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Web 2.0 platform helps fight poverty in India

Posted: 02 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:I Got Garbage  Bridge  supply-chain problem 

The use of a product as an innovation platform forms the basis of many businesses worldwide. This idea is being applied by three of the top five firms in the United States in terms of market capitalisation, namely, Apple, Microsoft and Google.

We pointed the platform concept at social change and came up with I Got Garbage, an initiative started in the city of Bangalore, India, and now being rolled out in the cities of Pune and Bhubaneswar.

The I Got Garbage platform looks at waste management as a supply-chain problem. It aims to enhance the livelihood of waste pickers who once scavenged for waste on the streets. They are trained to be waste managers on the I Got Garbage platform, gaining a dignified, safer and more lucrative way to earn their living.

Within a year of launch, I Got Garbage diverted more than a million pounds of waste from landfills, doubled the income for waste pickers who use the platform, and served more than a 100,000 waste generators.

The I Got Garbage platform is built on a larger platform called Bridge that can be applied to several social domains beyond waste management. For example, in both agriculture and the garment industry a large group of players at the bottom of the social pyramid often don't get fully compensated for the value they add. Bridge can recognise this under-valued and under-employed group in ways that enhance their quality of life.

Bridge is a general-purpose cloud platform for social change, a single system that can support multiple clients where each tenant uses the system as if they are the only users. It supports multiple languages, a must in a country that has 15 nationally recognised languages, and countless dialects. Indeed, many users are not literate, so the system has strong support of picture-based apps.


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