By Kulsum Mustafa
“The Indian youth obsession with their focus on procuring only government jobs for livelihood is highly destructive for their growth. We must discourage this mindset in our youth that aspires ‘only’ for government jobs as such jobs are few and when a Youngman fails to get one he loses all confidence and self labels himself a failure. We must instead deploy the entrepreneurial approach and increase their canvas” said. Ms. Bharati Ramola, chair, Advisory Board TRIF, former Markets leader, PwC India, She was a panelist at India Rural Colloguy-, the one-week long Zoom sessions which started off on Sunday evening. This mega event is being organized by Transforming Rural India Foundation (TRIF), which works with NGOs and governments to develop and delivers solutions for rural India. The discussions in the colloquy are on challenges, solutions, and visualizing the Rural India landscape ten years from now.
Ramola presented her dream of a picture-perfect scenario in the villages in 2030. She said she visualizes rural India with pucca roads and houses, good a healthcare system with a special focus on women’s health. She said she had dreams for the youth of rural India which are special dreams. While a quarter of the rural youth population she would like to see in colleges, the second quarter she would prefer engaged in skilling sector, the third quarter Ramola fancied as gone from the village for higher education and the fourth quarter she dreams will be joining their elders in agriculture.
According to her dream Indian villages in 2030 will have all the right parameters in education, healthcare and proactive management of the environment, are in perfect synch. She said that even though she knows in her mind that all this is not possible and that this is but an Eldorado but her heart wants to believe it is true and she said that we must all try to be part of her dream for rural India and work towards making at least some of it come true.
Ramola however was honest enough to accept that inequalities in women, Dalit were not really issues that could be possibly be wiped out in the near future. She suggested that we must start working on removing these social biases right at the school level when minds can be molded easily.
Talking on rural infrastructure Ms. Ramola warned about haphazard structural development said that care must be taken when modernizing a village e that we do not morph them into unplanned cities. She said that except for a few planned cities like Chandigarh the rest of the cities in the country are unplanned and therefore an eyesore. She said resources to be used for infrastructural development of the rural areas must be done with care and precision.
Dr Sanjiv Phansalkar, chair, TRIF, fmr program director, Tata Trusts) in his conversation stressed that many problems of rural India are somehow identical to those of urban India. The example he quoted was the state of the elderly in our society.
“We must counsel and enable the aged through sessions and training and at the same time teach our youth to spend time with the elderly and let them not feel alone and left out,” suggest Dr. Phansalkar.
Dr Phansalkar said that an area that must be looked into and that was very dear to his heart concerns the aging population in the rural areas, we must counsel the elderly how to become enable and encourage the young to spend good quality time with the old.
Talking on the prevailing functional anarchy he was highly critical of Indians’ high complaint quotient and playing of the victim card.
“As a nation, everyone in our country feels he has been wronged so he plays the victim card all the time. Along with this we as a nation always talk of our rights and totally forget that we have duties too,” he said adding that Rights with a sense of responsibility should be the right nationalistic approach.
“A handfulof medals at the Olympics by a country of 1.4 b is not enough, we must train rural youth to become big game changers through sports,” These were words of wisdom and foresight, spoken by Mr. R Venkataram, member of Advisory board TRIF, former managing trustee Tata Trusts while addressing the session. Expressing his views in the session Venkatram said that Technology is an equalizer and helps destroy inequalities prevalent in society. He said good training can take our youth, especially in the rural India to great heights. He was of the view that hyper collaborations of networks will help bring change faster
He said that Technology is an equalizer and helps destroy inequalities prevalent in society. He was of the view that apt training can take our youth, especially in rural India to great heights. He was of the view that hyper collaborations of networks will help bring change faster.
Venkataraman said we do not have to just remove inequalities but also the insensibilities. He said the leap forward in technology has only increased inequalities. Citing an example he said that webinars are limited to those who have access to technology.
During the course of the 90 minutes conversation ably moderated by Soumitra Pandey (Partner, The Bridgespan Group) the speakers dwelt at length on the aspirations of rural communities and how best to provide the village population opportunities of growth sans any gender bias ensuring an all-round growth in rural belts. They said in the post-pandemic glocal society, the economy, and technology are going to impact opportunities more. The august panelists, with many years of experience in their respective fields, spoke of paths that had to be walked by men and women in rural India to fulfill their aspirations and how they can live a life of dignity and prosperity fight heavy odds.
Anish Kumar in his welcome address had stated that they had chosen August for this important colloquy because it is a month of Revolution, of our country’s Independence and also has friendship Day. It is important because changes can only be possible if we all work in a friendly environment with a spirit to take things forward.
The Takeaway; The challenges like patriarchy, caste systems are big challenges that can be overcome with sustained and joint efforts. All stakeholders must join hands to carve out a better rural India landscape together. Powerful insights