'State lags behind Kerala in rural development'

'State lags behind Kerala in rural development'

A lesson or two

Manjula Venkatesh

She attended a training workshop organised for Zilla Panchayat presidents in the institute from April 25 to May 3.

“Our villages are lagging behind in all areas of growth when compared to the pace of development being carried out in rural areas in Kerala,” she said.

During the training programme all the participants were taken to Yenamgeri Grama Panchayat in Kerala.

“We were astounded to know that Grama Panchayat officers were transferred immediately for not attending two Grama Sabhas!,” Manjula Venkatesh said.

“There is a lot of difference between villages in our State and those in Kerala. We would require at least 50 years to catch up with the kind of rural development being pursued in Kerala. A greater part of rural Kerala’s water needs is met by purifying river water.

However, in our State we are highly dependent on bore wells to address our drinking water requirement,” observed the Kolar Zilla Panchayat president.

Family groups

The development and maintenance of roads in Sultan Battery in Kerala is highly commendable. Various development activities being undertaken through family groups is a notable feature. Family groups with as many as 5 to 25 members each actively participate in development in and around their homes, elaborated Manjula Venkatesh.

Moreover, every home which is located at a stretch of two km from the village centre is well connected with road and provided with all the basic amenities like drinking water and electricity. However, in Karnataka, a home which is a little far away from the village centre is completely neglected, she rued.

Worth emulation

“Even in patriotism, we need to emulate the Kerala model. In Karnataka, we hoist national flag at schools, colleges and government offices only during the national festivals. However, in Kerala tri-colour is hoisted at every home during national festivals,” she said.

“In a month’s time after attending the training workshop at the Abdul Nazir Sab State Institute for Rural Development, I will visit all the primary health care centres, hostels and hospitals that fall under my constituency and address the problems,” exuded a confident Manjula.

The training at the institute has equipped us to articulate administrative issues with the officers concerned in a competent manner. Also, the participants have been trained to prepare action plans, implementation of various development programmes and other facets of governance. Overall the workshop has been very informative. However, the onus is now on the participants to effectively use the various skills and information imparted to them towards building developed villages, she added.