Gandhi's Dream of a Self-sufficient Village

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Anil K. Rajvanshi Director Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) P.O. Box 44, Phaltan-415523, Maharashtra, India (e-mail :

Gandhiji wrote and spoke extensively about his dream village but somehow was never able to give a concrete plan or shape to his dreams. However intuitively he rightly realized that it would be a unit where all the things needed by villagers will be manufactured from the locally available resources. sustainable. His village would therefore be self sufficient and

In those times of primitive technology his dream village was supposed to

depend on human labor and hence his insistence on very simple and rudimentary technologies which could be made by villagers themselves. However modern high technology allows for the first time to bring into reality the dream village of Gandhiji. Such a village will be high tech, self reliant, sustainable and will provide its residents a high quality life. Our villages have not changed very much since Gandhiji’s times. Thus about 55-60% of India’s rural population has no electricity, very poor drinking water supply and majority of rural population uses 180 million tons of biomass every year as fuel for cooking through very primitive, inefficient and smoky chulhas. In states like U.P., Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh etc. some of the villages still exist in stone ages. We cannot become the 3rd most prosperous country in the world, as some of our national leaders are taking about, unless and until we bring 60% of our rural population into mainstream of development and provide a quantum jump to their quality of life. One of the best ways to do so is by providing adequate electricity to these areas. This is an electricity age. Adequate and uninterrupted supply of electricity for lighting,

agriculture, communication, entertainment and whole horde of other activities can transform the lives of rural population and bring in tremendous wealth to these...
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