OPINION

Back to village: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide

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Fortunately the J&K Government has given a nod to organize the B2V Programme from June 20 to 27 across all the Panchayats of the state to reach out to the people at grassroot level in the rural areas.

By: Dr. Inamul Bashir

Back to Village (B2V) is a non-profit organization which focuses on Agriculture based Rural Development and works in the direction of making villages prosperous & self-reliant. B2V was founded by 3 IIT Kharagpur alumni who started its operation in 2013 from southern part of Odisha and later extended to other parts of Odisha as well. The underprivileged rural and tribal communities, particularly the Agriculture & allied sectors were chosen because these sectors form the basis of the country. Moreover a large population of India has still no access to the very basic necessities of life like quality food, drinking water, cloth, sanitation, house, and education etc. especially in rural areas. Thus B2V was registered in 2016 to work dedicatedly in these areas with an intention to improve the condition of rural & tribal communities by creating livelihood opportunities centric to Agriculture & associated activities, enhancing their earning capability and facilitating basic necessity in these rural areas.

B2V is committed in developing and introducing locally suitable Natural and Organic Farming methods/practices and to increase productivity and profitability. Moreover promotion of Agro associated Micro/Small scale Enterprises, respective Skill Development and Employment of skilled workforce in addition to the Promotion of various Agri allied activities and its integration with Agriculture has been a motive of the B2V Programme.

The Programme is also going to enhance the quality of life of rural communities by addressing concerns on health, education & environment. B2V has collaborated with renowned institutions and experts for supporting various heads of Agri-Allied sector such as Horticulture, Floriculture, Apiary, Sericulture, Dairy, Poultry, Fishery, Goat Rearing, Duck Farming, Mushroom Cultivation, Azolla farming, Herbs & Shrubs production, Kitchen gardening, Fodder Production, Nursery, Seed Production, Organic composting and Organic pesticide production etc. B2V provides consultancy services in various Agri and Allied sectors. All the services are rendered on set procedures designed by professional for proper execution, for which B2V has collaborated with Technical Experts/Specialists in agri and allied sectors from premiere Agriculture Universities, Technical & Research Institutions.

Fortunately the J&K Government has given a nod to organize the B2V Programme from June 20 to 27 across all the Panchayats of the state to reach-out to the people at grass root level in the rural areas.  Being a first of its kind, this initiative will focus on four main goals, namely energizing Panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government schemes/Programmes, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of the villages besides affording an opportunity to Gazetted officers to visit the villages. The B2V initiative will involve the people of the state and government officials in a joint effort to deliver the mission of equitable development across all the rural areas of the state. The Programme is primarily aimed at energizing the 4483 Panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation and to create in the rural masses an earnest desire for decent standard of living. The officials to be deployed for the said programme shall interact and obtain feedback from the Panchayat representatives, elders and other local people about their concerns, developmental needs and economic potential of the area. The developmental initiatives that are built on the feedback and cooperation of the people are more result oriented and have greater probability to succeed than those which are top down. The feedback so obtained will help the government in needs assessment and subsequently to tailor the various central and state government schemes/Programmes in improving delivery of village-specific services and making the village life better in terms of improved amenities and economic upliftment. The initiative is expected to touch all the aspects of village life.

Therefore, people must be encouraged to own the Programme so that benefits are maximized for them. We must ensure, right from the beginning, people’s participation, not merely as an agent in the execution of the development works but as owners of the entire Programme. The different departments shall organise fests to aware the public about the said initiative and the different welfare and developmental schemes. The concerned officials should decide upon the activities to be undertaken during the Programme by various departments, including Rural Development, Education, Health, Power Development, Agriculture and allied sectors to ensure its smooth conduct and the positive result.

After execution of the said Programme in our state, our villages are expected to reinstate their lost glory. There will be an innumerable business and developmental opportunities in terms of home/cottage/micro enterprises in our rural areas which will generate livelihood opportunities in these areas and make our villages self-sufficient. This will bridge the so called Rural-Urban divide which is otherwise increasing because of the higher unemployment rates in these rural areas. The migration from villages to cities shall come to a halt because the people will be getting the same environment and the livelihood opportunities in their own villages as they used to get in the cities. The unemployed will be imparted training to enhance their skills to be able to run their own economic initiatives successfully. People will be enjoying all the basic facilities in their own villages which shall result in the zero wastage of their money and time. The exposure of our youth will get a positive boost and they will see their future more bright and their dreams are expected to be fulfilled. So dear readers, ensure the maximum cooperation from your side to this B2V initiative and let our villages come out of this darkness for all times to come.

The writer is Lecturer in Physics at BHSS, Tral and can be reached at inamulbashir@rediffmail.com

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