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‘Social change is a process’: New book traces 75 years of grassroots interventions in India

Published by HarperCollins, ‘Anchoring Change: Seventy-Five Years of Grassroots Interventions That Made a Difference' will be released on 7 September on ThePrint’s Softcover.

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New Delhi: Published in the 75th year of India’s Independence, the book ‘Anchoring Change’ examines positive changes that have taken place through grassroots interventions in the country and the future of such sustainable development models.

Published by HarperCollins, ‘Anchoring Change: Seventy-Five Years of Grassroots Interventions That Made a Difference’ and edited by Vikram Singh Mehta, Neelima Khetan and Jayapadma R V will be released on 7 September on Softcover, ThePrint’s online venue to launch non-fiction books.

A combination of essays by a wide range of writers such as Rajul Padmanabhan and Vijay Mahajan, the book explores impactful interventions that have helped develop modern day Indian society and what one can learn from them. It looks at organisations for the past 75 years and reviews instances of civic action, to understand how they can be used to create alternative, grassroots-based, sustainable development models, relevant to India’s future.

The book’s editors are distinguished experts in developmental issues, sustainability and governance, having worked extensively with academic institutions, civil societies as well as corporate social responsibility groups.

24 protagonists tell their success stories

Mehta, chairman and distinguished fellow at the Center for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP), is also an independent director of several companies, including Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.

“From the rich tapestry of successful grassroots interventions over the past more than seven decades, we selected 24 protagonists to tell their stories, which are expansive in time, are geographically broad-based and cover multiple domains. We looked for entities that had made an unquestionably significant impact in their domain and social context”, said Mehta, also the Asia Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability’s 2016 awardee for ‘Best Independent Director in India’.

Khetan, a visiting fellow at CSEP, has extensive experience working in strategy, governance, design and impact.

Jayapadma, similarly, has over three decades of experience working in sustainable social development at various bilateral aid and corporate social responsibility organisations.

She said, “Social change is a process and not a destination. The stories in ‘Anchoring Change’ speak to us of the imagination, drive, tenacity and purpose that have catalysed some of the most impactful social interventions in independent India. The seeding of ideas and the foundations laid by them have created pathways for citizen-led development and lasting social change.”

Within its roughly 400 pages, the book takes readers through numerous issues, ranging from the growth of self-help groups through MYRADA (Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency) in Karnataka, to brewing araku coffee in Odisha with the Naandi foundation.

Swati Chopra, executive editor of HarperCollins India, said, “The remarkable stories of social transformation in it not only aim to shift the narrative about India towards a more positive, can-do approach, the book also mines these to suggest new development models that can be emulated by others – organisations, individuals, government bodies – seeking to make a difference to the lives of common Indians.”

Also read: New book explores ‘hidden’ political legacy of Subhas Chandra Bose in 2010 declassified files

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