India is predominantly an agrarian country. Therefore 80%
of India's population lives in villages. Hence it becomes
important that proportionate amount of attention and funds
be spent for betterment of the rural folk. But inspite of their
being in majority, they have been lagging behind in the
fields of education, civic amenities, medical facilities and
economic well being. So the Government of India realize the
need of improvement of condition of rural people. Many
programmes and projects for the upliftment of rural folk
have been started.
One of the earliest steps taken was to bring about the
Community Development Programme which was started in
1952. Its purpose was to ensure the supply of improved
high quality seeds, modern implements and chemical
manures to farmers. Also irrigation facilities were improved,
facilities were provided for the upliftment of livestock and
small-scale village industries. ...view middle of the document...
launching of this programme was widely welcomed as a
better deal for the rural poor.
Under IRDP there were further smaller agencies like Small
Farmers Development Agency (SFDA). The Drought Prone
Areas Programme (DPAP), Command Area Development
(CAD), Desert Development Programme (DDP) which all
aimed at rural upliftment. Under this programme of
upliftment, mahajani debts of small and marginal cultivators
and agricultural labourers have been written off. The
bonded labour has been freed. House sites have been made
available for the rural poor. Surplus land has been
distributed among the landless and the small farmers.
Schemes like Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment
(TRYSEM) were started and priority was given to youth
trained under this scheme to obtain IRDP loan.
The programmes were also assisted internationally e.g. USA
has been giving liberal loans for projects which have been
initiated in the villages. Besides economic scheme, a rural
health scheme was launched in the country, which aimed at
training of community health workers. Another important
programme, "Operation Flood" v/as launched in July 1970,
with the assistance of World Food Programme (WEP) to
bring about a real breakthrough in milk production. This
programme ensured a link between the rural milk producers
and urban milk processing plants.
Several other steps have also been taken for rural
upliftment. Agricultur al incomes have been exempted from
income tax and wealth tax. Zamindari system has been
abolished. Recently Jawahar Rojgar Youjna has been
launched from 26th April, 1989. Under this scheme 30% of
the employment to be generated would be reserved for
women; at least one member of the poor family in the rural
areas for 50-100 days in a year will be provided employment
near his or her residence.
So in all, there are many such programmes aiming at the
rural upliftment, but what all -they need is proper
infrastructure and a proper system of monitoring and
evaluation. Then, there is no doubt that socio-economic
reforms can uplift the rural masses from their present
position. Although it is a challenging task, but not