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कारीगरों और बुनकरों की चिंता

i2017101402*पारुल चंद्रा

देश के 421 हथकरघा-हस्तशिल्प क्लस्टरों में इस समय चल रहे हस्तकला सहयोग शिविरों से 1.20 लाख बुनकरों और कारीगरों को होगा फायदा

भारत हस्त निर्मित वस्त्रों और हस्तशिल्प के मामले में खासा समृद्ध है, जिसको लेकर उसे देश से ही नहीं बल्कि विदेश से भी सराहना मिलती रही है और खरीदार भी इनकी ओर आकर्षित होते रहे हैं। भारत में आंध्र प्रदेश और ओडिशा की जटिलता से बुनी गई इकात साड़ी, गुजरात की पाटन पटोलास, उत्तर प्रदेश की बनारसी साड़ी, मध्य प्रदेश की महीन माहेश्वरी बुनाई या तमिलनाडु की काष्ठ या पत्थर से बनी मूर्तिकारी के अलावा भी काफी कुछ मौजूद है, जिन्हें दुनिया में हथकरघा और हस्तशिल्प के मामले में अलग पहचान मिली हुई है।

भारत में बुनकरों और कारीगरों को वस्त्र और हथकरघा की समृद्ध विविधता के निर्माण के लिए कड़ी मशक्कत करनी होती है। कपड़ों की बुनकरी और हस्तशिल्प के माध्यम से उन्हें होने वाली कमाई उनकी मेहनत, कौशल और कच्चे माल की लागत के अनुरूप नहीं होती है।

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मुख्य रूप से ग्रामीण भारत पर आधारित बुनकरों और कारीगरों के लिए अपने उत्पादों को बाजार में सही जगह दिलाना भी मुश्किल होता है। इस क्रम में वे अपने उत्पादों को बेचने के लिए बिचौलियों पर निर्भर हो जाते हैं, जो अच्छा खासा लाभ कमाते हैं और बुनकरों व कारीगरों के हाथ में उचित कीमत के बजाय मामूली पारिश्रमिक ही आ पाता है।

बुनकरों और कारीगरों के सामने मौजूद तमाम चुनौतियों को दूर करने के क्रम में केंद्रीय वस्त्र मंत्रालय ने उन्हें सहयोग देने के लिए कई कदम उठाए हैं। इन उपायों के तहत मंत्रालय वर्तमान में 11 दिवसीय ‘हस्तकला सहयोग शिविर’का आयोजन कर रहा है। 7 अक्टूबर से शुरू हुए ये शिविर देश के हर कोने में लगाए जा रहे हैं। यह पहल पंडित दीन दयाल के जन्म शताब्दी के मौके पर आयोजित पंडित दीन दयाल उपाध्याय गरीब कल्याण वर्ष के लिए समर्पित है।

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इन शिविरों का आयोजन देश के 200 से ज्यादा हथकरघा क्लस्टरों और बुनकर सेवा केंद्रों के साथ ही 200 हस्तशिल्प क्लस्टरों में भी किया जा रहा है। बड़ी संख्या में बुनकरों और कारीगरों तक पहुंच बनाने के लिए इनका आयोजन 228 जिलों के 372 स्थानों पर हो रहा है।

केंद्रीय वस्त्र मंत्री स्मृति ईरानी ने पिछले महीने एक ट्वीट में कहा था, ‘हस्तकला सहयोग शिविरों के माध्यम से 1.20 लाख से ज्यादा बुनकरों/कारीगरों को फायदा होगा, जो देश के 421 हथकरघा-हस्तशिल्प क्लस्टरों में होंगे।’ जिन राज्यों में शिविरों का आयोजन किया जा रहा है, वे असम, अरुणाचल प्रदेश, आंध्र प्रदेश, बिहार, छत्तीसगढ़, गुजरात, हिमाचल प्रदेश, हरियाणा, जम्मू एवं कश्मीर, झारखंड, केरल, कर्नाटक, मध्य प्रदेश, महाराष्ट्र, मणिपुर, मिजोरम, नगालैंड, ओडिशा, पंजाब, राजस्थान, तमिलनाडु, तेलंगाना, त्रिपुरा, उत्तराखंड, उत्तर प्रदेश और पश्चिम बंगाल हैं।

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बुनकरों और कारीगरों को कर्ज जुटाने के लिए खासी मुश्किलों का सामना करना पड़ता है, जो उत्पादों के लिए कच्चे माल की खरीद और उदाहरण के लिए करघों की तकनीक को अपग्रेड करने के वास्ते जरूरी है। इसे देखते हुए वस्त्र मंत्रालय ने इन शिविरों में कर्ज सुविधाओं पर विशेष रूप से ध्यान केंद्रित किया है।

इस क्रम में शिविरों में बुनकरों और कारीगरों को सरकार की मुद्रा (माइक्रो यूनिट डेवलपमेंट एंड रिफाइनैंस एजेंसी) योजना के माध्यम से कर्ज सुविधा उपलब्ध कराई जा रही है, जिससे सूक्ष्म उपक्रमों को वित्तीय सहायता मिलती है।

इसके अलावा इन शिविरों में भाग लेने वालों को हथकरघा संवर्द्धन सहायता के अंतर्गत तकनीक में सुधार और आधुनिक औजार व उपकरण खरीदने में सहायता दी जाएगी। हथकरघा योजना के अंतर्गत सरकार 90 प्रतिशत लागत का बोझ उठाकर बुनकरों को नए करघे खरीदने में सहायता करती है। एक अहम बात यह भी है कि शिविरों में बुनकरों और कारीगरों को पहचान कार्ड भी जारी किए जाएंगे।

बुनकरों और कारीगरों की उत्पादों को बाजार तक पहुंचाने में आने वाली दिक्कतों को देखते हुए कुछ शिविरों में निर्यात/शिल्प बाजार/बायर-सेलर्स मीट भी कराई जा रही हैं। इन शिविरों की एक और अहम बात यह है कि बुनकरों को यार्न (धागा या सूत) पासबुक भी जारी की जा रही है, क्योंकि बुनकरों के लिए यार्न एक अहम कच्चा माल है।

