Friday, November 7, 2008

Sunita Narain: Buses and Barack Obama

We need to change our policies to get more buses on the roads — in Obamaspeak, we need change we can believe in.

What does the election of Barack Obama as the president of the US have to do with buses in India? A lot, if you think about it. The fact is that Obama has stood for something that he calls ‘change’ — in the way we think and the way we do business. But this is great rhetoric unless we can translate this into practical changes in our everyday lives. And to do this we must understand that change will require changes in our business models and most important changes in the priorities we set for what is essential and what needs to be invested into and how.

Anyone who lives in Indian cities and is crushed under the weight of traffic and pollution will accept that we need a massive transition to public transport. But the fact is that even as we say, we need public transport in our cities the number of buses in each of our towns has gone down and not up. In 1951, one of every 10 vehicles sold in India was a bus, today out of every 100 vehicles sold, one bus makes it on our roads. To read more, please, visit - Business Standard

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