Sometime back, I had written an article on “Why India’s rural development is important for the nation?” . Now, through this article, I want to stress why our urban development is as important too. We have come a long way since independence in terms of urban economy growth. Urban economy now contributes upto 70% to the nation’s GDP, while this figure was 30% in 1960. In the last 50 years, all over the world cities has risen to become hubs of economic activity and certainly future growth is going to come from our cities.
But unfortunately, the growth and expansion of Indian cities has been unplanned and haphazard. Our cities today face challenges in meeting the demands of infrastructure and resources. The demand for clean water exceeds the supply by about 30%. Waste management systems are almost non-existent, and if they are there, heavily over-stressed with over 40% waste going uncollected. Eco-friendly waste disposal methods are only a dream and even government agencies and engineers are totally unaware about their technicalities. Around 22% of urban population lives in slums and around 25% is below the poverty line. Traffic congestion and pollution has increased like never before.
Clearly, we need to change not only the way our cities are… Read the rest
India lives in its villages, and while the cities have grown immensely over the last 20 years, rural areas have not seen that kind of development. For India’s economy to be strong, the rural economy needs to grow. Rural areas are still plagued by problems of malnourishment, illiteracy, unemployment and lack of basic infrastructure like schools, colleges, hospitals, sanitation, etc. This has led to youth moving out of villages to work in cities. This could be compared to the brain drain from India to US. Our villages need to grow in tandem with cities and standard of life has to improve there for inclusive growth to happen. If rural India is poor, India is poor.
India lives in many generations, and visiting rural areas very easily shows that they lag behind cities by decades. While we have latest services and products available in our cities now, villagers are still coping with age old products. It is easy to see the rising disconnect between cities and villages. Some examples are –
While we have international fully air conditioned schools in our cities, the schools in villages still don’t have benches and chairs, leave alone computers. We have a huge shortage… Read the rest
It’s that time of the year again,
You can sense the festivities in the air!
Everybody is ready to celebrate Diwali,
With all aplomb and fanfare!!
Diwali is the festival of lights,
And it signifies the triumph of good over bad!
This year let’s light that little spark within all of us,
And be sensible, rather than going with the fad!!
Lets shun firecrackers this year,
Which have robbed many children of their childhood! (child laborers manufacture them)
Instead spend the money for their education needs,
And empower them to stand up and earn their livelihood!!
Firecrackers indeed look good to the eye,
But they also cause noise and air pollution in the sky!
They affect ailing people and senior citizens,
And even plants and animals can’t take a sigh!!
Considering the impact to the environment,
Lets pledge to have a cracker free Diwali hereby!
Its still not too late to make a difference,
We have the choice to act and not deny!!
Or do we want our children and future generations,
To question us… Read the rest
Eighteen months after moving here,
I feel much better off than before!
Looking in hindsight I feel,
I am glad I came to Bangalore!!
It is a brand the world has noticed,
And come to recognize India for!
The whole software / investment boom started here,
And I am glad I live in Bangalore!!
With our cheap manpower and outsourcing,
The city is not only a noun anymore!
Bangalored is now a verb used to indicate a layoff,
When jobs are moved offshore!!
Me having come from Delhi,
I can say one thing for sure!
When it comes to how to treat women and elders,
Those from up north can learn a lot from locals in Bangalore!!
Some people stretch it too far,
And call it India’s Singapore!
But let us not forget the mess,
With traffic, pollution, and garbage galore!!
Infrastructure, or lack of it, is a big problem,
Which you will realize as soon as you step outdoor!
With the speed of urbanization in the last two decades,
A lot of catching up needs to be done,… Read the rest