July 2009 - News Release
Wiros Lokh Institute was chosen through an independent Jury under UNHABITAT as one of the Five Best practices in the World in the field of Affordable Housing. UNHABITAT presented this Business Award to Wiros Lokh Institute for the concept by Dr Darin Gunesekera called the Social Real Estate Investment Trust on 7 July 2009. This is part of the Business Forum Activities originally scheduled to be held in November 2008 as part of World Urban Forum 4 but held now in New Delhi.
UNHABITAT is the UN Agency charged with Housing and is an inter-Governmental Forum. However since World Urban Forum 3 (in the past few years) it has expanded to the Business and Citizen Sectors. The Business Forum awards are the natural outgrowth. These are the very first Awards it has given out.
The Business Forum had the areas Environment, IT, Water and Clean Energy as well as Affordable Housing as its fields. The awards went largely to large multinational concerns. The first place in Affordable Housing went to Cementia Mexico, the third largest cement producer in the world (first in aggregates) and a giant MNC.
Geographically China garnered 7 and India 4 awards. Together with the advanced countries they gained most of the Awards. So Wiros Lokh Institute is proud to be an entity based in one of only four smaller developing countries to be honored by an Award. [China 7, India 4, Kenya 3, Australia 2 and 1 each Russia, Turkey, Uganda, UK, Lebanon, Mexico, Guatemala, USA, Sri Lanka. UNHABITAT is headquartered in Kenya.]
The Indian Budget (7 July 2009) gave prominence to a scheme announced by the President of India for ending Indian urban slums in five years. This scheme is stated in very broad general form by the President and then the Finance Minister.
The Indian NGO, PVCHR, has observed that this scheme is the generic form of a concept that first appeared in the SREIT scheme (now honoured by UNHABITAT) presented by Dr Darin Gunesekera before the Indian Planning Commission in 2007. This presentation was on the Planning Commission website. The idea and Dr Gunesekera were promoted by PVCHR and its Convenor, Dr Lenin, in their campaign for the Varanasi Weavers. The campaign has had many grass roots meetings and marches and has been reported widely in India and in interviews of Dr Lenin/ PVCHR in the Washington Post and Reteur.
- a presentation and embedded film.__________________________________