Arthur Road Jail – D Prison Project by Dhriti

The System is broken, and nobody is trying to fix it.

D Prison Project by Dhriti – A NGO headed by Sumisha Shankar endevours to bring music, theatrics and creativity to the the hundreds of under-trials at various prisons, it started with the Byculla Jail and then last week it was a weekend at Arthur Road Jail.

I have seen the beggining of the “SYSTEM” in the school, when a child is not able to undertsand a subject, he is methodically segregated and encouraged to go and sit on the last bench. Some schools even have special classrooms where the bright students are clubbed to-gether , as they are the bunch of guys who will bring merit to the school in the board exams.

A Prison is the last bench or the duffer class, where the people who are not able to make money as per the “system” are sent. The under-trials instead of learning to learn money in a legitimate way, are sent to the school of crime in the Jails. Here a pick-pocket meets a murderer under-trial, notes are exchanged, introductions are made. The Arthur road prison is a place which is full of under-trials, including the infamous Kasab and the D-gang members, who live in the unda-cell.

Are we going to change the broken systems inside our prisons? Would NGO’s like Dhriti make any difference in the lives of under-trials ?  Who will push some serious bill in to legislation and repair this broken system? 


Welcome to Hyperlocal Advertising.

Case 1)

My Laptop broke, one fine day! I needed to buy a PC urgently, I went to 3 stores in my area immediately. I went to Ezone, I went to a store in galleria and I went to Chroma at Rcity. I saw that the same model Lenovo PC, the difference in price in Ezone, galleria store and chroma was about Rs 5000/- Rs. I bought the one at chroma for Rs 31999/-. I saved Rs 5000, just because I bothered to check out 3 stores.

What if Chroma had informed about this deal through a hyperlocal media site. Two things would have happened.
1) The other stores would have reduced the price to match chroma’s price (which nobody will know of, Since only chroma has advertised about it.)

2) The other stores would ignore, (as all decision are taken centrally in big stores). And Chroma would have sold more lenovo desktops!

Case 2) is a online portal by 2 IIT ians, they advertise daily deals with us. They manage to sell at a price which is 25% to 50% less than the local sabjiwaala or supermarkets like DMART and Haiko. is now scaling up to handle the increase in demand. It has encouraged customers to change their habit of “vegetables and fruits shopping” by offering them daily deals.

Why Think Hyperlocal?

I talk to lot of people in my neighborhood, and majority of the purchase decisions are made locally, whether its buying vegetables, electronic items or visiting a Spa.

So how many know about deals/offers/events happening in your neighborhood and what is the source of your information.?

The Startup Bible ” the dip” by Seth Godin

Seth Godin with "the dip"

Now almost 99% new businesses fail, is often quoted by some guru’s which I feel is utter rubbish, but still i do believe  that the failure rates among new busineses could be as high as 75%.

Everyone has a favorite book, this book by Seth Godin is my bible, I just wouldn’t have the courage to do what I am doing if I had not read this book, it is just supendously insightful and tells you very upfront on your chances of succeeding in your current business, though you may not agree, but this 76 page book gave me more courage than any other business book, maybe the book was written for the likes of me.

What this book will tell you is when to quit (give up) and when to stick around, and I am sticking around thanks to this book.

P.S I am not going to lend you my copy even if you pay me 100 $.

I recommend zoho CRM

When I started my advertising sales work, I was using excel to maintain my client data and was almost sick with the importing and exporting work contacts between various interfaces, I also used google doc to make invoices. Life couldnt get worse, I felt as if God had put me on to the onerous task of re-inventing the wheel in a way of figuratively speaking, and one day just wanting to give up the whole idea of this complicated business, i sent out a desperate tweet.  (remember: in my previous avatar, I was as a manufacturer I had only one client for 13 years) .

After the tweet I made in disgust, someone suggested a few interfaces like and others, but zoho took me all by surprise, absolutely no learning curve, very intuitive user interface and a dream for small business who are looking for a CRM (customer relationship management).

It does cost me Rs 6000/ year, which I believe you can recover with your first client, because of better CRM at your end.

I use zoho crm basically for 3 purposes.

  1. Contact managemnt (Leads/Potential/Contacts)
  2. Inventory management
  3. Invoicing.

I believe zoho CRM is designed for small business. Go ahead take a free trial. I would be glad to help you out if you have any queries.

Visit Zoho CRM