The rise of India’s reputation as a center of technology innovation has in recent years been matched by the country’s growing reputation as a hub of social innovation, and now Indians living abroad are rising as a force for philanthropy in their country of origin. In light of this, The Bridgespan Group, Dasra, and Stanford Social Innovation Review have joined forces to create and publish Impact India, a magazine for philanthropists and social innovators targeting India.
Water plays an important role in Indian culture. Nevertheless, many of the country’s most sacred rivers—such as the Ganges, Yamuna, and Godavari—are heavily polluted from factory waste, agricultural runoff, and untreated sewage. Much of India lacks basic water and sanitation infrastructure, forcing tens of millions of Indians to forage daily for water and toilets. NGOs, the government, and business are making progress, but much remains to be done. Cleveland, Ohio-based Michael McElroy became interested in the issue after traveling to the country in 2010 on a photo assignment. “My attention quickly shifted when I saw water sources drying up, water pollution, and the struggle people went through every day to get clean water,” says McElroy. He returned to India in 2011 and 2012 to take these photographs. McElroy’s work has been published in The New York Times, Stern, Mother Jones, The Wall Street Journal, and Time.