One idea I have been thinking about recently has been that of Neighbourhood Action Committees (NACs).
These will be apolitical and based on volunteering. They will focus on making the neighbourhood better across the country, especially in urban India. This means ensuring delivery of local services, working to solve local problems, creating citizen activism.This idea came up because the weakest link in the governance chain in India is the delivery of local services. The neighbourhood is where we all live and where we also have the greatest angst and frustrations.
What we need to create a society which starts to think and solve its own problems at the local level. Governance is weak in India, and to strengthen it needs work at the lowest level. We need to show people how to self-organise, how to create proposals, conduct meetings, debate issues and arrive at decisions, and finally get action done.
People should be able to help out in the NACs with as little as an hour or two a week. They can use the Web and mobile to help inform, educate and organise.