Rural development in India has witnessed several changes over the years in its approaches, strategies and programmes. In the current scenario when India has to be globally competitive in order to stand in the international market, developmental work has assumed a new dimension and perspective.
One of the primary objectives of Rural Development Programmes is alleviation of poverty and unemployment through creation of basic social and economic infrastructure, provision of training to rural unemployed youth and providing employment to marginal farmers to discourage seasonal and permanent migration to urban areas.
Rural development can be enriched and made more contextual only through the participation of all stakeholders of development. Today, agriculture, handicrafts, fisheries, poultry, and dairy are the primary contributors to the rural business and economy. These have to be fostered,through participatory efforts of the people.
Quick and correct implementation is the touchstone of all planning, and people’s participation plays a central role in the holistic and meaningful development of rural areas. People’s participation is one of the foremost prerequisites of development process both from procedural and philosophical perspectives, as stressed by the Ministry of Rural Development.
This is where the lacuna remains. For decades, various ideological groups have tried to exploit the situation of rural peoples’ ignorance, illiteracy and lack of understating of long-term benefits of the policies. We need concerted efforts from persuasive and like-minded groups to facilitate understanding and to bring people on a common platform.
In the last few years, some significant signs have been seen in some parts of India, yet there are miles to go before we see an overall growth. This issue of CSR Mandate brings some meaningful stories on development and growth in the rural sector, hunger and malnutrition.