Question: India needs a Gandhian approach for rural development if it has to improve its socio-economic conditions. Discuss.
Answer: Mahatma Gandhi was a proponent of village centric development that focused on improving villages to develop the country. Gandhiji’s idea of rural development included social, economic, and political autonomy.
Components of Gandhian approach of rural development
- Village autonomy
More powers and autonomy should be given to villages. They should be delegated decision making powers regarding economy and governance.
- Village at the core of development
Planning of development should start from villages. Authorities must find ways to ensure that good governance percolates to village level.
- Cottage industries at centre of industrialization
Industrialization should start from villages. Small cottage industries should be the provider of products using sustainable methods. Isolated clusters can distribute development equally.
- Self sufficiency
Villages must be self sufficient in its needs. They have to be ready to take up challenges and find solution. Overdependence on government should be avoided.
- Skill development
Every person should be equipped to look after his needs without depending on others. This will help in creating a independent society that can flourish on low resources.
Advantages of Gandhian idea
- Improvement in rural economy
With development of villages and villagers, rural economy is expected to boost. The income sustainability and income independency will be enhanced.
- Environment protection
Gandhian idea rests on sustainable development. This encompasses features such as environment protection and inclusive growth.
- Reduction in rural to urban migration
With improvement in village ecosystem in terms of quality of life, economic prosperity, social peace etc, the phase of urban migration will reduce. This will also reduce pressure on urbanization.
- Improvement in social indicators
Social indicators such as maternal mortality, infant mortality and per capita income will see an improvement as more focus is given on rural administration.
Thus, Gandhian approach to rural development is indeed a revolutionary idea that can reap benefits if properly implemented.