“Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana”, “National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, “Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana”, “Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana”, are some of the schemes launched by the Government till now. Now, what do they have in common? If you study them all closely, it would redirect to the concept of “Rural development in India”.
We all are well aware of the ever-increasing cost of living. As per 2011 census, about 1/3rd of rural India survives on an amount of Rs. 5000 to make ends meet for the whole household. The remuneration might have significantly improved given the inflation however, it wouldn’t give us the absolute picture.
In the last few decades, we have witnessed growing immigrations from the villages to cities. Thus, the present-day paradigm has been to understand the rural areas, their issues, so their productivity can be enhanced. Generally confined to primary sector, villages constitute an essential part as they host about 60% of the population of India.
One thing that sets villages apart from the cities is their “Culture”. Be it Gond & Korba tribes of Dandakaranya forests or Nyshi & Khasi communities of North East India or the Pristine Northern Himalayan villages, all are culturally rooted — forming the backbone of India. Therefore, there are all the more reasons for both the public and private sector to conserve it; as only then can the nation progress and prosper with its unique identity and diversity.
Of late, the Government has been efficiently working towards providing sustainable livelihood solutions. Recent initiatives such as free LPG connection for a smokeless kitchen, potable water supply, free housing, all are targeted to improve the livelihood of the villagers or rural sector in general.
On the another hand, the efforts from the private sector such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Foundation, Subrata Roy’s Sahara India Pariwar, Sudha Murthy’s Infosys Foundation are quite noteworthy, given their large business network and initiatives to provide access to sustainable livelihoods for villagers.
From the mental healthcare in the villages by Infosys foundation, to the adoption of 1,000 villages under its Vedas project & introduction of clean energy through its e- bikes by Sahara India group, to the installation of the water facilities by Reliance Foundation, all are meant to empower the people residing in the villages.
With these efforts, there has been a rise in the number of schools, pucca houses, toilets, Primary health centers in the villages, providing people with the opportunities to grow significantly.
That said, despite such active public-private participation, villages in India haven’t been growing as expected. Thus, there arises a need for the increased consumption, swift infrastructural investment, as that can lead to employment generation, better sanitation and education system. These steps can catapult India to the status of a global superpower that it rightly deserves.