With nation’s major population living in villages, there are multiple issues faced by the people in rural India, a thorough analysis of the ground situation reveals that poverty is a major problem that has resulted in migration of people from rural areas to urban areas in search of work to make a living. Therefore addressing the problem of rural poverty in India assumes utmost urgency especially now when there has been reversal of the migration of lakhs of workers to their homes in rural areas, being the instant fallout of the COVID-19 crisis at the beginning and the pandemic still refusing to die down. While the government is making all efforts to address this vital issue by launching multifarious schemes in this regard, yet much more needs to be done to overcome this challenge. As of today there is a dire need for multiple interventions through innovation in order to bring a sea change in the situation on ground in rural areas. There is a need to come up with a range of interventions that includes infusion of technology, soil enrichment, efficient farm and water management, improved cattle development, functional literacy, rural sanitation and public health, human resource development, establishment of self-help groups particularly among women, self-employment opportunities and facilitating institutional credit to address the problem of farm productivity in India. It is pertinent to mention here that this type of innovation experiment was introduced by National Agro Foundation soon after its inception in 2002. This organization was founded by Father of the Green Revolution in India, C Subramaniam on his 90th birthday as a gift to the nation and has successfully transformed substantial number of rural areas in Southern India especially in Tamilnadu. It needs to be acknowledged that the incumbent government in consonance with the approach adopted by National Agro Foundation has introduced multiple programmes and schemes focussed on the poor and marginal farmers, women, unemployed youth, and depressed communities in rural areas. In this direction there is a need to help conservative farmers to break their initial emotional barriers to new technologies. Only then, launched initiatives will have a demonstrative impact on the rural population. For the rural people there is also a need to create an environment full of facilities that are available in urban areas. This must include ultra modern classrooms for students, computer labs with internet facilities, input and product handling centres, farm machinery workshops, model experimental farms, residential complexes for trainees and open air theatres to cater to the needs of various sections of rural community. Last but not the least research and development centres should be established besides comprehensive soil testing laboratories, food safety and standards laboratories and plant tissue culture laboratories which will fully ensure agriculture support services. Though it is always easier said than done, yet it needs to be realized that to support the government initiatives the NGOs should come forward to shoulder this national responsibility. These organizations whether corporates or not, besides carrying out the crusade for transforming rural India individually like National Agriculture Foundation, or must collaborate to work with complete synergy to achieve the set targets for rural India at the earliest.
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