इसके अलावा बुनकरों और कारीगरों के बच्चों के लिए शिक्षा की अहमियत को देखते हुए शिविरों में राष्ट्रीय मुक्त विद्यालयी शिक्षा संस्थान (एनआईओएस) और इग्नू द्वारा चलाए जा रहे पाठ्यक्रमों में नामांकन कराने में सहयोग दिया जाएगा।

बिचौलियों की भूमिका समाप्त करने के प्रयासों के तहत वस्त्र मंत्रालय बुनकरों और कारीगरों को अपने उत्पाद सीधे बेचने के लिए भारत और विदेश के कार्यक्रमों में भाग लेने में मदद कर रहा है। ऐसा राष्ट्रीय हथकरघा विकास कार्यक्रम के अंतर्गत फंडिंग के माध्यम से किया जा रहा है।

इसके लिए बीते तीन साल के दौरान वस्त्र मंत्रालय देश में 849 विपणन कार्यक्रमों के आयोजन के लिए 151.90 करोड़ रुपये की वित्तीय सहायता उपलब्ध करा चुका है। इससे देश के 8,46,900 बुनकरों को फायदा हुआ है।

‘हस्तकला सहयोग शिविर’ वस्त्र मंत्रालय के बुनकरों और कारीगरों की स्थिति में सुधार के प्रयासों का हिस्सा है, जिससे निश्चित तौर पर इन क्षेत्रों को भी बढ़ावा मिलेगा। उदाहरण के लिए, सरकार ने ई-धागा ऐप पेश किया है, जिससे बुनकरों को ऑर्डर देने और यार्न की शिपिंग पर नजर रखने में मदद मिलती है। इसके साथ ही बुनकरों के लिए ‘बुनकर मित्र’ हेल्पलाइन भी शुरू की गई है।

देश की अर्थव्यवस्था में हथकरघों और हस्तशिल्प क्षेत्र के योगदान को मानते हुए इन्हें बढ़ावा दिया जा रहा है। इन दोनों क्षेत्रों से देश को बड़ी मात्रा में विदेशी मुद्रा भी मिलती है। हथकरघा क्षेत्र को बढ़ावा देने के क्रम में प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने 7 अगस्त, 2015 को पहले राष्ट्रीय हथकरघा दिवस के तौर पर मनाने का एलान किया था।

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हथकरघा और हस्तशिल्प क्षेत्र देश के सबसे ज्यादा रोजगार देने वाले क्षेत्रों में शामिल हैं और इनसे सिर्फ कृषि क्षेत्र ही आता है। वस्त्र मंत्रालय की वित्त वर्ष 2016-17 की सालाना रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक हथकरघा और हस्तशिल्प क्षेत्रों ने क्रमशः 43.31 लाख और 68.86 लाख लोगों को रोजगार उपलब्ध राया। इन दोनों क्षेत्रों से देश को गुणवत्तापूर्ण उत्पादों के निर्यात के माध्यम से बड़ी मात्रा में विदेशी मुद्रा की आय भी होती है।

इसके साथ ही हथकरघा और हस्तशिल्प भारत की विरासत का मूल्यवान और अभिन्न अंग है, जिसे सुरक्षित रखना और प्रोत्साहन देने की जरूरत है।

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*लेखिका दिल्ली की एक वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हैं।

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Taking Care of Artisans and Weavers

i2017101402.jpg *Parul Chandra

Over 1.20 lakh weavers and artisans to benefit through ongoing Hastakala Sahyog Shivirs in 421 handloom-handicrafts clusters

India boasts of a rich tradition of hand-woven textiles and skilfully made handicrafts that draws appreciation and buyers not only from within the country but also abroad. Be it the intricately woven Ikats from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, the Patan Patolas from Gujarat, the fine Benarasi weaves from Uttar Pradesh, the gossamer-like Maheshwari weaves of Madhya Pradesh or the figurines sculpted in wood or stone from Tamil Nadu–India has this and much more to offer to the world in terms of handlooms and handicrafts.

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The weavers and artisans in India toil hard to produce a rich variety of textiles and handicrafts. And yet, the earnings of those weaving magic through the warp and the weft or handicrafts are often not commensurate with the intensive labour, immense skill and cost of raw materials that goes into their making.

Largely based in rural India, weavers and artisans also find market access for their products difficult. As a consequence, they’re dependent on the middleman to sell their products—while they garner substantial profits, the weaver and artisans are left with just a pittance instead of getting a reasonable price.

In order to address the myriad challenges faced by weavers and artisans, the Union Textiles Ministry has been taking numerous steps to assist them. As part of these measures, the ministry is currently holding an 11-day ‘HastkalaSahyogShivir’. The camps which began on October 7 are being held across the length and breadth of the country. The initiative is dedicated to the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Garib Kalyan Varsh–the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal is being observed.

 The camps have been organised in over 200 handloom clusters and Weavers Service Centres as well as 200 handicraft clusters in the country. They are spread over 372 places in 228 districts to reach out to a large number of weavers and artisans.

The Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani in a tweet last month had said: “More than 1.20 lakh weavers/artisans will benefit through the HastakalaSahyogShivirs that will be held in 421 handloom-handicrafts clusters.”  Among the states where the camps are being held are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, UP and West Bengal.

Well aware of the difficulties a weaver or artisan faces in accessing credit—it is so essential to purchase raw materials for their product or to upgrade their technology, for instance the looms–the Textiles ministry has kept the primary focus of these camps on providing credit facilities to them.

As part of this endeavour, the camps are providing weavers and artisans services such as issuance of credit facilities through the government’s MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) which provides financial assistance to micro enterprises.

 In addition, participants at these camps will also be provided with assistance for technology upgradation under the HathkargaSamvardhanSahayata and to buy modern tool kits and equipment. Under the Hathkarga scheme, the government helps weavers buy new looms by bearing 90 per cent of the cost. Importantly, the camps will also see the Pehchan (Identity) cards being issued to weavers and artisans.

 

 With market access for their products being one of the major hurdles faced by weavers and artisans, expos/craft bazars/buyers-sellers meets too are being held at some of the camps. Yet another important element of these camps is that a Yarn Pass-Book is being issued to weavers as yarn is the main raw material for weavers. Further, recognising the importance of education for the children of weavers and artisans, the camps will also be providing assistance on how they can be enrolled into courses run by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and IGNOU.

