Essay : Rural Development in Bangladesh

Rural Development in Bangladesh

↬ Rural Development is important for National Development

Introduction : Efforts for rural development in Bangladesh are not new. However, massive and determined efforts have been made after liberation of Bangladesh to improve the condition of the rural lives. A good number of government departments, semi-government and autonomous agencies including NGOs are functional in the field. Millions of taka are being spent every year. But, these efforts brought nothing but frustration. Thus, to make the efforts brought nothing but frustration. Thus, to make the efforts of rural development fruitful, all the government and non-government organizations, the rural people would take part in development works mutually and individually. 

Problems of rural development in Bangladesh : The problems and paradoxes with the programmes, policies and initiatives for rural development in Bangladesh are legion. Among them, the most striking problems are as following : 

1. Development around people rather than People around development : It is increasingly believed that rural development programmes, approaches and strategies should be such as to build development around people rather than people around the development. In Bangladesh, development of the ability of masses is least emphasized. Education, health care, food and nutrition etc. are being ignored. 

2. Lac of motivation for work : In our rural areas, personnel involved in rural development activities lack motivation and commitment to their work. The general tendency is to complain regarding the facilities and privileges but reluctant about the responsibilities and obligations. Highly qualified development officers can not work mutually with the poor, unskilled and illiterate rural masses. 

3. Mistrust and non-confidence of local leadership : People in our rural communities do not trust their leaders. Leaders are generally identified as ‘tout’ by the rest of the villagers. As a result, whatever good things they advocate the people apprehend some hidden intentions behind the proposals. Hence, our leaders can not play the role of change agents. 

4. Need does not govern aid but aid creates need : An important pitfall of rural development in our country is that it is not the need which governs aid but aid which creates need. Although the country every year receives a plenty of foreign aid for rural development, most of the aids go to help the agribusiness of multinationals to buy essential components of rural development. 

Suggested measures 
1. Building institutional infrastructure : For effective rural development, there should have sets of institutions- 
(i) local government institution; 
(ii) Cooperative and informal organizations 
It is emphasized that local government at each tier should be more people oriented and constituted. On the other hand, the following measures are proposed to ensure the sustainability of cooperative institutions : 
- strengthening cooperative training and education; 
- developing nationwide marketing system for cooperative products; 
- strengthening of saving and thrift deposit system in the societies. 

2. Strengthening the resource base of local government : The resource base of local government should be widened and strengthened. For this, following measures my be taken : 
- increasing the toll rate of huts, bazars and Jal mahals developed under development projects; 
- bringing about efficiency in leasing system; 
- opening up more sources of revenue earning; 
- implementing income – generating projects under union parishad. 

3. Effective coordination between govt. and NGOs : For the effectiveness of rural development programmes, coordination between govt. and NGOs are must. For this, following measures should be considered : 
- mutual utilization of available facilities and services; 
- setting up a national information system; 
- networking of NGOs in the field of rural development in consultation with NGO affairs bureau. 

4. People’s participation : People’s participation is a must for effective rural development. Here participation means extensive dialogue with all the groups likely to be affected. So, local people should be- 
- briefed and updated about the social and economic effects of the programmes; 
- consulted about the engineering and design components of the programme; 
- granted the right to decide whether or not a particular programme will be implemented; 

5. Strategies for the disadvantages : The intervention for the cause of disadvantages considered to be following : 
- land redistribution, employment generation, market creation and development of human resources; 
- increasing the livestock and poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables should be geared up; 
- policy changes are needed to ensure the participation of rural women in the whole range of rural development activities. 

6. Employment creation : To solve the unemployment problem of rural areas, there need to- 
- establish small industries in rural areas; 
- micro credit to unemployed youths for implementing self-generating projects; 
- motivating the youths to work instead of looking for govt. job. 

Conclusion : Above discussions clearly show that the present condition of rural development in Bangladesh is not satisfactory. However, the proposed measures for overcoming the shortcomings of rural development also are not final but these are fundamental. More action-oriented programmes are needed for effective rural development and increasing the standard of living in rural areas. After all, without participation of concerned communities in development, no programme of development would be fruitful.

Same composition collected from another book

Rural Development means the development of the village. Bangladesh is a land of villages. So, prosperity of the country depends on the welfare of the villages.

Our villages are under development though they are the heart of the country. Communication is not as developed as we need. Illiteracy is a problem. People do not know about health and sanitation. They depend on agriculture. But they do not know how to cultivate scientifically. There are many poor and landless farmers. They live from hand to mouth. People do not have income-generating projects to work. So the pace of rural development is very slow. The remotest village areas of the country are very backward in all respects. The government of the country is aware of this situation. So a lot of steps have been taken for rural development. Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), Palli Biddutoayan, Grameen Bank, Village Co-operatives are some of the projects by the Govt. Some NGO’s are implementing some projects for our rural development and poverty alleviation.

Our unemployed people should have training for self-employment. They should be helped and financed for fish cultivation or other activities for earning. Our women should be made educated. They should have vocational training.

Bangladesh means rural lands or land of villages. Only urban development will not give us real prosperity of the country without rural development. We should give attention to cottage industries. Bangladesh has an agro-based economy. The farmers are the hub of this economy. So, we must improve their lot for our rural development.
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