40. The Water Conservation Project enormously increased the total agricultural production. Did it stop pouring of people from rural areas to urban areas?


For centuries the rural culture of India has held a place of honour. India has the reputation of being a country of villages. India’s rural culture has remained alive for centuries. It was from 1970 that migration from villages to cities started. People flooded into urban areas, looking for work. Urban population increased by leaps and bounds and rural population was on the decline. Its impact was that the labourer could not afford to purchase a house of his own to live in. Slum areas developed. With this population explosion, construction business was in boom. Some people could settle happily in the city but the major portion of the people had to struggle very hard to satisfy even their basic needs. The intellectuals started discussing among themselves that rural development was a pre-requisite for the all round development of the nation. The government made many schemes to encourage and support rural development. In spite of all these efforts, urbanization did not come to a stop. New generation was fond of city life. With the development of the diamond industry and other industries related to agriculture in the villages of Gujarat, young people again turned towards villages. Moreover, an increase in the volume of agricultural production paved the way for launching Food Processing Plants in the village. I will give you an example:

In 1995 there were very few ginning machines. The production of cotton was also negligible. Then the scene changed and there were more than 2000 ginning machines. With the launch of these machines, many people acquired work. For the last 15 years the area of mango cultivation and date cultivation in a scientific method is on the increase. An enormous rise can be seen in the number of farmers involved in modern, technology- based agriculture. Hand in hand with agricultural development came innumerable job opportunities. There was a demand for instruments used for farming, mini tractors, seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and instruments required for Drip Irrigation Method. It inspired the establishment of the necessary industries and business. Finding a large number of opportunities to earn money, many youngsters decided to stay in the village and to get involved in one of the jobs related to agriculture. Moreover all the instruments needed in farming need to be serviced regularly for flawless and smooth operation and this also generated many jobs for the young.