In its efforts to eliminate the middleman, the Textiles Ministry has been assisting weavers and artisans sell their products  directly by helping them to participate in marketing events both in India and abroad through funding under the National Handloom Development Programme.

Furthermore, over the last three years, the Textiles Ministry has provided financial assistance of Rs 151.90 crores to organize 849 marketing events in the country for the benefit of 8,46,900 weavers.

 The ‘HastkalaSahyogShivir’ is part of the textiles ministry larger endeavour to improve the lot of weavers and artisans which in turn will give the necessary fillip to these sectors. For instance, it has launched the ‘E-Dhaga’ App which enables weavers to order and track the shipping of yarn and ‘BunkarMitra’ helpline, also for weavers.

 The impetus being given to the handlooms and handicraft sectors also recognizes the fact that they make an enormous contribution to the country’s economy and help earn valuable foreign exchange. As part of its endeavour to give a boost to the handloom sector, Prime Minister Modi had launched the first National Handloom Day on August 7, 2015.

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 The handloom and handicraft sectors are among the largest employment provider in the country, and combinedly next only to agriculture. According to the 2016-17 annual report of the textiles ministry, the handloom and handicraft sectors provided employment to 43.31 lakh and 68.86 lakh persons, respectively. The two sectors also bring in considerable foreign exchange through exports of quality products.

 Besides, there is no gain saying the fact that handlooms and handicrafts are a valuable and integral part of India’s heritage that need to be both preserved and promoted.

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  *The writer is a senior Delhi-based journalist. Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.

Paryatan Parv: An occasion to further explore the rich diversity of India

Instead of going in for routine tourist places, it is high time Indians explored the nook and corners of our beautiful country; rather than staying at hotels, living with people to learn about the traditions and customs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of his recent ‘Mann ki Baat’ had urged the people to discover the wonders of #IncredibleIndia. Taking on the cue, the Ministry of Tourism has organised the ‘Paryatan Parv’, which is being touted as “a celebration of India’s rich tourist heritage”.

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The Union Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with other central ministries, various state governments and stakeholders is currently organising ‘Paryatan Parv’ across India from October 5-25, 2017 drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing our cultural diversity and reinforcing the principle of ‘Tourism for All’.

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It is a wonderful coincidence that the ‘Paryatan Parv’, a celebration in the festival loving country such as ours, is happening during the peak festive season, also a time when many people take out time to tour various parts of India. But for various reasons, people continue to visit the more popular, more exploited sites rather than exploring newer, lesser known places. Instead of going in for routine tourist places, it is high time Indians explored the nook and corners of our beautiful country; rather than staying at hotels, living with people to learn about the traditions and customs.

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Village in Ladakh before winters – Photo Courtesy: Nivedita Khandekar

The ‘Paryatan Parv’ seems to offer this opportunity. Two things from the comprehensive government plan that stood out for me are the interstate engagement matrix under the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ scheme and the guidelines for CBSE affiliated schools to visit heritage monuments among other programmes for getting students interested in cultural and traditional diversity of India.

Photo Courtesy:  Nivedita Khandekar
Village in Ladakh before winters – Photo Courtesy: Nivedita Khandekar

The idea that school students should visit monuments is not a new one, albeit linking it with the paradigm of ‘tourism and studies’ gives it a new twist. Imagine a class learning about the conquest by Chhatrapati Shivaji sitting at a fort in Maharashtra? Or imagine, learning about what Akbar did sitting at the Agra fort? The heritage monuments are a treasure trove of information. They offer not just lessons in history but also in that era’s architecture and traditional practices. What better way to understand it than an actual visit?

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A trek in the Himalayas – Photo Courtesy: Nivedita Khandekar

India is lucky, it is endowed with more than 3500 monuments of national importance (that are taken care of by the Archaeological Survey of India) and almost 10,000 other monuments that are taken care of by different state governments.

Similarly, imagine, people from Kerala engaging with those from Himachal Pradesh. Or for that matter, people from Madhya Pradesh meeting and seeking to know more about those from Nagaland and Manipur. What a beautiful concept, if implemented well!! After all, didn’t Adi Shankaracharya formulate the concept of char dhams in four corners of India and envisaged people visiting 12 jyotirlingas in various parts of the country?

If not for pilgrimage, but for knowing the rich traditions and culture of our vast land, people should engage with those from other states, further the better. This is exactly what the Tourism Ministry through ‘Paryatan Parv’ can harp on – envisaging through this exchange that “the knowledge of the language, culture, traditions and practices of different states will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between one another, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.”

Rising domestic tourism

‘Namaste!’ has been India’s identity across the world. India has attracted tourists from all over the world and not just now but since ages. While foreign tourists’ arrival brings in the much-needed foreign currency, and hence are given a priority, it is equally important to ensure domestic tourists are not neglected.

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Lohit River in Arunachal Pradesh – Photo Courtesy: Nivedita Khandekar

As per Tourism Ministry’s Annual Report for 2016-17, domestic tourism continues to be an important contributor for the tourism sector in India. As per the data furnished by the state/UT governments and other information available with the Ministry of Tourism, the domestic tourist visits during the year 2015 were 1432 million as compared to 1282.8 million in 2014, registering a growth of 11.63% over 2014.

This is a huge number as compared to the number of foreign tourist arrival in India (8.03 million) in the same time showing annual growth rate of 4.5 % over previous year. The stakeholders, including authorities, in the tourism sector will need to understand the rising trend in case of domestic tourism.

 

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For instance, from about 190.67 million domestic tourists in 1999 to about 1,431.97 million in 2015, the domestic tourism industry has undergone a sea change, seen a whopping 651.02% rise in just 16 years. Perhaps, keeping in mind all such things, the government has already initiated an exercise to formulate a comprehensive revised tourism policy by March 2018.

There was a time when people stepped out only for pilgrimage and tourism only meant luxury pursued by few moneyed people. Today, as more and more common men and women seek to step out and explore various parts of India, domestic tourism has spanned almost all fields beyond pilgrimages. This opens a positive opportunity for the government and all other stakeholders to further explore and exploit the rising sector.

