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In praise of slums. Or why millions of Indians choose to live in urban squalor

If you saw a provocative title like this on Twitter, you would click on it, right? I’m glad I did. Just like you’ll be glad you clicked through to this story, or so I hope. Hint: the operative word in the title is “choose”. As ¬†nonpartisan public policy¬†American¬†nonprofits go, New America Foundation is fairly new […]

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Returning to the Migration Meme

In the past week, three conversations with three different migrants in Bangalore (all working as security guards) reminded me why I need to devote more time (and blog space) to the migration meme. Conversation #1: RMM works for Handiman Services as a security guard supervisor in Koramangala. RMM is 50 years old, hails from Jajpur […]

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Calcutta’s dying breed of ‘human horses’

As part of my research for an upcoming post on SMV Wheels (a social enterprise serving the rickshaw puller community), I’ve read many articles and viewed several photoessays. A photo gallery from National Geographic (April 2008) on Calcutta’s dying breed of rickshaw pullers (called ‘human horses’) is a great piece of photo journalism. I’ve embedded […]

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A fresh look at the migration narrative

During one of the panel discussions at last week’s Sankalp Forum, an interesting conversation emerged. Two early-stage VCs (Seed Fund’s Mahesh Murthy and Kae Capital’s Sasha Mirchandani) were making the point that it wasn’t a case of missing ‘investors’ as much as it was a case of missing ‘entrepreneurs’. Of course, their perspective was that […]

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