India has a large rural population of about 700+ million people. Living in one of India’s 600,000 villages is tough – with the large majority facing the dual challenges of low incomes and the lack of availability of basic services that we take so much for granted in urban India.
There is a need to get past the romanticism of village life. Villages cannot be the self-sufficient islands that Gandhi envisioned. If India has to develop, the pain of daily life in India’s villages has to be eased.
What is the future of India’s villages? Urbanising the bulk of India’s rural population will take a long time. In the interim, there is a need to make life much more livable in the rural areas. What can be done for provisioning services in rural India?