Tourism infrastructure and livelihood

The elaborate planning by the Tourism Ministry and the complimentary programmes chalked out by other central ministries and state governments go on to show the sheer variety that is possible in tourism sector and how it can have an impact on almost all other ministries/fields – Education, Culture, Textiles, Development of North-East India, Rural Development and even Information & Broadcasting Ministry. Tourism needs stable infrastructure, tourism needs peaceful law and order situation and tourism needs an inviting host. In return, tourism gives much needed livelihood to local population and revenue to the government.

 

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A temple at the World Heritage Site of Khajuraho – Photo Courtesy: Nivedita Khandekar

 

India is known world over for its hospitality and in most parts of India, law and order situation is tourist-friendly. But apart from major metro cities and few of the places on tourist map, the tourism related infrastructure needs lots of improvement. Scores of smaller places first need to be identified for promotion of tourism, the last mile connectivity needs to be ensured, infrastructure for visiting and resident tourists needs to be developed. This includes availability of decent accommodation and food services. Many potential places across India remain oblivious to tourists only because one or more of the above factors do not work in their favour.

The tourism ministry has encouraged and developed a chain of B&B (Bed and Breakfast) homes across urban centres well. But it is now time to concentrate on ‘Home Stays’ in rural and semi-urban areas. Only such Home Stays can bring in sustainable tourism as against the big-ticket hotel industry that often leads to draining local natural resources. Plus, Home Stays are a better way to interact directly with the local population and to know about their traditions and culture. Home Stays will also improve livelihood opportunities for the locals rather than the hotel industry where profits are pocketed by outsiders.

‘Paryatan Parv’ can be a good opportunity to identify these weak links. Not just for this time slot, but for a better, sustainable future in tourism.

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*Nivedita Khandekar is an independent journalist based in Delhi. She writes on environmental and developmental issues.

 

Centre reorienting interventions in Farm Sector

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The World Food Day (WFD) is celebrated on October 16 to commemorate the founding of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1945. This is the most celebrated day of the United Nations as over 150 countries across the world organize events to create awareness, leading to food security and to achieve Zero Huger by 2030.

This year the theme is ‘Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development’.

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The FAO estimates that about 763 million people move within their own courtiers due to hunger, poverty and the increase in extreme weather related events linked to climate change is forcing farmers to migrate in search of better livelihood opportunities.  Almost a third of India’s population, over 300 million is migrants.

The Census of India reports that about 84 per cent migrate within the state and about 2 per cent are intra –state migrants. Huge numbers from the Eastern regions and North East areas have moved to different parts of India in search of work and better employment opportunities. Most of them are seasonal migrants, working for short time and returning to their original state to fend the small farms they own.

According to National Sample Survey Organization, 45 per cent of the farmers interviewed wanted to quit farming. There are multiple factors, especially the declining productivity and profitability that acts as disincentive for younger generation forcing them to migrate.

FAO has called for creating conditions that allow rural youth to stay at home by providing resilient livelihoods to tackle the migration challenge. Creating business opportunities that are non crop based, in food processing and horticultural enterprises can lead to increased food security.  There is an urgent need to build sustainable growth based on long term recovery of the rural community.

The National Commission of Farmers called for attracting and retaining educated youth in farming sector. Heeding to this advice the National Policy for Farmers adopted by Parliament in 2007 emphasised the need to involve youth in agriculture through providing appropriate support measures to retain them in agriculture and allied ancillary processing industries.

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Since 2014 NDA led government at the centre has launched several initiatives to address this crisis. The flagship programmes like Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Rashtirya Krishi Vikas Yojana etc are some of the schemes providing support to farming community.

Each of these programmes attempts to provide solutions to reduce and mitigate the crisis, either of climate change or failure of crops due to lack of rainfall.

The government has set the ambitious target of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022, when the country completes 75 years of independence. Towards achieving this target, the government is reorienting interventions in the farm and non-farm sectors.

The most unique initiative is ARYA or Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture.  Launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research it aims at attracting and retaining youth in rural areas through providing sustainable income through value addition, establish market linkages to make it attractive for the younger generation to return to villages. This is being implemented in 25 states through Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, in one district of each state. It attempts to showcase working model that economically feasible for the youth and which has the potential to attract them.

While launching ARYA, Prof M S Swaminthan said “”Unless agriculture is made remunerative and attractive, it would be difficult to retain youth in the field,” he said. When even existing farmers are moving away from farming, unless agriculture is made remunerative, it is unlikely that educated youngsters would take it up. Unless productivity or income is increased, farming cannot become an attractive venture for the young”.

Another initiative as part of the Skill India programme is supporting Agriculture Skill Council of India. The main objective is to build the capacity of the agricultural sector and bridge the gap between the labs and farms. It is being done through upgrading the skills of cultivators, agricultural labours and those engaged allied industry supporting agricultural activities.

It should be hoped that these schemes would attract youth to farming once again. Otherwise, we have reached a situation when majority of youth, even those belonging to farming families, do not want to pursue the farming as their vocation. They have experienced the harshness of the life of a farmer, where all his efforts to earn a decent income after putting in hard labour produces meagre income or total loss during the time of drought, leaving behind the burden to debt.

The recent initiatives by the government and also the recent leaf forging of technological innovations can help them to resolve the technical crisis and establish a direct linkage with the consumer providing assured income. In this context, Centre’s initiative eNAM (National Agriculture Market) launched in 2016 is very significant. It is a pan India electronic trading portal which networks the existing Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.

With 25 per cent of the country’s population between 18-29 years, it has great potential to entice youth towards farm sector. Farming offers young generation a chance to make a difference by growing food to meet the hunger needs of the countrymen. The government should identify such successful young farmers and provide media and policy support to entice youth with the grand mission of feeding the millions with safe and nutritious food.

Under these circumstances we need multiple strategies that enhance the status of the young farmer to retain on the farm. Like the slogan JAI JAWAN, JAI KISAN, we need to coin the slogan that farmer is also a soldier of Mother Earth protecting our soils and feeding the countrymen.

