Once Gandhiji told the renowned author Mr. Mulk Raj Anand that we can't build India unless we build villages. Gandhiji wanted to make the villages independent republics, independent in governance and for routine requirements, governed by the people of the villages and self sufficient for financial needs. In India seventy percent of our population live in villages, but the developmental schemes, for the development of rural segment are not given the required priorities.
Our economy is developing fast, Industries and big corporate are going globalised, with liberalization, tremendous changes are being felt in IT, manufacturing, Service sector, but nobody thinks of the rural development to make it as fast as in these sectors. Then what all this progress and development means? Benefitting to 30% in the total population, already developed and above poverty does not mean any development.
Visiting a village we find even today houses made of mud, bamboos and grass have no protection against rains, storms, moisture and fire. Supplying of adequate drinking water is a tedious problem in which housewife and girls are devoting a sizable part of the daily routine, fetching enough water from far flung area or standing in the queue for hours waiting their number at the public tap. Illiteracy and particularly among the girls is main peculiarity of our rural India. A few States tried to enroll and attract children in schools with the incentive of mid day meal scheme, but all the same universalisation of elementary education is still a dream and there is no let up in the number of annual drop outs. Rural poverty and illiteracy has given our country the dubious name where highest number of child laborer in the world are on the job to feed this bellies.
Health care is just rudimentary and few doctors are willing to work is rural area. Villagers are mostly dependant on Vaidyas, or other RMPs for their medical needs. Lack of proper infrastructure like roads, transportation, e1ectricity, water, proper housing, educational schools de-motivate a person, whether a doctor, engineer or any educated personnel to go to villages and stay their with his family. High rate of migration from villages to nearby cities or metros is also the result of lack of proper infrastructure in rural areas. These migrated people build slums, Jugghies Chawls or Cherries in cities to live not so comfortably but have no option as in cities they could find jobs, and could earn to fill their starving stomachs.
The present government realized the gravity of the situation and has taken some important measures to develop infrastructure in the countryside. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched on Dec. 25, 2000, seeks to provide road connectivity through good all weather roads to all unconnected habitations having a population of more than 1000 persons by the year 2003 and those with a population o[more than 500 persons by the end of the Tenth Plan i.e. 2007. An investment of about Rs. 38000 crore has been made so far in the water supply sector. According to government sources, more than 15 lacs rural habitants have been covered by the provision of drinking water facility. The revised Rural Water Supply Programme envisaged:
(1) The involvement of the people in the choice of scheme design, control of finances and management arrangements.
(2) Shifting the role of government from direct service delivery to that of facilitator.
(3) Partial cost sharing either in cash or kind or both.
(4) 100% responsibility of operation and maintenance by end users.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY), it is proposed to tackle taken quality related problems like fluorides, arsenic and iron contamination, blackishness and also sustainability...