Paper 2 – Section C
(i) Visions of Social Change in India:
(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
(b) Constitution, law and social change.
(c) Education and social change.
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:
(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
(b) Green revolution and social change.
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration.
Brager, Specht, and Torczyner defined participation as a means to educate citizens and to increase their competence. It is a vehicle for influencing decisions that affect the lives of citizens and an avenue for transferring political power. Pran Manga and Wendy Muckle suggest that citizen participation may also be a response to the traditional sense of powerlessness felt by the general public when it comes to influencing government decisions: ―people often feel that health and social services are beyond their control because the decisions are made outside their community by unknown bureaucrats and technocrats. Westergaard defined participation as ―collective efforts to increase and exercise control over resources and institutions on the part of groups and movements of those hitherto excluded from control.
RELEVANCE OF THE TOPIC
Success of development programs is dependent on building transparency, a participative approach, and local capacity. Community-driven rural development is the way to reach remote and vulnerable groups in India. Thus, community participation is essential so the intended beneficiaries are aware of the issues on the ground and can work toward their own betterment. Local participation and sustainability programs create awareness among communities and tend to have a beneficial effect in the reach of government programs. Working with communities to enhance knowledge and choices in village development programs is the way forward for inclusive and sustainable development.
MEANING OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Rural development generally refers to the process of improving the quality of life and economic well being of people lives in relatively remote and less populated areas. In general rural development indicates the total infrastructural, financial, political, social improvement in a specific area which will be supported by most of the people of these rural areas. According to World Bank rural development means, “A strategy designed to improve the economic and social life of the rural people”
SCOPE OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN RURAL AREA
Agriculture: This major area is where the benefits of community-led development initiatives have been active and visible. Agriculture is a priority area since it contributes a significant chunk to employment and GDP. Some of the monitoring efforts of the community in this area have been in wastewater management, repair of basic irrigation infrastructure and roads, modernization of agriculture (seeds, fertilizers, equipment, etc.), agri-financing, etc.
Rural Education In India: With the government failing to reach remote areas, community-led development initiatives play a major role in access to primary education. Imparting social education through communities is a key area that helps in changing regressive social norms and mores.
Healthcare: Another key area that has benefited the rural development in India through community efforts is access to healthcare facilities. Communities help reach out to the people in emergencies, spreading awareness, maternal and child care, etc. Creating and maintaining infrastructure, albeit on a small scale, would not be possible without community participation. Last-mile extension of basic health services is entirely dependent on community participation.
DECENTRALISATION, LOCAL PARTICIPATION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
In India there were no proper use local resources and planning procedures, landlessness, migrant workers, lack of education, lack of political interest, lack of power to the local bodies are all the major reasons for lagging behind the rural areas and not achieved the proper rural development. This, in turn, demands decentralization of crucial government functions. Under the process of decentralization, the powers are distributed from the top to bottom including non-government and private organizations. The decentralization envisages the rural poor to participate in decision making, evaluation of their decisions, reduce the probabilities of misinterpretation, better understanding the complications and intricacies in planning, administration and management, receive the errands of failure, grow a sagacity of be in the right place and obligation to civil society.
CHALLENGES OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN RURAL AREAS
Lack of awareness of citizens
The limited capacity of panchayats or local bodies to provide adequate guidance in community participation measures.
Political unwillingness and lack of expertise of bureaucrats and other officials
Lack of good practices like Citizen charter and Social audit.
The progress on rural development initiatives in the country depends on how well these programs reach the grassroots level. However, in a populous and diverse country like India, development efforts do not fully reach the masses, despite the intentions of the government, due to structural inefficiencies. Though many decades have passed since independence, poverty remains a core challenge in development efforts. There is a growing recognition that all stakeholders in the country should benefit from efforts targeted at economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The true path to progress is dependent on programs that ultimately benefit marginalized sections of society. The last-mile reach of these efforts is key to sustainable rural development solutions that would make India an economic power.