Videos > Ravi Kuchimanchi: Tapping Non-Resident Indians to Help Poor
In the 2004 film Swades (Homeland), the hero is an expat engineer who leaves a cushy job in the U.S. and moves to a village in India. Moved by the plight of the people, he organizes the residents and helps them hook a makeshift generator to a nearby waterfall, bringing electricity to the village for the first time. The movie was based loosely on the life and experience of Ravi Kuchimanchi, founder of the Association for India's Development (AID), who worked with grass roots organizations to electrify 12 hamlets in Bilgaon, a tribal village. AID has evolved since its 1991 launch into a non-profit organization with more than 50 chapters that work on issues such as renewable energy and other forms of grassroots development. Kuchimanchi spoke with India Knowledge@Wharton during the recent Wharton India Economic Forum in Philadelphia.