff is this video (borrowed from YouTube). Someone surveyed various segments of the Indian population and asked them what they would do with Rs 500 (US$10). You'll get a good idea of the value gap (the gap in what a specific thing, in this case a set amount of money is valued) between different social sectors in India. To the poor this is a HUGE amount; to the middle and upper classes, its absolutely nothing. The video is great, though I wish it was translated. I will do my best below to make up for this. Keep in mind that:
  • middle and upper classes in India usually speak English (though they are multilingual)
  • the poor classes usually speak only in local languages
  • most of the little boys interviewed here are already working for a living, so they understand the value of Rs 500.

Again, the question is:

Q. What would you do with Rs 500??

Answers (italics are the translated versions)...I must say I am embarrassed for the middle class Indians...doing a good job with their youth, eh?? Lofty goals...
  • get a piercing done
  • "freak out" ("freak out" is slang for "enjoy myself) at all the eating joints.
  • buy school supplies**
  • buy home supplies**
  • movies, movies, movies (in India, a movie theater ticket ranges from Rs 150-800)
  • I'll buy things for my kids and then save the rest for a rainy day
  • What the heck can you do with Rs500?? Can't get or sell anything
  • Buy things for the house; I'll go to the market and buy tomatoes and potatoes
  • Hide it somewhere for another day
  • Go meet my friend
  • Eat lots of ice cream and have a party
  • Give my family and mom and dad out a really nice meal.
  • Get a nice present for my friends in Italy
  • Get a first-class railway pass
  • Buy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • what I don't have and need, I'll go and buy
  • Buy movie tickets
  • Top up my mobile phone
  • I'll buy a [cricket] bat and [some type of cheap] gold bracelet
  • I'll eat a nice meal in a fancy restaurant
  • Go and have a big biryani (rice dish from the Deccan area)
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Buy stuff for my kids
  • Blow it up on booze or smokes
  • Have a party or something with it
  • Pay for my school tuition fees
  • Get some medicine
  • Buy some clothes or something
  • Buy a branded underwear
  • Get a much better, and more stylish haircut
  • Actually nowadays with Rs 500, you don't get anything...


YS said...

Hi Pragya,
Thanks for highlighting my blog Pragya. Its really nice to hear about your views :)


Tollywood News said...

Now a days in India its very hard to live with Rs500.Prices are raising day by day and its becoming hell to poor people.