XLRI- Xavier School of Management recently hosted the 4th Social Entrepreneurship Conclave virtually. India’s future lies in villages, but today rural India is facing a lot of challenges align with this, theme for this year’s conclave was ‘Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World.’ SIGMA-oikos, the social initiative committee of XLRI, conducted the 4th edition of the Social Entrepreneurship Conclave. The conclave was conducted under the aegis of the Fr Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability (FACES).
The Social Entrepreneurship Conclave is an initiative to bring Social Entrepreneurs from across the country and give them a platform to discuss their work and learn from other experiences. It provides the ideal platform to young management graduates for the exchange of ideas, to formulate solutions to problems through discussions and interactions and learn from the practitioners.
In the Inaugural address Fr. P Christie S.J, Director, XLRI – Xavier School of Management, said, “I appreciate the organizing team for choosing a highly relevant theme ‘Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World.’ We have witnessed unprecedented economic growth in our country in the last 30 years. Unfortunately, the large population, particularly in rural areas, did not have the privilege to enjoy this growth’s benefits. Rather, their lives have become more impoverished. The disparity between the rich and the poor in urban areas and rural areas has grown beyond proportion. Poverty is rampant in rural areas, and they do not have access to decent health facilities, good education, sanitation, etc. It’s aggravated by the digital divide, which we witnessed in the pandemic. When most of our students in the rural area could not pursue their studies. India’s soul lives in villages, as said by Gandhi Ji. Rural development is key to India’s overall social development. Social entrepreneurs have played a significant role in rural sustainability, which is key for India’s development. I am happy that the FACES Centre has come up with a comprehensive action plan to impact the lives of the poor in the rural areas around us in Jharkhand. Many universities across the world provide us models for making an amazing impact on the underprivileged lives by training and promoting social Entrepreneurs. This conclave will provide us an opportunity to learn from each other and co-create a solution for a better & equitable, and more sustainable society.”
The Chairman of Technico Agri Sciences Limited and Vice Chairman of ITC Infotech India Limited, Mr. S Shivakumar presented the keynote address on the theme “Rural Sustainability for a Cohesive World.” The man behind ITC e-Choupal, Mr. Sivakumar discussed the challenges faced by marginal farmers and provided his views on how social entrepreneurs can tackle it.
After an enriching keynote session, Santosh Parulekar (co-founder and CEO, Pipal Tree), Rashmi Bharti (Co-founder, Avani), and Sanjeev Kumar (Co-founder, advisor, The Goat Trust) engaged in a panel discussion on the sub-theme “Sustaining Rural Livelihoods”. Mugdha Shah moderated the session (National head, Kasturi, Tata Chemical Society for Rural Development).
The Second panel discussion was on “Agriculture Innovations Strengthening Rural India.”The panel of speakers consisted of Dr. Ramanjaneyulu (Executive Director, Centre of Sustainable Agriculture (CSA)), Krishnan Pallassana (Country Director, Digital Green), and Biswajit Bordoloi (Founder, Axum Agri) moderated by Ankur Omar (Founder, Farmonaut, and Kheti-X).