Villages- strength or weakness of India

Even after 65 years of independence, India is highly an agriculture based nation. As per the 2011 census, there exist 6.38 lakh villages comprising 72.20% of total population of India. Earlier villages are considered as the places with unpolluted air, lush green fields and diverse animal species like cattle, sheep, ducks etc. The sunrise and sunset in these villages will show the best scenic beauties of nature. But these days villages are losing its sheen because of natural calamities and improper government policies.

Some of the major problems of Indian villages are:

Healthcare facilities:
In India, most of the villages don’t possess even a small hospital. The people in these places have to run to nearby towns or cities to receive treatment or medicines. Because of the shortage of hospitals and qualified medical professionals several diseases which can be prevented are still prevalent in India. Even though Indian pharmaceutical industry has been growing by leaps and bounds, the availability of medicines are still not within the reach of common man.

Educational facilities:
Recently the Government of India declared education as a fundamental right to all the children of India who are below 14 years of age. Many villages don’t possess schools and some villages possess schools with mud walls, which fall to rains in every rainy season or schools with improper sanitation facilities. The children need to walk several kilometers to study. Some schools will not receive text books by the end of the academic year. Even though the central government introduced schemes like Afternoon Meals and Sarva Shiksa Abiyaan are not reducing this problem because of their in effective implementation.

Infrastructure facilities:
Agriculture sector is the top employment provider in India followed by retail sector and cattle rearing (dairy farms and poultry). Indian agriculture is highly monsoon dependent and in order to reduce the monsoon dependency, a plan to interconnect all the rivers of India was proposed. That plan is still not implemented. Along with natural calamities like floods and draught, the policies of government are also making farming a loss making profession. On one hand the prices of seeds and fertilizers are rising and on the other hand the support prices for the agricultural products are falling. Even though government of India has been providing financial support through loans from banks, they are not providing a platform to reap benefits or to make profits of the products produced by them. The recommendations of Mr.Swaminathan committee (i.e. to provide a support price for every product such that farmers make an income of 50%) are still in pending for approval.

Industrial sector influence:

In order to make agriculture profitable, the measures that are to be taken are:
1.  Posting agriculture researchers and engineers in villages to teach the modern techniques of agriculture to farmers.
2. Conducting soil tests and informing farmers about the crops that suits best for their soil and encouraging organic farming in their fields.
3. Mechanization of the farming equipment with tractors.
4. Providing sufficient support prices for the agriculture products.

As all these aspects are painting the village side of India as a gloomy one where huge amounts of wealth used to be there in the past, if the agriculture sector of India is revived by providing proper infrastructure facilities villages turn out to be the real strength of our nation.