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All great men who dreamt about prosperous and self reliant Bharat have stressed that the soul of Bharat lives in villages and that the real path of progress for our country is possible only through the well being of villages. Mahatma Gandhi in 'Hind Swaraj' and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay in his conception of Ekatma Manav Darshan emphasized the same. Based on this conception, eminent social worker Shri Nanaji Deshmukh has successfully achieved integrated rural development of several villages in and around Chitrakoot. Eminent thinker Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia also gave an outline of prosperous Bharat based on rural development. Even during freedom struggle, Gandhiji had observed that a day would come when not only Bharat but the entire world would have to make village a focal point of development for attaining real freedom and contentment. For this he visualized making villages of Bharat Gokuls, through cow, agriculture and village industries.

The present global economic crisis and environmental hazards have put a question mark on the western life style in its entirety. The end of socialism and the failure of capitalism are making the intellectuals throughout the world to seek a new approach for development. Humanity is in search of a new path for material and spiritual upliftment. Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal firmly believes that only Bharat can pave such a path. This belief is based on Hindu way of life based on harmony between man, society and nature which has been followed successfully for thousands of years. On the basis of such social structure, we could establish a most prosperous and developed civilization in the past; self reliant villages were the basic units of the social structure and necessity based production was the order of the day and wants were limited.

After independence, we gave up this basic vision and adopted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based development model which lost credibility now in the western world itself. Rural economy got continuously neglected; agriculture became non-remunerative and village artisans and cottage industries were neglected. Due to lack of employment opportunities, proper health, educational and infrastructural facilities and onslaught of decadent western culture through TV and cinema, there has been mass exodus of people from villages to cities. By establishing facilities for processing and marketing of raw materials in villages and linking them with rural entrepreneurship, this exodus from villages could have been stopped. This neglect had disastrous effect on the rural economy. Continuous decline in rural investment and five year plan allocations are clear pointers to this neglect resulting in lack of funds for comprehensive development of rural infrastructure and agriculture based rural industries, and research and development facilities for agriculture. It is imperative for the government to provide for quality education relevant for villages, health services, employment opportunities, infrastructural facilities and create such modern models of development of villages which are ecofriendly and promote social harmony facilitating national integrity and progress.

ABKM is clearly of the opinion that cow-centric, organic and natural farming based village model supported by artisanship and rural industries can provide sustainable development for Param Vaibhav Bharat. Several experiments have indicated that organic farming can increase farm output. Research is also being conducted at several higher scientific institutions on integration of traditional knowledge with modern science to enhance quality of life in villages. Today materialism and greed are destroying social fabric and family. Cultural degradation is the natural consequence of this. Rural reconstruction suited to the modern age based on simple living and sacrifice (thyag) is the only alternative. Cow connects us to our surroundings. Cow-centred village pattern in tune with nature, will not only be more profitable because it is not capital and machine based, but also will increase land fertility by use of natural fertilisers and pestcontrols. Gobar gas can also be alternative energy source. Panchagavya (milk, curd, ghee, Gomutra and Gobar), milk products and other medicines made from Gomutra can improve the economic standing of the villagers. For most of the farmers, plough based, or non-tilling (natural) agricultural will become a better option. Thus cow improves village life and is an important contributor for improving agricultural productivity.

This kind of self-reliant village system can effectively solve the economic and environmental problems. By crop rotation, use of green fertilisers, organic manures and pestcontrols, giving priority to traditional water resources like ponds, wells etc., and use of appropriate technology, it is possible to rejuvenate rural capabilities. Nature based and decentralised use of energy will not only reduce energy crisis, but will also decrease carbon emission levels. 'Vishwa Mangala Go Grama Yatra' organized by Saints and Dharmacharyas is a great endeavour for national awakening to tap this immense potential. ABKM welcomes this great effort.

ABKM urges the Central government to create a blue print for self reliant village based economy instead of populist slogans and plans. ABKM calls upon the society at large to leave behind complexes and build a prosperous Bharat based on village prosperity and calls upon the people for 'Chalen Gram Ki Aur' — March towards Villages.

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