Rural development in India (Issues and Challenges)
Dr. Rajaram Nathaji Wakchaure
The purpose of this presentation is to define the role rural areas and country towns play in the persistence of, or often times regrettably, the dissolution of local character and place. The observations contained in this presentation apply to most types of rural areas in many different locales. The central argument of this work is that wherever viable rural settlements exist, the government, professional planners, and inhabitants within must focus their energies on the immediate place - they must make the word "local" mean something if we are ever to be successful in the retention and sustenance of "local community." A rural development doctrine must, if it is to be effective, give deeper and more concentrated thought to the role of local rural place as we seek to find solutions to the ongoing problems of population imbalance and the dissolution of the countryside. Because these two assumptions are decidedly "counter cultural, " they will appear to many as impractical [Theobold, 1997] . "All of us know, " for example, that people prefer to live in cities because there are more opportunities, services, and great personal fulfillment. "Everyone knows" that successful business and economic development must stay focused on metropolitan locations to maximize transportation and labor costs. "Everyone knows" that many of our small towns and villages are in distress and that even though the unsettling of the countryside may be a national tragedy, it amounts to no more than a natural process that will continue to occur over the next century.