Building Local Communities
Lokalex objectives flow from its vision of establishing a robust, self sustaining local village economy. A village and its people have many needs that include food, health, education, energy, houses, festivals, marriages, entertainment, sports, etc. Typically most of these needs can be met locally by local people themselves. Lokalex promotes local enterprises that cater to these needs, out of locally available resources.
Assuming a very conservative estimate a consumption of Rs.5000/- per household, a typical village of 1000 households consumes a minimum of Rs.50 lakhs per month worth of goods and services. While consuming this, almost all of the Rs.50 lakhs gets paid out to economic interests that are outside the village. No village resident benefits out of this spending, nor does any money remain in the village economy.
Against this background the objectives of Lokalex are:
Encourage villagers to identify problems that affect them and that need to be tackled on priority basis.
Form enterprise groups at village level preferably from amongst those who are likely beneficiaries.
Support enterprise groups with sustainable business plans, solution design, relevant technology, training, management inputs and initial funding until breakeven
Encourage enterprise groups to continue and grow on their own beyond the breakeven point and to support themselves through profits earned.
Encourage enterprise groups to set-up new ventures, new enterprises in their own or neighbouring villages
Interlink economic activities and group enterprises within the village to strengthen the local economy
Measure success in terms of the reduction in the amount of ‘imports’.
Lokalex has worked and supported local village groups in the areas of nutrition, sanitation, and education in three districts of TamilNadu, the thrust in education being by far the one with most impact. Lokalex strategy is to replicate its success in a number of villages with the help of a Global Community and then apply the lessons learnt to other segments of healthcare, energy, etc.
The Lokalex philosophy of building local communities to reverse or halt the ill effects of Globalization, is in line with the May 2000 ‘UN Declaration’ at the Millenium Forum by representatives of more than 100 countries: “Globalization and advances in technology create significant opportunities for people to connect, share and learn from each other. At the same time, corporate-driven globalization increases inequities between and within countries, undermines local traditions and cultures and escalates disparities between rich and poor, thereby marginalizing large numbers of people in urban and rural areas. Women, indigenous peoples, youth, boys and girls and people with disabilities suffer disproportionately from the effects of globalization.”