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*The author is an independent journalist and columnist based in Karnataka.

The Transformation of Rural India

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Rapid agriculture growth and rapid rural employment growth were always the focus of India’s policy makers. Mahatma Gandhi envisaged India as a Nation of self-sufficient autonomous village republics. Land – the summum bonum of rural existence, and agricultural structure was the most important determinant of India’s development. Highly skewed distribution of land was responsible for agricultural backwardness. As land was the critical income generating asset of rural India, changes in agricultural holding structures were necessary to ensure prosperity of the rural population. Accordingly, India’s State policy focused on State Governments formulating and implementing Land Reforms legislations. These included the Land Ceiling Act, the Tenancy Act, the Land Revenue Act and broadly adopted the land to the tiller policy. Surplus arable government lands were distributed to the poor and needy peasants for livelihoods. These policies were envisaged to promote agricultural growth and alleviate rural poverty.

After the bank nationalization in July 1969, a big push was given towards expansion of banking activities. Rapid expansion of bank branch network into rural areas and expansion of bank credit to agriculture and related activities. Priority sector lending targets and interest rates were introduced as part of a social banking approach. The rural bank branch expansion significantly lowered the rural poverty and increased non-agricultural growth. However, as time progressed, divergences emerged between the levels of development in States. The richer and faster growing States were better at reducing rural poverty while growth was volatile in the poorer States. The faster growing States had formulated laws for amalgamation of farm holdings into viable units for investments, productivity and growth. In the poorer States, the alienation of small and marginal farmers from their lands and subsequent conversion to landless agricultural labor made them entirely dependent on the vagaries of the market. Large scale labor migration was witnessed in areas where rainfed agriculture practices were prevalent. The richer States also attracted higher investments and had better infrastructural development which resulted in higher per capita incomes as compared to the poorer States.

It was in this backdrop that the Indian State implemented a series of welfare programs for the rural population. These included the Desert Development Program, the Drought Prone Area Development Program and the Watershed Development Program. These programs were taken up in a decentralized participatory developmental model. The objective was to treat vast stretches of land areas with watershed treatment practices including construction of check dams, development of pastures and promotion of improved animal husbandry practices. A second crop in rainfed areas, essentially meant higher farm incomes and lower migration of farm labor.

The Indian State also implemented several major direct beneficiary programs for asset generation, skill development, residential housing and employment generation. The Department of Rural Development implements the major schemes of National Rurban Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU GKY) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programs. The implementation of the MGNREGA on a pan India basis with assured employment on individual and community based programs has resulted in significant employment and asset generation in rural areas.

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The National Rurban Mission was launched in February 2016 as a new initiative for development of a cluster of villages that preserve and nurture the essence of rural community life with focus on equity and inclusiveness without compromising with the facilities perceived to be essentially urban in nature. The DDU GKY essentially focused on youth between 15 years and 35 years from poor families, is tasked with the objective of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and caters to the career aspirations of the rural youth.

Indian farmers were always concerned about the availability of adequate credit at reasonable cost in a timely manner. One of the major steps forward in this direction was financial inclusion. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana represents the National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services. The Jan Dhan Yojana provided the bankers with the necessary confidence to promote credit culture across the deprived population and resulted in significant increases in credit flows to rural sector.

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A Nation of India’s size requires significant increases in food production. The year 2016-17 witnessed the highest ever food grain production of 273.38 million tons which is 6.37 percent higher than the last 5 years average production and 8.6 percent higher than 2015-16. Government introduced the Soil Health Card Scheme (SHC) in 2015 to be issued on a bi-annual basis to all land holders of the country with the objective to conduct farm level soil analysis. In July 2015, Government introduced the National Agricultural Market (E-NAM) to link 585 wholesale agriculture production marketing committees across the country through a common e-platform. The portal has been made available in several Indian languages and has empowered the farmers with vast information dissemination. The State continued to make rapid strides in the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana covering all risks of the crop cycle and providing incentives for improved irrigation practices.

The Government’s initiatives for empowering the farmers and improving the infrastructure at the village level have been largely successful in reducing poverty and enhancing education and health care indicators. The improvement in farm incomes and the transparency in subsidy transfers would enable the creation of a 21stcentury India that is dynamic and forward looking.

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*V.Srinivas is an IAS officer of 1989 batch, and is currently posted as Chairman Rajasthan Tax Board with additional charge of Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan.

CCTNS – Digital Police Portal

*Deepak Razdan  i201710606.jpg

CCTNS Digital Police Portal launched to fast-track Criminal Justice System in the Country

As crime continues to grow, and criminals turn tech-savvy, police investigators across States face a tough challenge to bring the law-breakers to justice. The situation is,however, undergoing a revolutionary change. The Digital Police Portal launched by the Government of India as part of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), in August this year, will not only help police sleuths track the criminals fast, but also help the victims seek redress online.

The total IPC crimes in the country increased from 28.51 lakh in 2014 to 29.49 lakh 2015. According to the Union Home Ministry’s latest annual report (2016-17), the share of IPC crimes to total cognizable crimes in percentage terms was 37.2 per cent in 2011, and it increased to 40.3 per cent in 2015. The crime rate, which shows the number of crimes per one lakh population, too increased from 497.9 in 2012 to 581.8 in 2015.

In such a complex scenario, the Digital Police Portal, with its various features, is expected to be a game-changer. The CCTNS portal will provide investigators the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country.

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Equipped with a Google-type Advance Search engine and ability to give analytical reports, the portal is expected to become the backbone of the country’s criminal justice system. For the State Police organisations and investigating agencies like the CBI, IB, ED and NIA, the Digital Police Portal provides a National Database of crime and criminals with facility for 11 searches and 44 reports. This will improve national security and revolutionise the way police works in the country.

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To citizens, the Digital Police Portal offers online facility to register FIRs. There will be initially seven Public Delivery Services in 34 States & UTs, like Person and Address Verification of employees, tenants, nurses etc; permission for hosting Public Events, Lost & Found Articles and Vehicle theft. The portal will turn criminal investigationa completely citizen-friendly affair. The citizens’ reports and requests are forwarded to State and Union Territory Police without loss of time for follow-up action.

