Well something I have been thinking of since my childhood is finally being brought into reality by the TATAs!!! They are actually venturing into 'Nano-Homes' :) 1 room, kitchen homes just like I used to think of !!!May be they just peeked into my mind..!!!! :) I had even thought of putting my idea in this blog.. had posted something last year, but never came to completing it...
I had always thought why no builder or corporate came up and made good budget homes for people below a certain income levels. Such homes could be minimal without frills, but with basic amenities for a humane living... Basic one-two room kitchen homes for families, with a small garden for children to play, a communal area where people could get together (a very basic aspect of community living) and of course safe and clean surroundings.. Would that be asking for too much??? Would that cost too much??? In fact the whole thing could be a complex, or a small township with maybe a school for the kids and budget/discount stores... It could be a huge marketing opportunity... by giving people a better living you are raising their standard of living and aspirations! You are creating new consumers!
Though yes I thought of it more as a part of corporate social responsibility, than a profit making venture, profits and other marketing opportunities would be an automatic fallout of a better standard of living! Also lift people of out miserable living conditions, give them a place that they can call their own, where they can sleep peacefully without the fear of being asked to evict, or their house being broken into. When you know that your homes are safe, you would not mind investing in a television or refrigerator that you have always wanted if you can be sure that it won’t be stolen in your absence. Women can go to work peacefully if they know that in their absence their kids would be safe at home. Such people would be more productive in their work... which would mean greater contribution to national product and higher incomes for these people. They in turn will spend more on consumer goods. Also employment opportunities would increase a lot for these people if they have a respectable living address; often resumes or applications are just thrown out at the screening process simply because the applicants stay at a particular area or locality.
But yes Budget homes, do not mean cramped up homes or pigeon holes with no space even to turn or stretch your legs, or where sunlight does dare enter forcing people into dungeons with stale air floating around due to no ventilation... they do not mean homes where you can step into your neighbour's home through your window.. where there is no guarantee of continuous water-supply or electricity, where elevators don’t work, or even worse don’t exist, where the buildings have no maintenance or cleaning service leading to accumulation of dirt and unbearable stench, where children have no place to run about or play cricket or hide-seek forcing them to go out on the streets or some public garden to play. I say this coz this exactly what some of the MHADA or Slum Rehabilitation buildings have turned into... also there needs to be a check on whether the people buying such homes are the genuine buyers and not mere investors. Flats could be alloted on the basis of annual income and number of family members. Also Rules on transfers and re-sale should be very strict.
That is why I insist that this has to be a private venture!! And when I say private it had to be a large business house that had the funds into enter something like this and the commitment to such a cause and the integrity to keep up their promise. I hope TATA does fulfil at least part of these wishes of mine... I hope what they are creating are not just Nano-Homes but 'Dreams homes' for a million hopeful hearts!!!