Back to the Villages
Back to the villages is no idle dream. The crowded cities are no longer fit for living. More and more people yearn to return to the villages. Many rich and affluent people who work in the cities have built their country houses. After day’s work they return to their villages, away from the dust and din of the cities and their maddening crowds.
It is time that the poor people should also return to the villages for open air, away from pollution and corruption. They come to the cities for work but here they face many hazards-ill health, want of accommodation, bad air, dirty food, etc. Crime stalks everywhere in the cities. Accidents are galore here.
It is time that people should stop migrating from villages to the cities. On the contrary, the poor people should shift from towns to village. Village industries should be developed to provide employment for the youth who should engage themselves in agriculture production, dairy products, handloom, small scale industries, cottage industries etc. The banks have already been directed to provide special liberal funds to the villages for self-employment and co-operative enterprises.
India lives in the villages. Every village is a little India. Mahatma Gandhi was rightly devoted and dedicated to the uplift of the village. He laid great stress on the rural uplift. Why need people run to the cities for employment ? Why should they not be provided jobs in their own villages ? Why should the people desert their homes, and hamlets ? Why not go the villages and work for rural reconstruction ?
“Back to the villages” has been the policy of our Government right from the times of Jawaharlal Nehru we should render back to the villages what is due to the villages. All progress of the nation is due to the sacrifices of the villagers but they get the minimum of returns for what give to cities. All food for the towns comes from the villages but what do the towns do for the villages ? Practically nothing.
We must lay great stress on rural development. All our planning should be village-oriented. The government must give fullest help for the reconstruction of the rural and cottage industries. The Reserve Bank of India has already issued a directive to the banks to extend all possible credit facilities to the rural folk for employment and development of industries.
The official programme includes setting up of District industries Centres (D.I.Cs) in all the districts of this country. They provide finance facilities and technical assistance for the establishment of village industries. The centres are supported by banks and other financial institutions.
Many different kinds of industries can be set up in the villages, such as leather goods, wooden goods, cotton goods and woollen goods. There is nothing which the cities have and the villages don’t. Everything in the cities comes from the villages. Even electricity from dams passes through the villages. It is time that the government provide infrastructure even for heavy industries to be put up in the villages rather than in the towns where air is getting more and more polluted and life is becoming more and more hazardous.
National Adult Education Programme must be centred in the villages. It is necessary that the rural people should be educated to shoulder social responsibilities and get the industrial technology to employ themselves and create jobs for others. The “Antodaya Movement” had been started to help development of villages and industries. Its purpose was to help the poor and the weaker sections of society. No new industry should be set up in the cities. All new industries should go to the villages.
It is time that factories in the cities should go to the villages instead of the villagers coming to factories in the cities. That is the urgent need of the hour. That was the ideal programme of Mahatma Gandhi. It has stood the test of the times. We feel its need today even more strongly than fifty-four years ago.