Advisory committee for indiaBUILDS campaign wield hammers at 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project site -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

Advisory committee for indiaBUILDS campaign wield hammers at 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project site

Top Indian industrialists and other leaders join the campaign to provide decent shelter for families in need

Advisory committee members for Habitat for Humanity indiaBUILDS lend a helping hand at the Jimmy Carter Work Project site near Lonavala on Aug. 30, 2006.


Lonavala (Aug. 30 2006) – Senior industrialists and other leading figures from India’s business community were on site in Patan, a village near Lonavala, today to lend a hand in preparation for the 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP).

The leaders, all members of the 2006 advisory committee for Habitat for Humanity India’s ambitious indiaBUILDS campaign, were on site to assist with pre-build work for the weeklong build, beginning on Oct. 30 and ending on Nov. 3.

JCWP 2006, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, will bring together thousands of volunteers from India and around the world to build houses with local families in need.

JCWP 2006 is the first large-scale annual event of indiaBUILDS, a five-year campaign organized by Habitat for Humanity India designed to 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 campaign aims to provide decent shelter for 250,000 people in India by 2010, through mobilizing 1 million volunteers and raising sufficient money for a sustainable US$50 million revolving housing fund.

Leaders from some of India’s best-known business organizations have joined Habitat for Humanity India in the 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.

HFH India’s 2006 indiaBUILDS Advisory 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; and Elina Meswani of Reliance Industries.

The 100-home JCWP project involves members of various self-help groups run by Abhinav Cooperative Credit Society (ACS), an arm of SAMPARC (Social Action for Manpower Creation).

The 100 JCWP homeowners have been selected from 12 villages where ACS is active. The homeowner families were recommended by ACS and selected by a committee representing both Habitat for Humanity and ACS.

Families have been selected on the basis of need; ability to repay; willingness to partner with Habitat and contribute “sweat equity” hours; and being a member of ACS. Families were selected on a non-discriminatory basis irrespective of their caste and religion.

Families have already started volunteering their time (known as “sweat equity”) at the work site in groups each day, participating in preparing materials and laying blocks, and working on a test house and other jobs. By the end of the JCWP week, each family will have put in 300 hours of work at the site.

During JCWP, volunteers and home-partner families will build walls, fit doors and windows, lay roofs, and complete other jobs necessary to create simple, decent new homes.

Once completed, each family will pay back an affordable, no-profit mortgage. Mortgage repayments over eight years will go into a revolving fund that will allow Habitat and SAMPARC to finance building of homes for additional families in future.

This year will be the 23rd annual Jimmy Carter Work Project. It has been held in Asia twice before: in the Philippines in 1999, and in South Korea in 2001. The 2005 JCWP was held in Michigan, USA.

About ACS and SAMPARC

Abhinav Cooperative Credit Society (ACS) was established in 1998 and is a part of SAMPARC (Social Action for Manpower Creation). ACCS has 600 shareholders of 48 registered groups in 26 villages. ACCS runs a credit society, promotes education and organizes programs on nutrition, health care, legal rights, women’s empowerment, income generation, social forestry and community development.