India Insight

Interview: Tara Patkar on feeding the poor through ‘Roti Bank’

July 6, 2016

Photo taken from Tara Patkar’s Facebook page

“Roti Bank,” or “bread bank,” is a year-old effort to provide free food to needy people in the Mahoba district of the Bundelkhand region of India, a place that is suffering from a prolonged drought and a decreasing supply of subterranean water. Reuters spoke to Tara Patkar about how the programme works. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:

From Kerala to Tanzania: a library of one’s own

March 7, 2015

photo1Somy Solomon, wife, mother and social activist, is an Indian expatriate in rural Tanzania. It upset her that villagers would sell their farmland to construction companies at knockdown prices, unaware of its value. A lack of education, she says, is trapping local women and children into a life of slum living and domestic servitude.

India’s rich too green for grand giving?

March 28, 2011

INDIA-GATES/With the Gates-Buffett give-it-away tour just in India, many have been questioning if the country’s rich are up to such philanthropy. Gross exaggerations of wealth and poverty are on display every day in India – the BMW next to the bullock cart or the coiffured Jimmy Choo-wearing woman waiting for her driver as the shoeless human mule shuffles past with two oil drums on his back. With millions malnourished and uneducated, with ancient monuments crumbling, with indigenous art, theatre and music unsupported and fading, why can’t the uber rich give to the country that helped them so?

Time to donate India’s “corrupt” funds to charity?

March 25, 2011

If charity is a good thing, what do you do if the funds come from murky, or corrupt, dealings?

Ambani’s vertical palace vs Premji’s horizontal giving

December 7, 2010

In a contest between who is the most celebrated Indian billionaire, a man who donates $2 bln to education versus a man who builds himself a $1bln home, the winner is obvious. Right?