Urban India’s problems and my essay

The past week I spent a lot of time completing my essay for World Bank’s essay competition. The incentive for writing a great essay was very enticing, trip to Cape Town for the ABCDE conference. The topic of the essay was “What can you do to shape the city of your dreams?”In the start I was pretty focussed on working hard to become a finalist. But midway through the week, when I was researching up on stats and policies, I realized there was hardly anything I knew about urban India and the situation. And then after a little demotivation from the essay site, which estimated about 3000 entires for 8 finalist spots, I spent more time on reading articles and lesser time on writing the essay. In the end I did submit the essay, but I’ve learned so much about Urban India. I cannot the publish the essay here until they declare the finalists, so if you want it, then ask me for it.

For the essay I sourced a lot of my stats and ideas from Janaagraha’s website. Janaagraha is an organization based in Bangalore which is doing remarkable work in uplifting Bangalore’s development and increase awareness among it’s citizens. Bangalore is a great example of what’s going wrong in today’s urban population. A lot of Bangalore’s citizens are immigrants, who hardly care about what growth happens in the city, since they never actually adopt it as home. So there’s no participation in local governance or no effort put in increasing infrastructural development. Mumbai has 7 million people living in slums in the worst possible hygienic conditions and with minimal infrastructure. We’ll probably run out freshwater for cities by 2025. And already there’s not enough water for people in the metros.

I was truly surprised reading the passionate articles by Ramesh Ramnathan, founder of Janaagraha. I always knew rural India was in a horrific conditions and it’s important to urbanize them soon. But hey our cities are just as bad. Unplanned growth and low spending on infrastructure had to catch up with our cities. As I see from the examples of Bangalore and Hyderabad, the states are working extra hard to get foreign investment—-> Jobs—->More money to invest locally. Is foreign investment really the solution? The domestic savings in Indian banks is about USD 500 billion. MFs and others will add a few more billions. If there was a way to direct some parts of this money into local growth it could work wonders.With 50% of India’s population under the age of 25, the onus is truly on us to change things around here…

I wonder how do we start that? Is there any blog or website by Indian youth focussing on such issues? Maybe we should start one. Opinions please!

11 Responses to “Urban India’s problems and my essay”

  1. March 27, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I’ve already requested for a copy of the essay on your twitter. And yeah about the blog/website…I’m game!

  2. 2 Shravya
    March 29, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Great idea.. jst ping me in case u get more ideas or work i can do..
    A copy of ur essay for me too..saby.131@gmail.com

    • 3 sandy
      July 16, 2009 at 11:08 am


      here is one website kabilaa.com focus on

      bridging gap thru ngo-corporate-youth partnership

      it is also supported by east up’s reputed ngo shohratgarh environmental society[ses.org.in]. they have targeted development in two segment: urban & rural.


  3. 4 anthony chettri
    October 27, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Good reflection… I do agree and feel that we need to create a pressure group to sensitise the people and the government to invest more on urban development and make it a safe place for the inhabitants there. For these a blog and website to start with is a very good idea. I am with you…. please send me the copy of your essay.

  4. 5 nia
    December 22, 2009 at 11:26 am

    please can i also hav a copy of ur essay..

  5. 6 Komal Jhunjhunwala
    September 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    hi…can u please send me a copy of your essay…would really like to read it..thnx

  6. July 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Hi Abhishek,

    Quite thought provoking words. On the front mentioned as a Janagraha initiative, there a platform being launched by the name “India Urban Conference”. there is a platform on FB and twitter created by the same name to spread the awareness among today’s youth to come up with ideas to improve upon the issues being faced by the urban India. It will be a pleasure to have you on board on the social platforms to help drive the change.


    • August 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      well written article….but the thoughts strike an even more sincere chord..would love to be a part of such initiative…or join a team for the cause….

  7. September 13, 2011 at 2:02 am

    CUD I also get a copy of ur article

  8. September 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I’m really impressed together with your writing skills and also with the format to your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to look a great blog like this one these days..

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