In 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) initiated a project named – Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) as a component of the “Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF)” project, aiming at computerization of crime records in police stations on a stand-alone basis. The need for setting up of a national database of crime records was realized later, and the MHA introduced a Central sector project of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) in 2009, with the objective of inter-linking all police Stations under a common application software for the purpose of investigation, policy making, data analytics, research and providing Citizen Services.

The project provided the State Police officials with a platform to enter Crime & Criminal data onto a CCTNS application, which could be accessed any time through State database at State Data Centre as well as at National Database at National Data Centre (NDC). The total approved outlay of the CCTNS project is Rs. 2000 Crore. The Central government provides funds to States and Union Territories towards hardware, CCTNS software, connectivity, system integration, data entry of legacy data, project management manpower and training. The Centre has released to States Rs 1450 crores out of which Rs 1086 crores have been spent by the States and UTs.

At present, the CCTNS software is deployed at 14284 Police Stations out of the 15398 Police Stations covered under the scheme. A total of 13775 Police Stations out of 14284 Police Stations are using this software to enter FIRs 100 per cent. As many as 13439 Police Stations out of the 15398 Police Stations covered by the scheme are already connected and linked with State & National database of Crime and Criminal records. The total number of FIRs registered using CCTNS leapt from less than 1.5 lakhs in March 2014 to about 1.25 crores before June, 2017, registering a jump of almost 100 times. Thirty-four States and UTs have launched their State Citizen Service portals with key services such as reporting a crime, request for verification, permission for events etc. Thirty-five out of 36 States and UTs are sharing data with National Crime and Criminal database. The system has seven crore records for crime and criminal data including 2.5 cr FIR records and legacy data.

The scope of the CCTNS project has been enhanced to integrate the Police data with other pillars of the criminal justice system namely — Courts, Prisons, Prosecution, Forensics and Fingerprints and juvenile homes, and accordingly a new system — “Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)” has been developed. The ICJS system has been developed as a dashboard approach with an advance search facility for the purpose of retrieving the desired data from the system. The ICJS project is being monitored by a Working Group chaired by a Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Madan B. Lokur.

State police organisations and all investigating agencies have been greatly empowered by the Digital Police Portal. The portal provides 11 searches and 44 reports based on CCTNS National database. The advanced search is equipped with high performing search and analytics engine. The advanced search can be carried out in two ways. In the first way of search, the search engine will look for full names entered (for eg. Name and Relative Name) but will get all the records where one or both of these names exist. In the second way of searching, it also fetches records with partial matches and returns all the results.

There are various kinds of filters available on the portal through which data can be sorted and narrowed down. Search can be carried out through Person Name, Person and Relative Name, Person and Act/Section, free text search and exact search on FIR Regd. Number/ Mobile Number/Email. The CCTNS portal will provide investigators the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country.

The software offers Google-type Advance Search engine and analytical reports. Recently, the software was used to trace few mentally challenged women from Tamil Nadu in Uttarakhand and reunited with their families. The CCTNS database will be later linked with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) database on vehicle registrations.

The “Advanced Search” allows the user to find crime correlations, crime trends, outliers (anomalies) and crime patterns by having access to CCTNS dashboard.

Since the launch of the Digital Police Portal, citizens have begun registering complaints on the portal, and requests have been made for antecedent verification of persons. The Digital Police Portal is helping the Government in the efficient delivery of citizen-centric services in a friendly manner, which is an important responsibility of a modern welfare state today.

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*Deepak Razdan, is a senior journalist and at present Editorial Consultant, The Statesman, New Delhi.

SENSITIZING YOUTH TO FLAGSHIP PROGRAMS OF GOVERNMENT: SYPOG -YOUNG SCIENTIST’S CONCLAVE

Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders for any nation and they can only transform the future of India. SYPOG-Young Scientist’s Conclave is an effort to share with the youth about Government’s policies and successes stories related to national flagship programs like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Digital India, Climate Change and Swasth Bharat. SYPOG-Young Scientist’s Conclave is an opportunity for young scientists, scholars and faculties from all over the country to showcase their innovations and scientific contributions to the mentioned National Programs.

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This meet is primarily meant for the scientists/ researchers/ science innovators / professional students below the age of 45 years. Delegates will be nominated by their respective Universities, Institutes and Labs. The nominated delegated will have to register through the website of IISF-2017 at free of cost. The selected delegates will be invited by the Organising Committee.

This programme consists of plenary sessions on National Flagship Programmes by the distinguished scientists and experts followed by an interactive session.

Young student from Gujarat tackles sewage and waste treatment issues

Shri Hiral Jariwala is a final year M. Eng. student in Environmental Management who is passionate about solving sanitation and waste management issues plaguing our villages and small community. He is currently working on a device to treat domestic sewage and will present a poster on its concept at India International Science Festival 2017.

Shri Jariwala is trying to solve sanitation and waste treatment issues through the means of a startup. IISF 2017 is the ideal place for such students and provides access not
only to key scientists, who provide scientific insights but also to policymakers and veteran entrepreneurs who share valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

Nobel Prize in Physics 2017: The Indian Connection

TS_mugshot  * Prof. Tarun Souradeep

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 celebrates the direct detection of Gravitational waves arriving from the merger of two large Black holes in a distant galaxy a Billion light years away. The laureates are pioneers Rainer Weiss and Kip S Thorne, together with Barry C Barish, the scientist and leader who brought the project to completion, ensured that four decades of the effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed.

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Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. This opens a new window to Astronomy since Gravitational Waves are an entirely new way of observing the most violent events in space.

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Perhaps, unprecedented is the level of Indian participation in this milestone discovery. The discovery paper has 39 authors from nine institutions – CMI Chennai, ICTS-TIFR Bengaluru, IISER-Kolkata, IISER-Trivandrum, IIT Gandhinagar, IPR Gandhinagar, IUCAA Pune, RRCAT Indore and TIFR Mumbai.

The current Indian gravitational wave scientific community has arisen out of research programmes carried out over three decades at several research institutes, with seminal contributions.  The group led by Sanjeev Dhurandhar at IUCAA initiated and did foundational work on developing data-analysis techniques to detect these weak signals buried in the detector noise by looking for the best match between the calculated waveforms and the detector signal and led the solo Indian group in the LSC in the initial era of LIGO for a decade.

