Preserving Villages

The growth of industrialisation in urban areas has caused people from rural areas to migrate to the cities (urbanization). This has both advantages and disadvantages.

On one side, industries create many more jobs for people. A lot of people migrate from villages because they need to be employed. They find jobs in factories, households or even in shops. There are so many businesses and industries, all of different sizes in urban areas, because of the rapid growth in population.

Cities, when compared to villages, also provide better schools and educational institutions for children, more advanced health care and proper law and governance. Education in cities leads to more employment; it trains people for IT, business sectors and other job opportunities.

On the other hand, however, cities cannot provide resources and facilities for all the people who migrate, in addition to the people already living there. In the process, rural areas are abandoned, and there is overcrowding in urban areas.

Access to water, housing, proper sanitation, transportation, affordable health care and other basic facilities have to be distributed among so many more people. There is also a major problem with waste management. Due to urbanization, so much waste is generated, and there are no safe methods of disposing off them. People living near toxic waste dumps are exposed to all kinds of diseases.

Cities in urban India find it impossible to cater to all the needs of its inhabitants, and therefore people are left to live in overcrowded slums with not even their basic needs  being met. The government is also fairly corrupt and has regulation problems, enforcement issues, and so on. There is no proper urban planning system in place either. These are  the major drawbacks of urbanization in India today.

Additionally, as villages are abandoned there’s  no one left to take care of the land and its resources. The concept of a village, with small-scale production, cottage industries and community living is lost. With more and more people migrating to cities for jobs, the jobs of agriculture and farming are lost, and the farms abandoned.

People from rural areas have become more interested in an industry-oriented paradigm of development, and therefore the impact on the environment and rural resources are neglected. The whole idea of using traditional methods and of conserving nature and villages is vanishing; people are more focused on jobs in industries.

If people from rural areas keep migrating to cities, then there will be no one left to preserve the villages, the land, the resources, the concept of small-scale production and community living. If people are more and more oriented towards industrial growth then it will simply lead to the degradation of the environment and depletion of natural resources. The whole idea of a ‘village’ needs to be preserved and not lost.

Rather than trying to promote jobs in the city, the government should really be working on conserving and uplifting villages. The concept of a village is beautiful and unique; it promotes the idea of self- sufficiency rather than dependency. We must make a conscious effort not to lose this with the rapid expansion of industries.

It is a lot easier to be more economical and environmentally friendly in villages as compared to cities. For example, in Tilonia, a village in Rajasthan, all the electricity is produced using solar energy. This was easy and inexpensive to implement, since it was a small-scale application.

What we don’t realize is that all our food is grown in rural areas. If everyone moves to the city, then who will attend to the crops? The profession of farming needs to be treated with importance as it provides us all with the most fundamental of needs- food. People from villages should be encouraged by the government to work at jobs best known to their village rather than migrating to urban areas.

Villages provide peace, quiet and harmony; it calls for working and living together as a community. Even though it is an old concept, it is one that can still fit today’s world.

Niyantri Ravindran