Sunday, January 24, 2010

Urban-Rural Disparities

Mahatma Gandhi dreamt about GRAM SWARAJ that every village should be self reliance since he believed villages are backbone of India. He started the PANCHYATHRAJ as a manifestation which was reinstated to a political system and finally established as a Department in government. Still most of the villages are pathetic and unable to satisfy the basic amenities (Water, housing, Medical facilities, Education, Roads, unemployment…) when you compare with towns and cities (comfortable life, paved roads, stylish buildings, super specialty hospitals, hybrid cars, white collar jobs, revolutionary technologies, big malls, multiplex..). Our father of Nation want to fortify the India by reinforce the rural but we have started from other end (towns and cities).Shall we assume that the government and policy makers are failed to respect the fundamental right of equality for all citizens irrespective of rural or urban? Have the Economic reforms bypassed the rural India? I can say... YES, the following information which gives us evidence.

India has 640,000 villages approximately and 70% of the population lives in villages. According our recent census, per capita consumption expenditure in rural is RS.14.50 per day and urban Rs.21.60 per day. India poverty headcount ratio is 37.2 per cent of the population — with the rural area poverty at 41.8 per cent and urban area poverty at 25.7 per cent. Three-quarters of urban households living in well constructed houses, compared to only about a quarter in rural areas. Less than One-quarter of the rural population has access to tap water while the corresponding proportion in cities is about three-fourth. 80 percent of rural population doesn’t have sanitary & hygiene facilities where as 30 percent urban people don’t have such. The rural dwellers have to travel miles together for primary care physician and think how difficult to get emergency care and maternity troubles. I can explain a lot like electricity, telephone connections, transportation, less investment in rural areas, banking and credit facilities… and so on. Not only opportunities, rural areas are losing their manpower which is migrating to urban areas as labor due to heavy investments in urban and metros.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005
is helping the distressed poor lives in rural areas. According to this scheme the government will give 100 days wage employment in rural areas by carry out village development works. We need a common rural development policy irrespective of states which needs to improve the villages and the achieve the Mahatma’s SAMPURNA GRAMA SWARAJ.
Please send your suggestions to: farmersindia