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TNN Jun 24, 2011, 12.04am IST MUMBAI: A group of g corporate executives from Mahindra and Mahindra pitted their talent against professional architects to win global recognition in the US $300 House Open Design Challenge. Perhaps it was their quintessential Mumbai experience that helped them, given that the winning prototype seeks to cater to the homeless. Last year, bloggers for Harvard Business Review , Vijay Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar, threw open an international challenge to design a basic dwelling unit for under $300 (or Rs 13,500). . By conversion, the limit was approximately Rs 13,500 in Indian rupees. A team from the Mahindra Partners Division , whose office is located opposite the Doordarshan Kendra in Worli, decided to participate on as recently as May 1.
A few weeks ago, following The Economist 's publication of an article about the $300 House, we read a comment that in many ways epitomizes an opposing view to this concept: simply providing an affordable home is not enough - building entire communities is needed, and that is too expensive. We will address his main thesis ( "A viable shelter doe not a successful person, family, or community make. Success comes from within a positive and empowered person, provided with local opportunity and support." ) at the end, but first we want to discuss several other points this reader made. "If all you wanted to do was increase health and sanitation you would set up community toilets, clinics, centers, and reliable security outposts where citizens could get daily attention." Anyone familiar with the work of Dr.
by Vijay Govindarajan | 1:02 PM June 7, 2011 Editor's note: This post was co-written with Christian Sarkar. When the New York Times printed " Hands Off Our Houses ," an op-ed about our idea for a $300 House for the poor, we were both delighted and dismayed — delighted because the $300 House was being discussed, and dismayed because authors Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava, co-founders of the Institute of Urbanology , didn't seemed to have read the series of blog posts about our idea.
LAST summer, a business professor and a marketing consultant wrote on The Harvard Business Review’s Web site about their idea for a $300 house . According to the writers, and the many people who have enthusiastically responded since, such a house could improve the lives of millions of urban poor around the world.
KIM GREEN: You’re listening to Housing Revolution. I’m Kim Green— PETER ARONSON: And I’m Peter Aronson. Owning a home is not just the American dream — it’s almost everyone’s dream.