Unleashing the community potential of Indian villages




**Extracting the best ideas coming from our ancient past, **taking into consideration Gandhian thought, **fixing our reference point in the indigenous value systems, **with awareness of the need to march in unison with modern technology, **with awareness of the need to dovetail our grassroots-level political system into the nationwide structure set up by our constitution, **taking advantage of modern ideas of management and mind science, **in consideration of the high potential of the people in Indian villages and, **considering success stories of villages across the country, six areas have been found critical to nurture village freedom as indicated in the mind map. ...

Why Six and why these? Truly speaking it is a long list, but capsulating it in the form of six freedoms helps the dynamics of collective action in pursuit of the aim. While refinements are imminent, this is a good starting point for immediate action. While the academics keep improving on it and find ways to work on the metrics, village teams, in the meanwhile, can start conceptualizing their strong and weak points and draft plans for their moving ahead. If a village team makes suitable advances and achievements in these six areas, they can get really close to the goal defined by Gandhiji’s vision. A village team needs to ensure that substantial progress is made in each of these areas. If this happens, then a solid foundation can be laid for that village’s movement toward freedom.





A village needs to look forward into the horizon with a sense of positive anticipation and purpose. For this, the village, as a team, must collectively develop a vision toward realizing something it is destined for, something that the village team will delight in, something that will make it special in its own way, something that is an expression of its village identity.




The panchayat too must enjoy legislative, executive and judicial power in a way such that the freedom and self-expression of its citizens is ensured. A government OF, BY and FOR the people can happen at the higher levels; but a government 'WITH' the people can best happen in the local community. The panchayat is the level of government at which an individual can best express himself in bettering his surroundings. He can be taught to be responsible for others and for his nation. Here, he can also be trained to vote wisely for the state and national leadership. Unlike the other freedoms ‘government freedom’ is not 'self-earned' but is ‘given’ by the Indian nation state when that village becomes worthy of it.




The village must ensure that its citizens have fitness levels that compare reasonably with those of the best of amateur sportsmen competing at the state or national level. These national or state amateurs may overcome common village citizens in skills, but as far as fitness is concerned, there must be little to separate the two groups. There are three kinds of challenges with respect to health, which are enhancement, maintenance and repair. All these functions are important






This is based on transparency. All village success stories in India use transparency as a vital keystone. In such successful villages, if computers are not available yet, they use the walls of the panchayat buildings and other public walls to put up information for display. What the village policies are, who has been receiving benefits and what funds have come into the village are examples of such information.





This set of freedoms pertains to the ability of the village to survive and thrive in the economic scenario of the 21st century. Its economic status must be individually sound. It includes things like using its resources economically, producing those things which give it a competitive advantage, making arrangements for all the inputs that are required to sustain a stable economic process and ensuring that the village fits competitively into the larger scheme of economics of the nation and the world.




This freedom indicates the thirst and yearning of the aesthetic sense in man and his passion for excellence. It is a measure of how intellectually and spiritually sound a village is. This freedom is a measure of the quality of its freedom. It deals with attitudes by which it protects the rights of its citizens. It deals with how well it nurtures its human resources and the ease with which it overcomes any divisive influences. Cultural freedom is a measure of its maturity in dealing with problematic situations and conflicts too. It is also a measure of how great a connoseur for arts, crafts, sports and games the village is.
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