Developmental Programmes of Post-independence Era

Developmental Programmes of Post-independence Era

1.  Firka Development Project:

This project was government sponsored and aided at the attainment of the Gandhian ideal of Gram Swaraj by bringing about not only educational, economic, sanitary and other improvements in villages, but also by making the people self-confident.  The scheme was launched in 1946 in 34 Firkas (group of 5 villages) throughout the state, and on April 1, 1950, it was extended to another 50 additional Firkas at the rate of two Firkas for each state.  The selection of the Firkas was based on general backwardness of area and the possibilities for initiating the production of handloom cloth and other cottage industries to give a encouragement to Rural Reconstruction.

This scheme was aimed at attacking the problem of rural people as well as short term plans for the development of rural communication, water supply, formation of panchayats, organization of co-operatives and sanitation programme.  In long term plans, to make the area self-sufficient through agricultural, irrigational and livestock improvements and the development of Khadi and other Cottage  Industries.
The Collector was primarily was primarily responsible to see the working of the scheme in the district.  Then he was assisted by rural welfare officer of the rank of Naib Tahsildar.  He was put incharge of 2-3 selected Firkas.  Each Firkas was divided into 5 to 10 group of villages which were put in the charge of Gram Sevaks who were of the rank of Revenue Inspecrtors. Each Firka or group of Firka was provided with special staff like agricultural field men, administrative officers, Mistries, P. W. D. supervisors and minor irrigation overseers.  To associate the people with the implementation of the programme, Development committees, consisting of officials and non-officials, were constituted in each Firka.  At the state level, there was a State Rural Welfare Board comprising the heads of the Departments and influential and constructive social workers.

For stimulating healthy competition between the official and non-official agencies, the Government of Madras decided to entrust the development schemes to non-official agencies were selected and paid grants for doing Firka development of :- a) Rural Reconstruction, b) Drinking water facilities, c) Sanitation d) Agriculture and Khadi and other village industries.
At the end it was realized that these efforts were restricted in scope and lacked co-ordination.  There was lack of direction, support and encouragement from the central authority.  However, it was provide that no extension programme which is implemented without the help and co-operation of local people could continue for long and have a desired impact on the Rural Reconstruction.

2.  Etawah-Pilot Project:

The ideal of this project was conceived and born in 1947.  Actually this projected was put into action in September, 1948 with headquarter a Mahewa village about 17 miles form Etawab (U. P.) First 64 villages which were then increased to 97, were covered under it. Lt. Col. Albert Maya was the originator of this project.
He started this project with the aim of introducing work on the rural reconstruction front. The Government of U.P. helped him in setting up machinery at district level and with extra staff for the project.  The point 4-programme of America also provided finances.

This project had a widespread effect on educating the villagers and broadening their mental horizons.  The experiment proved not only that the material was moldable, but that the saying that the villager is ignorant, conservation and incapable of improvement was an outmoded one.    The project handled the rural problem by
Efforts to broaden the mental horizon of the villagers so that he might accept new and tested ideas which might then become self-generating and self-perpetuating.
Dealing with the villager’s land, his tools and his surroundings.
The method of approach used under this project was educative and persuasive rather than coercive.  For getting faith and confidence of village people, it was essential to extension worker to live in the village and prove themselves as friend of rural people.
The project started as a pilot project for introduction of improved agricultural technology.  It also included general awakening of all round village-upliftment activity, so that the panchayats get on a sounder-footing.
The most effective achievement of this project was that the entire area was under improved wheat crops.  The area under vegetables was extended and diseases like Rinderpest and Hemorrhagic Septicemia controlled.  The other programmes taken on were the construction of roads, soak pit, adoption of improved agricultural practices etc.  In this project, all round development in the village life, in terms of social, economic, health and hygiene etc. were reported form the area.

Nelokheri Experiment

Nelokheri was the part of State of Punjab and witness of displacement and destitution  due to partition.
It was started to rehabilitate 7000 displaced persons from Pakistan and later integrated with the 100 surroundings villages into what came to be a rural-cum-urban township.  It was built round the vocational training centre that was transferred form Kurukshetra, in July 1948 to the 1100 acres of swampy land on the Delhi-Ambala highway.  The central figure of this project was Shri. S. K. Dey, later Union Minister for Communal Development and Co-operatives up to 1965.  This scheme was called urban township in all the essential requirements of life, The colony has school, an agricultural farm, polytechnic training centre, dairy, poultry farm, piggery farm, horticulture, garden, printing press, garment factory, engineering workshop, soap factory and so on.  This was probably as ideal experiment which provides to be comparatively more successful  addressing the immediate problems of providing help to the displace people of Punjab.

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