Rural Scenario in India

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Rural Scenario in India

Out of a billion population, over 65% people are presently living in villages and about 35-40% families, who earn less than US$ 275 per annum are classified as poor. Presently, about 25% of the villages do not have assured source of drinking water for about 4-5 months during the year and about 70-75% of the water does not meet the standard prescribed by WHO. Poor quality drinking water is adversely affecting the health and diarrhea is an important cause of infant mortality.

Traditional Indian communities being male dominated, women have been suppressed till recently. While the average literacy rate in rural areas is around 50-65%, it is as low as 20-25% among women in backward areas. Education of girls was felt to be unnecessary in the past and this has seriously affected their quality of life. Illiteracy has also suppressed their development due to lack of communication with the outside world. They are slow in adopting new practices, which are essential with the changing times. Apart from lack of communication, social taboo has also hindered their progress. Several vested interests, both local and outsiders have exploited this situation. The rich landlords did not want any infrastructure development, which would benefit the poor, because of the fear that they would not get cheap labour to work on their farms. The local moneylenders did not want alternate financial institutions to provide cheaper credit needed by the poor. The traditional healers canvassed against modern medicine under the garb of religion and divine power. Thus, the poor continued to live in the clutches of the powerful, accepting it as their destiny. They avoided confrontation and preferred to live a voiceless and suppressed life. Tolerating the worst and hoping for better days has been their way of…...

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