Friday, January 26, 2007

when it comes to development, the most common approach is 'shock and awe' theory propagated by the state with active behind the back work from huge corporations that obviously benefit from such mega super duper project.

seldom are community owned development researched, funded, monitored and scaled up by the government. we will profile 2 such small initiatives that were in the news last week.

sustainable development for india has to cover its several hundred million people who live on rural areas dependent on agriculture, rivers, forests, etc and these 2 examples can show case how important they can be in true development of india.

1. one is the green foundation's success in agriculture. using traditional organic farming methods this 'little england', is now prospering using community initatives. the first para says it all,
"In the olden days, if the rains failed one year, we used to migrate to the nearby towns and cities in search of jobs, as coolies. Our children used to be malnourished and fall sick often. Today, we never go anywhere. We are occupied throughout the year and we have enough to eat and keep ourselves healthy, besides even creating funds for emergencies".

2. the second is the meenvalam mini hydel project (of capacity 3mw) in palakad district. this project is an initiative of the panchayat along with other institutions like irtc.

like the downtoearth report points out there is a huge scope for wind and mini hydel power by empowering the panchayats and working with them to satisfy the power needs for that locality. from the link,
The State Planning Board reckons that one of the greatest achievements of people’s planning in the state was the installation of small hydel power projects by the panchayats with active participation of the beneficiaries. The development reports of various gram panchayats in the Idukki District identified 135 energy sources in the region, out of which 74 are hydel power sources and 61 wind power sources.

most of the shock and awe development projects are mostly to satisfy the needs of urban elite who benefit most out of the projects rather than from marginalised people who bear the brunt of these monster projects.


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