Home    FAQ    News & Views    Donate    Feedback    Contacts

About Us
Background
Organisation & Funds
Objectives
Leadership

Activities
Water Related Schemes
Health & Hygiene
Youth Development
Learning Centres
Temper for Science in rural
India

Women's Empowerment
Activism against Social ills
Protection of Heritage
War Widows
Adventure

Missions in Focus
Watershed Development
Water Harvesting
Small Community Microhydel Lighting
Refurbishing Village Primary
Schools
Resuscitation & Recharging
of rural wells
Social Forestry
Rural Dwelling

"sur se pahchaniye jo lare deen ke het
purja purja kat maryo chore nahin khet"

News

Views

Water has been the central theme of our interaction  and activities since the last update of the news letter. The small but very useful amount advanced by UNDP was timely as the derelict and 13th century well of Prithvi Raj Chauhan's era was restored with a big relief. This till only a few years back was the only source of water in the parched countryside during summers. The  stone tablet on the outer surface of the lining in Dingal the dialect carried to the ravines by Prthviraj's army is being referred to the Archeological Survey of India

Breaking News

We had entered our water harvesting project Swasti at Salaita for the Swiss ReSource Global Award Competition  2004 in Sustainable Watershed Management

While we could not hit the required mark we received the following remarks " your proposal submitted for the ReSource Award was rated quite good (45 out of 68 points). Unfortunately this was not enough to be nominated". Lets keep up the effort ! this was a first attempt at a world award

Water has been the central theme of our interaction  and activities since the last update of the news letter. The small but very useful amount advanced by UNDP was timely as the derelict and 13th century well of Prithvi Raj Chauhan's era was restored with a big relief. This till only a few years back was the only source of water in the parched countryside during summers. The  stone tablet on the outer surface of the lining in Dingal the dialect carried to the ravines by Prthviraj's army is being referred to the Archeological Survey of India

A workshop was held at the Delhi office of WAPCOS  in November under auspices of Global Water Partnership Sweden  which Mr Kalyan Singh and Manoj  Singh  from  villasge Salaita attended as our representatives. This was the first exposure for grass root workers from the community to interact with NGOs at the national level. Later the Vice President had an interaction and exchange of views with Ms Simi Kamal Member TEC and Dr  A Abeyeratne to develop a working concept for IWP at the grass root level in our country. Mr UP Srivastava  Consultant WAPCOS was coordinating this forum

                           New Membership

We welcome Capt Manmohan Kumar and Mrs Veena Kumar to our small fraternity . He is from our Medical Corps and presently residing in the USA.

     RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND MISNOMERS-Part I    

Much is being talked about rural development specially now when this is receiving a fresh impetus from the government. That our perspective of this vital nation-building sector should have still been foggy, marred by neglect, mismanaged and mishandled more than half a century after independence must speak very poorly of our democratic processes and mechanisms. For it is this sector alone which provides the very sinews of governance through the power of its vote bank. This is also the agrarian powerhouse of the nation, one that can never shut down or collapse as the capital sector can. It is therefore ironical and alarming that on our economic map there are only islands of urban prosperity surrounded by vast rural areas where even the basic necessities are still  missing, such as adequate potable water, health services, primary education and proper shelters. No doubt vast sums of money are siphoned into rural development through the state governments and are also at the disposal of people’s representatives. Each MP gets Rs  2 crores for his constituency which he can spend at his own choice. Each district administration has a large dedicated set up only for development. Why is it then that our rural habitat is decaying  even when means of communication and exposure have   leaped forward at a good pace? Why is it that the rural youth is ready to abandonee its ancestral habitat and stream into the cities knowing well that he has a worse future there. In fact the index of rural development can be reckoned by the flight to the cities. Admittedly the development map must vary from state to state with some states standing out in their performance, positively or negatively. By and large it would not be far off the mark to reckon that barely 40% of the budget finds its way to results on ground. One can from a modest experience and observations place the Hindi speaking states at the bottom of the rung though J&K could beat this record if evaluated honestly. One could attribute this to corruption but this is over generalization,  ignoring many other factors which contribute to the dismal state. On a rough assessment even if this were based on limited yet representative conditions, of the 60% of the funds, which do not find their way to the legitimate schemes, more than half are siphoned into political coffers through various   ingenious contrivances but largely through contractor’s  and middlemen's benevolence. After all our democracy also functions as a market economy. The more a candidate spends the better chances of his winning. Anything from 30 lakhs upward is the going price for an MLA! A member of parliament is priced well beyond 50 lakhs!.  How does he recoup this if not from the people’s piggy bank? To make matters worse, rural India has no institutional backup for enabling and empowering the people to participate in their progress in a planned manner. Everything depends on political nuisances and whims of individual power brokers. The district administration has little time from political beckoning or a penchant and inclination for any commitment to growth. Transparency is non-existent an oddity as it were.

Rural Development cannot come as a bye product of urban development as priorities of both can be clashing. Rural development requires long term planning and perspectives as any other creative exercise but more so since gestation periods for results and their impact on societal changes are very extended.  Since rural development also entails long term parameters for growth it cannot  sustain unless there is proper identification and rigid allocation of priorities and resources with a disciplined approach to implementation and execution. Political interference is the biggest impediment in this. Merely to illustrate a bridge, an economic artery for a backward region was started in 84 over the Chambal river in UP. This bridge took over two decades to complete because its fate was sealed with every change of party in power. It is for this reason that regimented economies and strong state intervention has historically shown dramatic results in turning impoverished societies into self-reliant units over predictable time plots. The sub human subsistence of the Russian Kulak on the eve of the Red Revolution in 1917 was totally changed by the start  of World War 2  (in a span of mere 22 years) when the average Russian peasant was found to be among the healthiest and well educated by ambient standards of the East. This in a big way contributed to his vanquishing a far advanced civilization with worlds most advanced war machine as fielded by Germany. The Chinese example is there for us to see. Admittedly these are unique cases by themselves yet provide a good template for a sound hypothesis. Free market forces on their own can neither help rural development nor serve people’s cause because these will not adjust to development priorities without affecting their profits, which none will accept, nor can these allow people’s participation in their missions which is vital for their balanced growth. For free market capitalism goes against the grain of co-operative and resonant growth.  On the contrary, unrestrained entry of free markets in development strategy could turn growth lop sided with private sector’s instinct and freedom to move capital at will from one sector to another in time frame of its choosing and thus lend to creating debt traps. . For example, the entry of private sector in agriculture and allied fields could play havoc with the Indian farmer as has been experienced with GM crops in Andhra. Corporate banking and crop insurance could have similar effects.  However, it is also unwise to conclude that free market should be kept totally out of rural sector. Its moderated and controlled participation could definitely accelerate development as long as the State has a will to pursue a straight course, which does not seem to be indicated so far. The true test of rural development is competitiveness of rural productivity, planned and controlled migration of seasonal farm labour, a slow down in flight from rural areas specially youth and resurgence in traditional crafts and skills.

Contributed by The Vice President on his observations in the field.  Part II will follow.

(These are not necessarily the views of SAINIKSANGH)

Scholarships

Two girls and two boys from Node No 1 obtained one years scholarship contributed by Brig Kr KN Singh

Certificates

The Vice President on his visit to Salaita distributed National Open School certificates to the successful candidates for their distance education course.

We wish our viewers a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to a renewed vigour in the level of our activity with new funding support for the various schemes that are on the drawing  board   2004 had not been what we had set our eyes on.

 

Home    FAQ    News & Views    Donate    Feedback    Contacts