The Point Blank | Transforming Rural India- Prevalent Scenario
“…countries advance not because of their size but by the manner its people lead their lives and by the character they possess and by the skill of their hands and intelligence they possess to do things. If India would make progress, it would do so because such people live here and not because 36 crore people live in this country.”- A pertinent quote of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1950s during a visit to the small township of Dayalbagh (population 5,000 at that time), about 200 kms from Delhi.
Unarguably the ‘Rural India’ – to what some prefer to refer as Bharat – is predominantly dependant on agriculture for its livelihoods and the burgeoning population coupled with more efficient farm practices has made it unsustainable for agriculture to continue to sustain its traditional “market share” of rural employment. In India, Today agriculture employs more than 70% of rural population, but only contributes to about 18% to nation’s GDP. The dependence of village communities, specially the resource-poor (comprising mostly of agricultural laborers and farmers with very small landholding) on land is enhanced because of the lack of access to other productive assets and skills.
Today, WE are a nation of approximately 638,000 villages with more than two third of total population living in the villages. In this scenario, in order to achieve nationwide transformation and push our country in the orbit of ‘developed nation’, bring mass awareness, fight against enemies such as poverty and population, create an advanced educated society of citizens and above all in order to witness India transformed after 75 long years of independent rule, I believe, the up-most action-item is to bring about Rural Transformation.
Prevalent Scenario – Need to Eradicate Urban Rural Divide
As we are aware majority of Rural India population has been engaged in the core agricultural work till date. This, however, being the most accepted-and-followed Socio-Economic model; there has been evident reason for the Rural Youth to remain engaged in the “business” which they had for generations. Categorization of task backed by limitation of choices in the Rural India eventually widened the chasm between not only the Rural and Urban Youth communities but also between the opportunities made available to them. Moreover, the divide not only barred the opportunities but also the exposure of advancement to the youth of Rural India. The divide formed uneven income groups starkly differentiating the Urban and the Rural Youth. And, sadly so, the differentiation factor responsible for disparity is, I am sure, the ‘unavailability of opportunities’ to Rural Youth and certainly NOT ‘unavailability of talent’.
India is in the race of being a super-power and, luckily, there are many visionaries – like Former President APJ Abdul Kalam – who have already shown pathway for the same. Amidst all the efforts we direct to make India a developed nation, the pressing need of time is to eradicate the opportunity difference between Urban and Rural Youth. Eradicating barrier of Urban Rural Divide would help us address plethora of our prime concerns such as poverty and population explosion (or implosion?!) to name a few.
Having noted the need for highly-scalable model which can bring mass awareness and help the nation prosper; I believe there is a need for a model which,
i) Provides requisite opportunities to Rural Youth
a. For getting trained
b. To receive appropriate feed-back
c. For better utilization of their time and efficiency
ii) Creates employment with even opportunities for both men and women
iii) Eliminates the difference of exposure between Urban and Rural areas
iv) Proves to be the most competitive yet economical model wherein comparison with other conventional/ traditional existing models.
v) Itself should be a highly scalable for leveraging the untapped potential of the Rural Youth.
With 70 percent of our population living in villages, the development of India will not be comprehensive or complete unless there is development in our rural areas. Our objective of inclusive development will not be achieved unless villages do not prosper, where as Mahatma Gandhi used to say the heart of India throbs.