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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rural Management - 1

Why Rural economy is always in a poor state ?

Poverty exists in both rural and urban India. Slums are visible signs of poverty in the our cities. Slums are our failure in planning to implement an affordable housing in metros for the poor migrants at the cost of welfare state.

There is an immense migration of the landless labours in cities from the rural areas. Many reasons can be cited for this state such as failure of rural economy, regional nature of growth, absence of basic civic amenities in rural India and caste discrimination in rural India. Poor people can afford the physical torture of the slums but cannot bear the mental torture of rural habitation caused due to caste discrimination. In slums people have only class identity and not caste identity.

There is a huge connection between poverty and caste system in India. Majority of land in rural India is in the possession of minority upper castes. Hence, all the subsidies and growth in the agricultural sector is enjoyed by this minority rich and relatively more educated class. Productive assets must be created for the landless rural population.

Planning and implementation in India are very centralized. Local self-governance is dysfunctional as transparency and accountability is lacking in the institutions. Social-auditing to the rural projects are absent. Local self government Institution should be involved in planning and decision making. Rural projects of the government and working of the local self government should be brought under the purview of e-governance for transparency. But a country with a low literacy rate, e- governance is still a dream.

Poverty can be well understood by this simple example. Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India says that 46 percent of the farmers who own a mobile phone do not have a bank account.We need 'Financial Inclusion' for every citizen of this country. Financial Inclusion means, providing financial services to one and all, irrespective of their income and the place they belong to.

Five Articles on Social and Financial Issues in Rural India:-

1- Money for nothing. And misery for free : Afer a promising start, the microfinance story became one of desperate need on one side and greed and politics on the other, reports Rohini Mohan. Photographs by Vijay Pandey. Microfinance has created deeper crisis socially, about the creation of a life on credit.

MFIs typically borrow from banks at 11- 15 percent interest but charge 24-30 percent, including the operation cost of traveling to remote villages, and factoring in possible defaults. Unlike in an SHG, where the loan is given to the group, the MFI gives loans to an individual who is backed by a group guarantee.

2- Hiware Bazar: Model Village for the Nation ; A five pronged approach has been adopted for the socio-economic infrastructure of the village that includes : Free labour, Ban on Grazing, Ban on Tree Cutting, Ban on Liquor and Family Planning.

3- Tiding over farm woes: Reaping the advantage - Farmers’ unions, who only organise protests demanding higher prices, have failed to educate their members. And only way to pull out farmers from the vicious cycle of indebtedness is to push them out of the Green Revolution model of farming.

4- Living with 'installments' : Many micro-credit loans do no more than allow a family to juggle its finances for a month-to-month existance. As investors embrace this 'market', MFIs are increasingly under scrutiny. Jaideep Hardikar reports.

5- UNDERSTANDING UNTOUCHABILITY: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions in 1589 Villages [PDF file]--- Navsarjan is one of the leading organizations working for advancement of Dalit rights. Based in the western Indian state of Gujarat,Navsarjan currently organizes more than 3,084 villages to fight the practice of "untouchability” and to improve the economic conditions of Dalits.

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