Community Development Programme
The community development programme was started in India just after independence (1952). It was a multi project programme with the aim of an overall development of rural people. This programme consisted of agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation, cooperation, public health, education, social education, communication, village industries etc. In fact all these aspects of life relate to the 80 per cent of India’s farming population. There are officials for each activity at district level to plan, execute and evaluate the programme up to the village level.
Community development is an exclusive term. It is frequently used to encompass any and every effort towards the advance of community interests. A variety of interpretations are therefore easily available. Community development is a compound term. It is useful, therefore, to consider its components.
A community is a group of people, who live in a geographical area and have interests in each other for the purpose of making a living
It is a farm of social organization existing between the family and state.
A community, while in itself consisting of several parts, is also a part of a larger social system. It is a dynamic social unit which is subject to change of internal or external origin. Some of the important characteristics of the community are
1. Communities are close-knit
2. Their customs are interrelated
3. These communities are complexes of sub-group relationship and
4. There is a discernible leadership within the community.
The term development connotes growth or maturation. It implies gradual and sequential phases of change.
By understanding the above terms, we can say that community development programmes means a programme for gradual change in a group of people living in a geographical area and have interest in each other for the purpose of making a living.
Concepts of Community Development:
1. Community development is a movement designed to promote better living for the whole community with the active participation and on the initiative of the community.
2. Community development is a balanced programme for stimulating the local potential for growth in every direction. Its promise is of reciprocal advance in both wealth and wealth and welfare, not on the basis of outside charity but by building on the latent vitality of the beneficiaries themselves with the minimum of outside aid.
3. Community development is technically aided and locally organized self help.
4. The term community development has come into international usage to denote the process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those the governmental authorities to improve the economic social and cultural conditions of the communities, to integrate these communities into the life of the nation and enable them to contribute fully to national progress.
5. Community development is the term used to describe the technique which many governments have adopted to reach their village people and to make more effective use of local initiative and energy for increased production and better living standards.
6. Community development is a process of social action in which the people of a community organize themselves for planning and action, define their needs and problems.
Community development has now set the pattern for the development of the rural people and the rural areas. The objectives of development and the new approach it makes to the solution of the problem of rural reconstruction, the comprehensive nature of the programme that it is promoting. The approach to the programme is two fold, educational and organizational. The rural people are to be educated in the art of better living, for bringing about a change in their attitude, for breaking away from primitive methods of production, unhygienic says of living based on tradition and for the adopting of progressive ways based on science and technology.
Size of Unit:
For each community project, as at present planned, there will be approximately 300 villages with a total area of about 450 to 500 square miles, a cultivated area of about, 1,50,000 acres and a population about 2,00,000. The project area is conceived as being divided into 3 development blocks, each consisting 50,000 to 70,000. The development block, is, in turn, divided into groups of 5 villages each, each group being the field of operation for a village level worker.
Location of Units:
The initial programme has been started with approximately 55 projects of rural development located in select areas in the several states of India, A certain degree of flexibility is allowed in the actual allotment of projects. Thus, while many are complete projects of about 300 villages each, some are also independent development bocks of about 100 villages each, depending upon the needs and conditions of the particular areas chosen for development