India is an agricultural country and more than three-fourth of her population lives in villages. Real India is to be seen in villages which are the backbone of her economy. The progress of the country lies in the progress of the villages. Without the uplift of the village life, India cannot march ahead. But the village scene is horrible and pitiable. The life of the villagers is miserable due to poverty. Lack of education makes them ignorant and superstitious. Their customs and traditions are age-old and outdated. Their living conditions make them prone to diseases. Absence of proper medical facilities makes them die prematurely. The villagers are almost away from modern amenities. Even in this age of scientific advancement, there are many villages which are away from road and rail links. Their implements of agriculture are outdated. Therefore, it is the villages which need real help. Rural upliftment and reconstruction is the need of the hour and science can help us a great deal in this direction.
Illiteracy causing ignorance is the root of many evils. So facilities should be provided to educate the villagers. More schools should be opened in the rural areas. Arrangements for adult education must be made. Night schools for adults should be opened as they are busy in their work during the day. Education of girls and women should also not be neglected. Education must be made compulsory for boys and girls till the age of fourteen. Electrification of the villages is a must to make the education programme a success.
After ignorance, the biggest curse in the villages is poverty. To do away with this evil, agriculture must be modernised. The farmers must be taught and encouraged to use better seeds, chemical fertilizers and scientific implements of farming. In the beginning, these should be provided at cheap and subsidized rates. The farm produce per acre of land can only be increased through intensive and mechanised farming. Better irrigation facilities must be arranged through newly dug canals and tube wells. The villagers should be encouraged to consolidate their small land-holdings and do co-operative forming. All these measures will increase their production and they will be better off than before.
Since agriculture is a seasonal occupation, farmers remain idle in many months of the year. To provide them employment during the idle months, village industries should be opened and developed. This will enable the villagers to supplement their income. The village industries will also provide work to the landless labour in the villages. They may also be taught to start their own side-works like fish- breeding and chicken-breeding.
Poverty also accounts for the poor health of many villagers. Lack of proper sanitation and pools of dirty water give rise to many diseases. When people fall sick, there are no facilities for their treatment. Dispensaries and hospitals in the rural areas must be opened to provide medical aid. Health centres for rural women should be opened to keep good care of the various aspects of female diseases.
Social reform centres must be started to guide the villagers against social evils like superstitions, litigation, fights over small things, etc. This big task cannot be done by government alone. Big business houses must adopt villages and others must also co-operate. In the advancement of villages lies the salvation of India.