During the last two decades the RSS swayamsevaks have conducted very inspiring experiments of rural development, and the impact of those initiatives is clearly visible in more than 1000 villages across the country. Organiser senior correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gram Vikas Pramukh Dr Dinesh to understand those initiatives. Excerpts:
How do you look at the recent programme 'Gramodaya Se Bharat Uday’ launched by the central government for village development?
Any sincere initiative taken for village development should be welcomed. If the people already working on village development are also involved in policy formulation, the results would be more effective.
In how many villages is the impact of Swayamsevaks’ efforts clearly visible?
Inspiring work has been done in more than 200 villages and their impact can be witnessed in the surrounding villages also. We call such villages Prabhat Grams.
In how many villages have such initiatives started showing results?
The number of such villages whom we call ‘Uday Gram’ is over 700. The villages where people have collectively started efforts for development are known as ‘Kiran Gram’ in Sangh parlance.
What is the RSS concept of village development?
We believe in the development, which is in accordance with the changing needs of the villages—‘Yuganukool Gramin Punarrachana’. The development should be inconsistence with the nature, environment and the basic character of the village life like farming; water for both drinking and irrigation; biodiversity; forestation; energy whether solar, hydro or biogas; man power, employment, health, etc
Do you want to convert the villages into cities or ensure urban facilities in villages?
Everything which is required in changing needs should be made available in villages. Gram Sadak Yojna has contributed largely in village development. We believe in the development which is complimentary to the nature. The temperature of Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Coimbatore is 3 degree less than the cities because of the large-scale forestation done by the students studying there.
If you have to name ‘top ten’ villages developed by Swayamsevaks whom would you name?
Sandakurchi Village in Nalbari District of Assam has become the epicenter of development for surrounding 10 villages for organic farming and production of Panchgavya products. Mohad Village under Narsinghpur District of Madhya Pradesh has influenced surrounding five villages for organic farming, water harvesting, toilets in every house, etc. Equally, Miragpur Village under Saharanpur District of Western Uttar Pradesh is free from all kinds of addictions. All 60 villages of Maneri development block in Uttarakhand have good projects. Devgarh, a Vanvasi Village in Surat, Gujarat, has done wonderful work for self-reliance and has influenced nearby 25 villages. Manpura Village in Jhalawar District of Rajasthan has done good work in organic farming. Its model has been emulated by over 20 surrounding villages. Mandua village in Hajupur district of Bihar has emerged as a major centre for providing employment to educated youth because of the coaching imparted there. More than 50 youths from 10 villages have been recruited in the Railways and the Army. Good work of spreading education has been done in Tajpur Village under Tarkeshwar District of West Bengal. The list of such developed villages is very large in southern states. The work of organic farming is very effective in Karnataka. The experiment of bio gas is very successful in Dahigvhan Village of Jalna district in Maharashtra. People in Gangdevpalli Village in Warangal district of Telangana have done a lot in judicious use of water. Kadamu Village in Shrikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh is famous for Bal Sanskars.
Is there any plan to expand this work in near future?
The swayamsevaks are working to ensure at least one model village in every district of the country. The institutional efforts by Deendayal Dham Mathura, Deendayal Research Institute and Gram Bharati Andhra Pradesh have also proved to be very effective.
Some spiritual organisations like Gayatri Parivar, Arya Samaj, Swadhyaya Parivar, etc are also showing wonderful performance in village development.