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Rural Development

The ground for grassroots technology

Author(s): Rakesh Agarwal
Issue Date: Feb 28, 1995
FOR the residents of Nari, a village of 700 households in the Una district of Himachal Pradesh, underdevelopment and poverty is losing its harsh edge, thanks to the introduction of a few simple and cheap devices like water seal toilets and biogas plants. The devices are being promoted by the Energy Environment Group (EEG), a Delhi-based ngo, in about 30 villages in the region.

Standing up for water

Issue Date: Feb 15, 1995
At long last, someone has spoken out for rural women. The Standing Committee on Urban and Rural Development wants the government to change existing norms and provide safe drinking water in rural areas within 0.5 km of villages. With an average need of 40 liters per family, women now have to trudge a minimum of 1.6 kms.

Sign language

Author(s): Seema Kalra
Issue Date: Jan 15, 1995
FILMS and videos have been used by environmentalists as promotional material for spreading their message.

No elections, no funds

Issue Date: Jan 15, 1995
The Union rural development ministry has stopped release of further funds to 8 states that have failed to hold elections to the panchayat raj institutions as required under the Panchayat Raj Act, imperilling the future of scores of rural development projects.

No funds for rural project

Issue Date: Nov 15, 1994
An ambitious programme of mapping the land resources of every village panchayat in Kerala has run into trouble. The project was conceived in 1988 by the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad and the Centre for Earth Sciences (ces), but lack of proper funding has since tied in up in knots. While the initial estimate for the project was Rs 2.92 crore, the present estimate stands at Rs 10 crore.

When participation holds sway

Author(s): Sudeep Mukhia
Issue Date: Sep 30, 1994
THE village of Behrampur Gouditikra in Orissa's Bargarh district has an uncommon distinction: all the 109 households have running water. This is the latest addition to its civic amenities, which include latrines in every house, electricity, a school and a motorable road to the highway. All this has been achieved through a combination of local effort and the organisational skills of Gram Vikas (GV), a Behrampur-based NGO.

Er this doesn't work

Issue Date: Aug 31, 1994
THE work of Robert Chambers, an eminent rural sociologist, has influenced academics as well as field workers and NGOs. This book aims to enunciate a new work ethic commensurate with his commitment to rural development.

We want to ensure an NGO in every village

Issue Date: Aug 15, 1994
What did you achieve by undertaking the fast at Alandi? This is not the first time I have undertaken a fast to draw the attention of the government to the rampant corruption in the social forestry department. I had undertaken a similar fast in 1990. At that time, the government had given verbal assurances that the matter would be inquired into. As nothing came out of this, I decided to undertake another fast. This time written assurances were given that action would be taken against the offending officials within 15 days.

What rural folk need is motivation

Author(s): S Rajendran
Issue Date: Jul 31, 1994
What is the basic concept of pani panchayats? Pani panchayats are arrangements between the farmers of a village to share water resources. There is a limit on the amount of land that can be irrigated -- 0.2 ha for an individual and 1 ha for a family. The beneficiaries should chip in 20 per cent of the capital cost. We provide the remainder as an interest free loan. The farmers are encouraged to manage and operate the scheme.

Looking forward to the past

Author(s): Manjula Lal
Issue Date: Jun 30, 1994
TWO steps forward, one step backward. That's the irritating pattern of growth I've been seeing in the past 2 decades in villages within 3 km from the motor road to Kumaon. But even this hobbled dance of development seemed to take on a progressive avatar after a 15-km trek to an obscure hamlet called Kwetta. It was deep down in a valley off the Almora-Shaharphatak road, outside the 3-km limit where things still happen.
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