Bihar: Two Rural Issues

Bihar is getting a torrential flood of promises of all types, 24×7 power, piped water, housing for all, hike in salaries, confirmations of the jobs and what not. But the question is with the Nitish Kumar’s speed of development how many years Bihar will take to be in league of leading states? I have two more relevant dreams for Bihar. Will the new government ensure that?
A. Rural Enterprises
I wish some younger entrepreneurs start thinking about intensively for creating a large number of new entrepreneurship projects in rural region of the state. Every village must grow as a manufacturing enterprise.
1. Talents of the young girls who come to a village after marriage with certain already trained skills such as stitching apparels or different items for household uses including cheap sanitary towels, or for knitting sweaters, or making stuffed toys can be exploited to create extra earnings for the families.
2. The Panchayats can be persuaded for getting the school buildings or the panchayat house for opening a skill centre, and schools such Usha Silai Schools can be sponsored with a sole objective of starting a cooperative business.
3. Other enterprises for young men such as maintenance services for agriculture machines to electronic gadgets can also have potential.
4. Every village can have some tutors engaged for providing tuitions to students of different levels, some even helping for getting distant education for higher level courses. With gradual increase in earnings and increasing interest in education, many parents will be able to pay for this.
5. Another attractive area may be small scale home based food processing such as pickles or satoos or some traditional seasonal snacks.
There can be hundred of ideas for creating jobs and it will be in national interests that graduates of engineering and management schools are roped to carry out the feasibility studies and suggest ways and means to create non- agricultural work in rural region.
6. One such idea is certainly for the graduates in agricultural sciences. Can’t they think of opening low cost advisory or technical assistance services for the farmers to improve their yield and earnings?
7. A similar service may engage some trained young persons for various healthcare services.
8. A weekly market in every panchayat may create opening for selling home grown vegetables and other eatables.
With the fast social changes coming in villages, many requirements of the people living there will need many services requiring some enterprises. The government must ensure a 24×7 electricity for the rural enterprises to be better in productivity and competitiveness.

B. Rural Schools
I wish to donate some money sufficient to put some digital aids, such as a PC or a smart blackboard or a TV set and good reading materials for the children in the school library and reading room. No one is ready to take it rather can take it. Unfortunately, under Nitish era, a large number of school buildings got upgraded, but hardly some have a boundary wall and security with gate and guard good enough to have the security of the property of the school. Unfortunately, it is not planned as a required item. Most of the schools are in the outskirts of the villages and open for vandalism. One can hardly keep something useful for aiding education and impart knowledge in interesting manner. Will the community or the government ensure the security of the school and employ a full time guard that can live in one corner of the campus? Unfortunately, the headmaster of the school has hardly some autonomy to take even the required donations for various activities that can improve the learning of the students unlike that by the government schools in US, where the parents are requested to contribute as per their means.

Will the government make each panchayat accountable to see that all the children up to the age of 14 compulsorily attend school or a skill centre, and will the government add a skill centre to every school for this? Will the government first retrain the persons, both male and female with some skills of the village and use them to provide elementary skills to the kids in the schools? Will an educationally qualified adult or a retired teacher be employed to mentor the kids of the village by starting study circles in each tolla of different castes for tutoring to make the kids interested in reading, writing and maths? It is essential to promote a culture for good education in the parents and the community. A continuous and effective dialogue between teachers and the villagers is essential to make the society conscious of the role of education for better quality of life.

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