V K Madhavan

Managing Director, A4e India Pvt Ltd
Gurgaon, Haryana, India, India

About V K

Bio

Madhavan is the Managing Director of A4e India Pvt Ltd. A4e or Action for Employment seeks to provide young people from low-income families with the information and skills to find employment. A4e also engages with employers to help reduce their attrition and to improve access to people for entry level jobs.

Madhavan moved back to New Delhi in August 2012 after 8 years living and working in the Kumaun Himalayas as the Executive Director of the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag), After moving back to New Delhi, Madhavan spent eight months as a Consultant to the High Level Committee on status of Women in India - a committee set up by the Government of India to prepare a report on the status of women in India by reviewing all existing government programmes, schemes and laws and submit recommendations on how to improve the status of women.

Madhavan has spent fifteen of the past two decades living and working in villages - promoting an integrated rural development approach - first in the desert in Rajasthan and more recently in the mountains of Uttarakhand.

Madhavan commenced his professional career in the desert districts of north-western Rajasthan with the Urmul Trust and its affiliates where he spent 7 years before relocating to Delhi. In Delhi, Madhavan worked on policy advocacy with ActionAid, consulted independently and spent a little over three years working on the issue of women and governance with The Hunger Project. After the desert and Delhi, the mountains presented a new challenge where Madhavan spent eight years. Now he's back in the city - trying to apply his experiences of the past two decades on a larger canvass.

Madhavan is one of theTrustees of The Action Northeast Trust (The ANT) (www.theant.org), an organization that works amidst largely tribal communities in Assam as well as the The ANT Craft Trust which runs a store in Bangalore primarily for craft products from the North East of India.

Madhavan's interests include agriculture and rural livelihoods, education and community health, community based institutions, the not-for-profit sector and international politics in which Madhavan received his Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Languages

English, Hindi, Tamil

TED Conferences

TED2012, TEDGlobal 2011, TED2011, TEDGlobal 2010, TED2010, TEDIndia 2009, TEDGlobal 2009

Areas of Expertise

Innovation for Change, Rural Development, Enterprises with the poor, Rural Livelihoods

An idea worth spreading

410 million people depend on rain-fed agriculture in India. Rainfed agriculture continues to languish without adequate attention and investment. There are limits to irrigation. While we explore ways of making irrigation more efficient there is a desperate urgency to focus on rainfed agriculture. If we do not make rainfed agriculture more remunerative, we can neither address poverty in rural India nor can we stem the pace of urbanisation!

I'm passionate about

Integrated rural development; linking poor producers to markets; traditional weather-forecasting; symphonic versions of rock albums and Indian vegetarian food

Talk to me about

Ideas and applications that can transform rural poverty, traditional childrens toys, weather forecasts, sustainable agriculture, linking women producers to markets and deserts and mountains.

People don't know I'm good at

Being a mere fly on the wall!

Comments & conversations

195861
V K Madhavan
Posted over 4 years ago
What's the overlooked gem, the book I haven't read that I must?
Two books. 1. "Dibs in Search of Self" by Virginia Axline - the first book that I read that made me aware of children with special needs. 2. "Gandhi is Gone. Who will guide us now?" - Minutes of a meeting held in March 1948. The meeting was planned by Mahatma Gandhi who unfortunately did not live to attend it. Nearly every major national leader attended the meeting. Many of the issues remain relevant today but more importantly, the quality of informed discussion and debate is outstanding and rarely seen anywhere today. For Indophiles or anyone interested in parliamentary democracy and social change.
195861
V K Madhavan
Posted over 4 years ago
Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?
I agree with you and that is why I think given the diversity - even in the way we use the same language - a site like TED must be moderated to ensure that it does not cause collateral damage. We live in a time of growing intolerance to other opinions and while this must be fought and TED.com is in itself a good example of freedom of expression, caution would be prudent.
195861
V K Madhavan
Posted over 4 years ago
Why do so many think that population growth is an important issue for the environment? Don't they know the facts of demographics?
At the risk of sounding cynical, one of the reasons why population growth attracts more attention is because it shifts the discourse away from more substantive issues of 'access to and ownership of assets by the poor' and distribution of resources. As Mark as had pointed out, investing in women - through education and health care - can lead to substantive reductions in family size but despite evidence to this effect the preference for male children and the patriarchal mind-set that is pervasive, inhibits adequate investment in women. We need to invest in young people and particularly young women - given the demographic transition in many countries - and we need to ensure property rights and access to commons for the poor.
195861
V K Madhavan
Posted over 4 years ago
Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?
No. Even in parliament's - a 'speaker' is essential to moderate discussions. If the epitome of a democratic institution requires moderation, surely there must be limits to freedom of expression in a site hosted by an independent not-for-profit institution! As the number of people accessing TED.com not merely in English but in other languages increases, the need to ensure that a platform created for spreading ideas does not get used to harm the sentiments of others will grow. If at all, TED would like to create the space for external review or arbitration they could create an independent panel - to whom requests that have been turned down can be submitted again. A forum for redressal at best!