Visit at a gym at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP)

Visiting a gym at the BoP
Visiting a gym at the BoP

“My father has won many prizes. He has been number three in one of the biggest competitions on a national level”, a 15 years old boy explains proudly when we enter a gym in Coimbatore. We are here to find out more about micro enterprises which some people from Self-help groups (under the umbrella of the Vamuktha federation) have started.

The boy is the son of a couple that is part of this self-help group and they have started a gym several years back.

It’s dark inside. And there is only little space. The machines for the workout for sure are not the most modern ones. Some of them have been repaired and adjusted in a rather frugal way.

However, the machines do what they need to do – helping people to exercise.

“We have 150 members. All of them pay 200 Rupees per month (ca. 2.50 EUR). Our income is 25000. But we have to pay rent for the house and then electricity etc. at the end of the month 10000 Rupees (ca. 120 EUR) are our income. That’s not too bad. And we have a second service here, a photocopy machine. This gives us additional money,” explains the owner.

That’s Jugaad, and it’s great to see these people connecting things that in the modern world would not go together, this enthusiasm to start out of nothing with small ideas and to grow them. This ability to manage their lives is definitely a huge advantage for all who are close to the poverty line.

A s probably a big part of innovation lies here. We have to pick it up and to develop. Also on the modern world. What do you think?

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