The group led by Bala Iyer (currently at ICTS-TIFR) at the Raman Research Institute in collaboration with scientists in France had pioneered the mathematical calculations used to model Gravitational Wave signals from orbiting black holes and neutron stars. Theoretical work that combined black holes and gravitational waves was published by C. V. Vishveshwara in 1970.

These contributions are prominently cited in the discovery paper.

An opportunity for India taking leadership in this field has opened up with the LIGO-India mega-science project that was granted ‘in principle’ approval by the Union Cabinet on Feb 17, 2016. LIGO-India brings forth a real possibility of Indian scientists and technologists stepping forward, with strong international cooperation, into the frontier of an emergent area of high visibility and promise presented by the recent GW detections and the high promise of a new window of gravitational-wave astronomy to probe the universe.

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The global scientific community is unanimous that the future of Gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics, beyond the first discovery, lies with the planned global array of GW detectors, including the LIGO-India observatory. The inclusion of LIGO-India greatly improves the angular resolution in the location of the gravitational-wave source by the LIGO global network.  For the discovery event observed by the two advanced LIGO detectors in the US, with a hypothetical LIGO-India in operation, there would have been 100 times improvement in the angular resolution.

The LIGO-India proposal is for the construction and operation of an Advanced LIGO Detector in India in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratories, USA. The objective is to set up the Indian node of the three nodes global Advanced LIGO detector network by 2024 and operate it for 10 years. The task for LIGO-India includes the challenge of constructing the very large vacuum infrastructure that would hold a space of volume 10 million litres that can accommodate the entire 4 km scale laser interferometer in an ultra-high vacuum environment at nano-torrs. Indian team is also responsible for installation and commissioning the complex instrument and attaining the ultimate design sensitivity.

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The LIGO-India project is being jointly executed by lead institutions: the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune of the University Grants Commission, and DAE organisations, Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar, the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore and the Directorate of Construction & Estate Management (DCSEM) of DAE.

LIGO-India is being jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). A LIGO-India Apex committee, together with the LIGO-India Project Management Board (LI-PMB) and LIGO-India Scientific Management Board (LI-SMB), were constituted in August 2016 to oversee the project execution, and there has been rapid pace of progress since then. LIGO-India is on track for commencing operations by 2024.

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*Prof. Tarun Souradeep is a Senior Professor at IUCAA and Spokesperson, LIGO-India. Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.

गांधी जयंती : स्‍वच्‍छ भारत दिवस

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 सार्वजनिक स्‍वच्‍छता एक ऐसा विषय था, जिसके बारे में महात्‍मा गांधीजी की जीवन पर्यन्‍त  गहरी दिलचस्‍पी रही। गांधीजी ने भारतीयों को स्‍वच्‍छता के महत्‍व के बारे में प्रेरित करने के लिए अपने जीवन का महत्‍वपूर्ण समय समर्पित किया और इस महत्‍वपूर्ण मुद्दे की ओर राष्‍ट्र की चेतना को जगाने का प्रयास किया। यह बहुत महत्‍वपूर्ण है कि गांधीजी के प्रकाशित साहित्‍य सार्वजनिक स्‍वच्‍छता के मुद्दे की ओर महत्‍वपूर्ण ध्‍यान देने के लिए समर्पित है,जिनमें सत्याग्रह, अहिंसा और खादी पर समान रूप से ध्‍यान केन्द्रित किया गया है।

mkg-cleanliness

गांधीजी का आदर्श गांव का दर्शन गांवों में पूर्ण स्‍वच्‍छता, गांव की गलियां और सड़कें धूल और गंदगी से मुक्‍त होने पर केन्द्रित था। अपनी पुस्‍तक ‘आश्रम अब्ज़र्वन्स इन एक्‍शन’ में गांधीजी ने लिखा है कि स्‍वच्‍छता सेवा एक आवश्‍यक और बहुत पवित्र सेवा है, फिर भी समाज में इसे नीची दृष्टि से देखा जाता है। इस कारण सामान्‍य रूप से इसे नजर अंदाज किया जाता है और इसमें सुधार की व्‍यापक संभावनाएं हैं। आश्रम में साफ-सफाई के इस कार्य के लिए बाहर से श्रम नहीं लेने पर जोर दिया गया है। आश्रम के सदस्‍य बारी-बारी से अपने आप पूरी साफ-सफाई करते हैं। आश्रम में सामान्‍य और उपयोग करने में आसान शौचालयों को तैयार किया गया है और उनकी सफाई के लिए किसी सफाई कर्मी की जरूरत नहीं है। सेवा ग्राम आश्रम के नियमों में यह उल्‍लेख है कि आश्रम के निवासियों को अपने हाथ साफ मिट्टी और शुद्ध पानी से धोने चाहिए और उसके बाद हाथों को साफ कपड़े से पोंछा जाए।

दक्षिण अफ्रीका में भी गांधीजी ने जीवन में साफ-सफाई को बहुत महत्‍व दिया है। अपनी पुस्‍तक ‘सत्‍याग्रह इन साउथ अफ्रीका’ में टॉल्‍स्‍टॉय फार्म में अपने जीवन के बारे में उन्‍होंने यह वर्णन किया है कि, ‘वहां पर एक झरना हमारे क्‍वार्टरों से लगभग 500 गज दूर था और वहां से पानी लाद कर लाना पड़ता था। वहां हमने इस बात पर जोर दिया कि हमें कोई नौकर नहीं रखना चाहिए। खाना पकाने से लेकर साफ-सफाई तक सारा काम हम अपने हाथों से करते थे। शेर की तरह सख्‍त थंबी नायडू साफ-सफाई का प्रभारी था। बड़ी संख्‍या में लोगों के रहने के बावजूद फार्म में कहीं भी किसी किस्‍म की कोई गंदगी नहीं रहती थी। सारे कचरे को एक बड़े गड्ढे में डाल दिया जाता था। इस प्रकार एक छोटी सी कुदाल एक बड़ी परेशानी से निजात पाने का साधन है।’

