If I were the Minister of Rural Development
If I were the Minister of Rural Development in the Government of India, I think my task would be tremendous and voluminous. This is mainly because India is basically a country of villages and it is just here growth is essential. I say this because, if India’s villages are prosperous, India is prosperous. With this view, I know very well that, there can be no growth in India as a whole as long as Indian villages remain backward. Only if the villages are put on the path of progress, India as a country can hope to see prosperity in the real sense. It is very important for all, and the Government to understand that, no matter how much prosperity is seen in the big towns, the heart of India is in the villages and till they prosper India cannot prosper.
With this point very clearly understood by me, I would set myself wholeheartedly to set things apace in the villages, if of course I were the Minister of Rural Development in the Government of India.
As the Minister my task would firstly be to study life in the villages, make a road map of shortcomings and requirements there. With this much done, I would work out the methodology of functioning there. This would be an essential input before my work has to start as I know that, the problems of the villages are quite different to the problems we face in towns and cities. Having thus understood the needs of the local people, I would start on my mission of the growth of the area. My first thrust would be on education. This would be so as, I personally believe that, only with education, all progress starts, and, without it no amount of real development can be made. With this point in mind, I would first of all establish schools in the villages. These schools would be of the same standard of schools found in metros. They would follow the same syllabus, the same curricular activities and the same teaching method. I would try to get good teachers also from towns, give them extra bonus/ incentives to work in the villages. Their stay, food and medical care would be the responsibility of the Government. This would encourage the teachers to join service in the villages. Once, the schools and the teachers would be in place, all other things would I think, follow suit.
The next step would be to provide drinking water for the village folk, food for all and safe and healthy shelters for all. I would go ahead hand in hand with the village Panchayat. This would help me feel the pulse of the village all the time, as, I think it is very essential to understand people for whom one works. All the problems of the villagers I would collect from the Panchayat and take them back to the Assembly/Parliament to get them sorted out. Once the village problems would be found as being solved, I would be able to get the goodwill of the villagers and their faith in me and my working.
Besides all this, I would see that basic health facilities be made available to the villagers. At present there are no doctors working in villages, there are no dispensaries in far flung remote areas. People there are thus destined to die without any sort of treatment, once they fall sick. This is not of any credit to an advancing country. I would establish rapport with the Health Minister of the Government of India, and try to work out ways and means of giving basic health facilities to all even in the remotest villages of the country. In this sphere also no doctors are willing to go to villages. To attract young doctors, I would give incentives to them, and even make it compulsory for them to work in villages for at least two years before getting their MBBS degrees.
Once these basic necessities of food, shelter and health were sorted out, I would study the pattern of their lives and the scope of employment of the youth within the villages. The farmers would be given best of seeds, the most modern equipment’s manure and whatever else they may require from the Government. This would help in giving the maximum output from agricultural lands in villages. The children and young men and women who would come out of the educational institutes would be reasonably placed in jobs. I would make the villages the hubs of activities. This would in turn stop the exodus of village folk to towns in search of employment. Once the villages would thus become self contained with all necessities of life available to them we would see real prosperity around the country.
With this much done for the villagers, I think I would have the right to feel satisfied and I would then justify my placement as the Minister of Rural Development. I would then hope that all that I had done would be continued in future by.