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Paradigm Shift in Village life

A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. Though villages are often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods. Villages are normally permanent with fixed dwellings, however, transient villages can occur. In every village of India, the main source of income is agriculture and agriculture allied activities. Villages that maintain nature in our country, otherwise we can see cement forest in Metro cities and even in tier two cities in India. In villages, people are so creative and actively participate in extracurricular. A village is a perfect place to live if you are in search of harmony with nature. People have everything for their minimum requirements of life. Villagers are just satisfied with the necessities of their living. It is the simplicity, natural beauty and tranquillity that make the rural life unique and special. The advantages of village life are: eat fresh as everybody cultivate by its own; they are very friendly and have unity which is very rare in cities; you can enjoy the real beauty of nature in villages; do not hesitate to help others; pollution free environment and of course noise free.However, of late a paradigm shift in village life is highly manifested.On the other hand,the outbreak of Corona pandemic crisis shows villages have a right to flourish as habitations with their own distinct future.Again in the present Corona epidemic, people moves towards the villages,which has increased the relevance of villages.
            The principle of a historically self-sufficient of village was the main reason for India to be called “Golden Bird”. But over the time, the principle of colonialism ended the principles of those self-sufficient villages. In course of time, the decline of the agricultural advantage, the glare of the city, the need for modern education, the lack of modern amenities moved the villages from the centre of to the periphery of Indian habitants.A generalised logic had surfaced to justify and thereby encourage emigration from rural areas to cities. According to this logic, providing basic amenities such as running water, electricity and jobs to rural people became easier if they move to a city. This kind of thinking had considerable academic support. Modernisation was a dominant paradigm of social theory that saw nothing wrong in the growth of vast slums in mega cities and depletion of working-age people in villages. Some social scientists did not mind declaring that the village as we had known it in Indian history was on its way to extinction. They argued that agriculture, the main resource of livelihood in the countryside, was no longer profitable enough to attract the young. And handicrafts too were destined to die, they said as craftsman and women cannot survive without state support. Only pockets of support survived the powerful wave of market –oriented economic reforms. For along time, a view had been gathering support that villages were no more viable as sites of public investment. As they faced the decimation of the rural people’s economy, safety nets could be thrown at them to provide subsistence- level provision of food, literacy and disease control.  
        It was something “natural’ that happens in the course of economic development in countries like ours. Students were taught that shrinking of rural livelihoods was a universal phenomenon and it was therefore inevitable in India.  This general framework justified discriminatory funding in every sphere including health and education. No serious public investment could be made in villages. Even as medical education and teacher training became increasingly privatised, the availability of qualified doctors and teachers willing to work in villages dwindled. Ideologically –inspired pursuit of economic reforms swept State after State, leaving little room for dissent or longer term thinking. A veneer of welfarism was maintained. It allowed the expansion of essential facilities of a rudimentary kind in villages. They served as sites for special schemes for the poor and provided minimalist provisions. The goal was to keep the poor alive and occupied. Privately run facilities burgeoned, creating an ethos that boosted commercial goals in health care and schooling. Stuck between state minimalism and commercial entrepreneurship, villages lost what capacity they had for regenerating their economy or intellectual resources. All such arguments and the data they were based on provided a comfortable rationale for policies that encouraged emigration of a vast section of rural population to cities.
    The primary areas to improve should be providing employment in rural areas and improving the productivity of the agricultural sector. Often villages in our country are not in sync with the urban area because of bad connectivity. Photographs captured by the media show men, women and children walking on highways designed to provide high-speed connectivity to cities. In the absence of trains and bus, these families decided to embark on foot. Eventually, this leads to segregation and social divide between urban and rural areas. In essence, the infrastructure of rural areas should drastically improve. Even after so many years of Independence, stigma like the caste system still have a grip on rural people. Quality education can help in achieving the goal of eradication of such social evils. The dwindling literacy rates in rural India, especially for females are a major matter of concern. There is a need for land and technical reforms. Modern technologies like Organic farming should be incorporated to improve outputs and profits. Lastly, people should be given accesses to easy credit and loans by improving the banking system in rural areas. It can be easily concluded for the development of an economy in both rural and urban areas need to be focused upon. Rural areas need drastic changes in areas like infrastructure, credit availability, literacy, poverty eradication etc. the schemes that are already in place with the aim of rural development need a new outlook and proper updating. Accordingly the government needs to act for the upliftment of rural India.

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at NIELIT. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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