A wonderful opportunity to change the rural landscape of India #SAGY
It was mentioned in the Independence Day speech from Red Fort on 15th of August 2014 by the new Prime Minister of India and in less than 2 month time, today (11th October 2014), government of India has launched a program which has the potential to change the rural landscape of India and in a sense change the India as a whole.
More than 60% of Indian population still lives in Rural Areas, spread across more than 600,000 villages, mostly living the same way for generations going back not years and decades but centuries. India got independence 67 years ago, after centuries of ruthless control by foreign invaders, who controlled the cities and systematically exploited of natural resources abundantly available in India. They kept the majority of Indian population in the villages, at times pushing the people further into the interiors and wilderness. The rural population played a crucial role in the India’s struggle for Independence and it goes without saying that the peaceful manner in which we achieved complete freedom and then undertook even bigger challenge of institutionalization of Democratic process in India, it is a tribute to the fact that most of our Freedom Fighters came from villages/ rural background. It is pertinent to remember that Mahatma Gandhi understood this very well when he said that the “Soul of India resides in its village and to understand India one must visit them”.
In the last 3 years, I have visited close to 500 villages, across India – From J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan in north to Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka down South and Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madya Pradesh, Bihar in between. I am saying this with all humility that I’ve managed to get a tiny glimpse of the real India that Mahatma Gandhi referred to, and it is a extremely humbling experience.
The Rural India is the most beautiful part of India, the landscape is so amazing that one forgets everything. But, there is lots and lots that needs to be done, to bring most of these villages to a level where all the people of the village can live their life with dignity.
I firmly believe that without developing the villages, improving the life of Indian population living there, India will never be able to reach its true potential. It is Imperative that the rural population also reap the benefits of development, just by developing few cities we will never become a fully developed nation. Unlike the other developed nations of the world, we will never be able to migrate majority of our population to the Urban areas from Rural. We have to take the development to their doorstep rather than uprooting them from the land that has been a part of their life for generations.
That’s why I feel the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna (SAGY) is a wonderful initiative, and it will change the landscape of India in the days to come.