8. unity. The Gandhian Constructive Programme is basically a

8.         Sevagram
Project (1923)

This project
was started by the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi in 1923 as All India
Spinners’ Association. His
18-point Programme included the use of khadi, promotion of village industries,
adult education, rural sanitation, removal of untouchability, upliftment of the
backward classes, welfare of women, education in public health and hygiene, prohibition,
propagation of mother tongue and economic equality. The project
was based on the principles of ‘Truth and Non-Violence’ and aimed at social and
economic development. The objectives of the project were to provide service to
the underprivileged section of the society for self-dependency. The main
activities of the project were organisation of training centres for cottage
industries, prohibition, removal of untouchability, stressing women education
and basic education and preaching and practicing of communal unity. The Gandhian Constructive Programme is basically a programme of human
activity in various fields that is beneficial for the economic growth and
wellbeing of rural India. His belief was that the extinction of rural
industries would ruin the village economy. He paid special attention for
revival of the rural industries like spinning and weaving, traditional oil
press, grain processing and leather works. According to Gandhi, the return to
traditional village industry could ensure full employment and well-being to the
overwhelming population of the country. This philosophy of Gandhi inspired many
people to work for the development of the villages in India. Gandhian rural
reconstruction activities were based on the principles of truth and
nonviolence. His ideas of rural reconstruction were accepted officially by
Government of India and resulted in the adoption of Khadi and Village Industries
Programme, the principle of Village Self- sufficiency, and the faith in the
Panchayati Raj and Sahakari Movement. Gandhiji wished to evolve a philosophy of
life, which would achieve the welfare of all (Sarvodaya).

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9.         Rural
Reconstruction Programme in India (1932)

The project
was started by V.T. Krishnamachari in Boroda state in 1932. The programme aimed
at developing a will to live better and to develop capacity for self-help and
self-reliance. The programme included the activities like digging of water
wells, distribution of agriculture inputs and establishment cooperatives,
panchayats, etc. V T Krishnamachari
established rural reconstruction in 1932 and commenced work in a group of
villages round Kosamba (in Navsari District). The basic idea underlying the
rural reconstruction experiment in the rural areas around Baroda were:
“The single outstanding fact in the agricultural economy of India is that
owing to seasonal and other conditions, work on the land is possible only
during a portion of the year. Millions of people are, thus, unemployed over
periods of the year ranging from two to three months in the highly irrigated
areas to as much as eight to nine months in the dry tracts. This long interval
of enforced idleness and dreary waiting between crop and crop leads to evil,
economic and moral, which it is unnecessary to describe to those who know
village life in India-the squalor and rivalries, and factions and the
litigation which has been described as ‘our second greatest industry.’ No
lasting improvement can be achieved in the conditions of rural life unless all
sides of it are attacked at the same time; the many sides of it are all so
closely interconnected.”

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