What is Rural Development
There is no universally accepted definition of rural development. The term is used in different ways in vastly divergent contexts. As a concept, it connotes overall development of rural areas with a view to improve the quality of life rural people. As a phenomenon, it is the result of various physical, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional factors. As a discipline, it is multi-disciplinary in nature representing an intersection of agricultural, social, behavioural and management of sciences.
In short, rural development is a process that aims at improving the standard of living of the people living in the rural areas.
Rural development may be defined as overall development of rural areas to improve the quality of life of rural people. It is an integrated process, which includes social, economical, political and spiritual development of the poorer sections of the society.
Rural development can be defined as, helping rural people set the priorities in their own communities through effective and democratic bodies, by providing the local capacity; investment in basic infrastructure and social services, justice, equity and security, dealing with the injustices of the past and ensuring safety and security of the rural population, especially that of women.
According to Robert chambers, rural development is a strategy to enable a specific group of people, poor rural women and men, to gain for themselves, and their children more of what they want and need. It involves helping the poorest among those who seek a livelihood in the rural areas to demand and control more of the benefits of rural development. The group includes small scale farmers, tenants and the landless.
Thus, the term rural development may be used to imply any one of the above-mentioned connotations. The avoid ineffective floundering among the myriad definitions, we shall define rural development as A Process leading to sustainable improvement in the quality of life of rural people, specially the poor