Ashok Kadam

Ashoka Fellow
Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra, India
Fellow Since 1999


This profile was prepared when Ashok Kadam was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Ashok Kadam has developed a unique approach to responsible industrialization that depends on local community participation in planning before a new industrial facility is built. By his design and with his organization's help, rural people evaluate their local environment, develop their own plan for responsible industrial development, and convince other primary stakeholders, and representatives from industry and local government, that their concerns must be incorporated into any new development.

Ashok's conviction that industrialization should not endanger local communities or natural resources has driven him toward a cooperative solution. Recognizing, after a decade of fighting industry, that confrontation yields limited gains, Ashok is uniting industry, government, and the previously overlooked rural population in a collaborative effort to introduce industrial growth that maximizes local rights and minimizes environmental harm. He has created a framework to build the capacity of rural residents to engage powerful industrial and governmental interests. His approach to citizen training and his network of community supporters, government bureaucrats, and even industrial leaders has enabled numerous villages in rural India to change potentially harmful industrial plans into engines of responsible economic growth. Ashok's idea will fundamentally alter the dynamics of industry-community collaboration by providing local people with the skills, tools, and network to engage both industry and government interests as an equal.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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