In 1908, Shri Rabindranath Tagore, under his Scheme of Rural Development work, started Youth Organizations in the villages in the Kaligram Pargana of his Zamindari (West Bengal). He tried to create the field workers who could identify themselves with the people. In 1921, he established a Rural Reconstruction Institute at Shantiniketan, in collaboration with Mr. L.K. Elmhirst. A group of eight villages was the center of the programme.
1. To create a real interest in people for rural welfare work.
2. To study rural problems and to translate conclusions into action.
3. To help villagers develop their resources.
4. To improve village sanitation.
Methods to Achieve the Objectives:
1. Creating a spirit of self help.
2. Developing village leadership.
3. Organizing village scouts called “Brati Balika”.
1. Demonstrations on farmers’ fields.
2. Dairy to supply pure milk and animals to farmers or breeding.
3. Poultry farm.
4. Training and organizing the weavers.
5. Training in tanning, pottery, embroidery, tailoring etc.
6. Film shows, meetings, village meals.
1. Too much emphasis on ‘Center’.
2. Confined to limited villages.
3.Tagore’s interest in ‘idea’ catching on.