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Indian advisory committee to lead efforts for indiaBUILDS campaign and Jimmy Carter Work Project -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Indian advisory committee to lead efforts for indiaBUILDS campaign and Jimmy Carter Work Project

(left to right) The HFH indiaBUILDS 2006 advisory committee includes Sanjay Nayar, Rajashree Birla, Renu Sud Karnad (executive director, HDFC), and Gul Kripalani.


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Leaders from some of India’s best known business organizations joined with Habitat for Humanity India for indiaBUILDS, an ambitious campaign to tackle the scourge of poverty housing and to highlight the importance of providing millions of fellow countrymen and women with an important catalyst for breaking the cycle of poverty – a decent, safe, affordable home of their own.

The indiaBUILDS campaign will highlight the dire need for affordable housing in this country of 1.1 billion people, nearly a quarter of whom live on less than US$1 a day. The Jimmy Carter Work Project 2006, to be held Oct. 29 through Nov. 3 in Lonavala, India, will be the first of a series of large-scale annual indiaBUILDS events to raise awareness of the issues.

At a media conference in Mumbai recently, members of HFH India’s 2006 indiaBUILDS Advisory Committee were introduced for the first time. The committee is co-chaired by Sanjay Nayar, chief executive of Citigroup India and area head of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, and Smt. Rajashree Birla, chair of the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, part of the Aditya Birla Group, one of India’s largest business groups.

Other prominent business leaders forming the Advisory Committee include the chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd., Mr. Deepak Parekh; the chairman and editor-in-chief of India Today Group, Mr. Aroon Purie; the founder chairman of Essel Group of Industries, Mr. Subhash Chandra; the chairman of Lupin Ltd. Dr. Desh Bandhu Gupta; the managing director of Hiranandani group, Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani; as well as Mr. Gul Kripalani, chairman and managing director of the Pijikay group.

“We are delighted that so many prominent figures from so many different parts of India’s business community are responding to our vision of an India and a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” said Felix Fernandes, chief financial officer and acting chief operating officer of Habitat for Humanity India.

“Our advisory committee members will be tasked with getting the word out that poverty housing affects us all and that by working together we can ensure people in need have a proper home in which to raise their families and build their lives. Habitat for Humanity’s work with partner families and supporters in thousands of communities around the world shows that a decent home is vital step in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Committee members will be involved in helping Habitat for Humanity India’s indiaBUILDS campaign achieve four specific goals by 2010. These are:

  • To improve the quality of life for approximately 250,000 people through better housing.
  • To mobilize one million volunteers from India and beyond to provide their time, expertise, resources and leadership, including offering to work on building sites with Habitat for Humanity partner families.
  • To raise US$100 million to build affordable housing in India, sufficient to produce a US$50 million housing equity fund. Some US$65 million would come through supporters and donors and some US$35 million through the savings of homeowners, mainly in microfinance housing schemes.
  • To create a network of individuals, corporations, civic groups, non-government organizations and governments working and advocating for an end of poverty housing.