Gandhi_Tolstoy_Farm

अपनी पुस्‍तक ‘माई एक्‍सपेरिमेंट्स विद ट्रूथ’ में गांधीजी ने लिखा है कि 1897 में बम्‍बई में प्‍लेग का प्रकोप हुआ और चारों ओर डर का माहौल था। गांधीजी ने राज्‍य के स्‍वच्‍छता विभाग को अपनी सेवाएं देने की पेशकश की। गांधीजी ने शौचालयों का निरीक्षण करने और उनमें सुधार लाने के बारे में विशेष जोर दिया। अछूतों के क्‍वार्टरों के निरीक्षण में गांधीजी ने यह देखा कि उनके क्‍वार्टर गाय के गोबर से खूबसूरती के साथ लिपे-पुते हैं और उनके बर्तन भी साफ-सुथरे हैं तथा सफाई के कारण चमक रहे हैं। उन क्‍वार्टरों में प्‍लेग फैलने का कोई डर नहीं था। गांधीजी ने यह भी लिखा है कि जब उन्‍होंने वैष्‍णव हवेली का दौरा किया, तो वे पूजा स्‍थल में फैली गंदगी को देखकर बहुत दु:खी हुए। वे जानते थे कि ‘स्‍मृतियों’ में लेखकों ने घर के अंदर और बाहर साफ-सफाई पर बहुत जोर दिया है। गांधीजी ने यह भी लिखा है कि स्‍वच्‍छता के बारे में भारत के गांवों तक पहुंच बनाने का काम बहुत मुश्किल है। लोग अपने घर के कचरे की भी साफ-सफाई करने के लिए तैयार नहीं थे। गांधीवादी स्‍वयंसेवकों ने गांवों को आदर्श रूप से स्‍वच्‍छ बनाने के बारे में अपनी ऊर्जा केन्द्रित की और उन्‍होंने सड़कों, आंगनों और कुओं और तालाबों की साफ-सफाई की तथा ग्रामीणों को अपने आपमें से ही स्‍वयंसेवक तैयार करने के लिए राजी किया।

गांधीजी ने साफ-सफाई की कमजोर स्थिति और अस्‍पृश्‍यता की प्रथा के बीच के संबंध को अच्‍छी तरह पहचाना। लोग साफ-सफाई को इसलिए नजर अंदाज करते हैं क्‍योंकि यह अछूत लोगों की जिम्‍मेदारी माना गया था। गांधीजी ने अनुभव किया कि छुआछूत को समाप्‍त किया जाना चाहिए और साथ-साथ ही सार्वजनिक स्‍वच्‍छता की स्थितियां भी सुधारी जानी चाहिए। गांधीजी ने अपने अनुयायियों को साफ-सफाई के कार्यों के लिए तथाकथित निचली जातियों के किसी भी व्‍यक्ति को भर्ती करने से मना किया। गांधीजी ने महसूस किया कि उन्‍होंने जिन लोगों को भगवान के बालक अर्थात हरिजन का नाम दिया है, उन्‍हें साफ-सफाई के पेशे से मुक्‍त होने पर ही समाज में अन्‍य वर्गों के साथ समानता की स्थिति में लाने में मदद मिलेगी। स्‍वतंत्रता प्राप्ति के बाद अस्‍पृश्‍यता को कानूनी रूप से समाप्‍त कर दिया गया था। गांधीजी का दर्शन मौलिक अधिकारों के अनुच्‍छेद 17 में सुशोभित है, जिसमें छुआछूत के उन्‍मूलन की घोषणा की गई है यह छुआछूत की किसी भी प्रथा को रोकता है। अस्‍पृश्‍यता के कारण पैदा होने वाली कोई भी विकलांगता कानून के अनुसार दण्‍डनीय होगी। अनुच्छेद 17 का मुख्य उद्देश्य किसी भी रूप में अस्पृश्यता पर प्रतिबंध लगाना है।

2017 में सरकार गांधी जयंती (2 अक्‍टूबर) को स्‍वच्‍छ भारत दिवस के रूप में मना रही है। सरकार देश में सबसे बड़े स्‍वच्‍छता अभियान को प्रोत्‍साहित करने के लिए चलाए जा रहे स्‍वच्‍छ भारत मिशन की तीसरी वर्षगांठ के अवसर पर 15 सितंबर, 2017 से 02 अक्‍टूबर 2017 तक स्‍वच्‍छता ही सेवा है अभियान का आयोजन कर रही है। स्‍वच्‍छ भारत मिशन के प्रभाव के बारे में अनेक राज्‍यों में स्‍वच्‍छ सर्वेक्षण आयोजित किये गये, जिनमें इस मिशन के तीन वर्षों के दौरान सफलता की अनेक कहानियां सामने आई हैं। इन कहानियों से पता चलता है कि गांवों को साफ-सुथरा रखने और शौचालयों का उपयोग करने के बारे में लोगों के व्‍यवहार में पूरा बदलाव आया है।

लोग अपने गहने बेचकर घरों में शौचालयों का निर्माण करा रहे हैं। बच्‍चों की वानर सेनाएं प्रात: पांच बजे लोगों को खुले में शौच करने से रोकने के लिए सीटी बजा रही हैं। स्‍वच्‍छ भारत मिशन के तहत स्‍कूलों में बच्‍चों की संख्‍या में भी महत्‍वपूर्ण सुधार हुआ है। इस प्रकार स्‍वच्‍छ भारत मिशन एक विशाल जन आंदोलन बन गया है।

आइए, हम सब स्‍वच्‍छ भारत के लिए सार्वजनिक स्‍वच्‍छता के बारे में गांधीजी के आदर्शों के साथ 2 अक्‍टूबर, 2017 को गांधी जयंती मनाएं।

* श्री वी. श्रीनिवास 1989 बैच के आईएएस अधिकारी हैं, जो वर्तमान में राजस्थान कर बोर्ड के अध्‍यक्ष पद पर आसीन हैं तथा उनके पास राजस्‍थान राजस्व बोर्ड अध्‍यक्ष का अतिरिक्त प्रभार भी है। इस आलेख में व्यक्त विचार लेखक के व्यक्तिगत हैं।

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