|Gujarati women working as Agricultural Laborers|
Constituting roughly 70% of India’s population, there’s an uneven distribution of basic but essential resources in rural India. Rural India still lacks proper infrastructure, connectivity, markets, and access to quality education, sanitation, and medical services. Through my field visits in Gujarat, I’ve learned that while there has been progress made with respect to connectivity and infrastructure, the rural are disproportionally affected during times of drought and natural disasters.
I think people are forgetting that rural India has potential and this potential should not be overlooked. Development economists and the government should look more to “ruralization”. We constantly hear about urbanization and helping the urban poor and migrants to cope, but we rarely hear about ruralization and so-called reverse migration. There’s a limit in the capacity of our megacities; perhaps it’s time to see how we can make rural life more lucrative. With better resources, infrastructure, and connectivity, we’ll naturally see improved access to goods and services. It’s time for the government to invest in rural India because India lives in its villages.