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How #3 Global Icons are Helping India Fight Its Crippling Problems Microsoft has adopted Maharashtra's Harisal village to transform it as India's first ideal, digital village

By Komal Nathani

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Entrepreneur India

A nation truly develops if its governance follows the bottom-up approach, bringing in transformation at the grass roots first.

Luckily, the government of India is currently following this growth model while rolling out its major development schemes.

In tune with its policies, the Union Budget this year has focused primarily on the rural areas where 83.3 crore people of the country's total population of 121 crore reside.

Private companies and financial institutions have shifted focus to villages with banks like ICICI, State Bank of India actively participating in the "Digital India' campaign to convert hamlets into digital villages.

While the nation is solely focusing on ways to secure higher growth figures, global icons are entering the Indian picture to pitch for the development of the nation as a whole.

Listed below are three iconic personalities who have walked the walk to make India a better place.

Satya Nadella/Microsoft

Global IT giant Microsoft has adopted Maharashtra's Harisal village to transform it as India's first ideal digital village. The idea occurred to Microsoft when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Microsoft's Indian-origin CEO Satya Nadella to discuss digital solutions for chronic problems in Indian villages, during his visit to the US in 2015.

The IT giant has used its "white space' technology, an unused spectrum between two TV channels, to provide free internet connectivity to Harisal and its nearby areas. Microsoft has also deputed its officials to work closely with the Maharashtra government to find solutions for various problems the village and its adjoining areas are grappling with.

Nicki Minaj

The "Anaconda' singer, best known for her raps and musical shows worldwide, Nicki MInaj, has been financially supporting an Indian village quietly for a very long time. The 34-year-old rapper recently revealed her charitable initiatives by sharing an Instagram video of a villager drawing water from a well built with her donations. The village has been reeling from acute water scarcity for long.

One of the world's top singers, Minaj, whose income is touted to be over $75 million, helped in bringing potable water to this remote, neglected hamlet.

One of her recent Instagram posts states, "This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud. The money I've sent to this village in India for the last couple years [via my Pastor Lydia Sloley], has gotten them a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS."

Bill Clinton

A small, obscure village of India's largest state Uttar Pradesh, Jabrouli in Lucknow, shot to global fame when former US President Bill Clinton visited it in 2014 to review its health and hygiene scenario and implement wellness schemes of the Clinton Foundation there.

Aimed at providing better healthcare facilities, the foundation had initiated Zinc-ORS campaigns here to prevent diarrhea in children. This campaign was also conducted in Vietnam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Bill Clinton travelled all the way to Lucknow and its nearby villages to appeal for the lowering of prices of Zinc-ORS, making them readily available to children.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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