Updated: Jun 29, 2019
According to Census of 2011, the rural population in India is almost 70% of the total population. Therefore, rural development is an important aspect in the development of the country. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “If villages perish, India will perish too”. He had developed a self-sustained model for rural development in India which consists of self-sufficiency, vocational education, cottage industries, trusteeship and the panchayat raj. The model gave emphasis on moral development and good conduct in the rural society. It gave emphasis on the dignity of labour. Mahatma Gandhi had developed this model a century ago but is most relevant in today’s context. Although the technology has changed the principle has remained the same. The development of a village is divided into several factors such as socio-economic, political, environmental and the Infrastructure development.
The socio-economic factor is the foremost important aspect of the village development. As per the model such development is required in today’s context, where the villagers become self-sufficient and their reliance on cities is minimised in terms of finished products. So that, the cycle from raw material to the finished product is within the boundaries of the villages and in addition, it is marketed in the nearby cities to earn some profit. The cottage industries, village handicrafts, animal husbandry and agriculture are the preliminary and traditional sources of income for the villages. In modern digital India, there is educational software which is easily available to the villagers and enables them to have access to the latest technology in agriculture and animal husbandry. This way villagers remain updated in the current market. It also provides the market for their handicrafts and handloom products at their fingertips. Thus, the villagers remain occupied throughout the year and don’t become addicted to alcohol and sustain high moral values and trusteeship.
The politics involve bottom-up approach with the decentralised political system. With such system, the grassroot level issues are being brought to the surface and are resolved with public participation by listening to public views and opinions. Panchayati Raj or village republic as a political system has a greater power over the centre makes the system work efficiently and in detail. The problem with the centralised system is that policies cannot be scaled up at the national level as they may not be suitable for different sets of issues relevant to different villages.
Villages can be self – sufficient in terms of sustainable energy. The villages have vast open lands that can be utilised for infrastructure related to sustainable energy. This energy can be used not only for a single village but also can be exported to neighbouring villages through a grid. Instead of natural gas, biogas plants can be the source for the cooking gas. The residue from the gas plant can be used as manure in agriculture to improve the fertility of the soil.
The villages need proper infrastructure which includes sufficient housing, water supply, sanitation, garbage disposal, street lights, village roads, signs and signage, public gardens, schools, hospitals, police station, a market place and a village road network. The presence of all these is very important for satisfying the needs of the village community. The design considerations for public spaces should be aesthetically pleasing and functional.
If we implement this ideology of the model village today, it sure will inspire today’s youth to achieve a sustainable goal and will also curtail human resource drain. This will make our country prosperous and bring back the lost glory of our old civilisation. With these factors taken into consideration, the villages in India will be clean, healthy and of high moral values.