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Panchayat Raj Kyun?

Through this book Ragni Behen has emphasised the importance of panchayats at the local level. She states that problems like corruption, rich and poor divide, unequal distribution of resources are a direct result of governance being very centralised and away from the masses. Panchayat raj plays a very important role in decentralising this governance by taking control of local governance by people in their own hands.

When the Central Government frames laws, it does so by keeping an eye on the overall development of the nation, but since Central Government is not close to the people it often does not know the social implications of its laws, especially at the village level. Panchayats, through delinking local governance from these laws, are able to address the needs of the people much better than the Central Government and thereby becoming a catalyst of change in the villages.

Tarun Ma Ki Karun Katha

Tarun Ma Ki Karun Katha by Saane Guruji contains short stories on prohibition of liquor. Through this book the author wants to educate people about the menace of liquor and its prohibition. Crores are spent daily on liquor, which in return ruins the lives of people and their families. This is an effort to abolish this menace from the lives of the people. The stories in this book are inspired from liquor abolition work done in villages of Maharashtra

This book contains five stories which highlight the plight of addicts and the problems they face in their day-to-day lives. Examples are given in the book where a well off person became addicted and ruined his life. These stories also highlight the plight of women related to these addicts, how they are abused by their husbands, made to work in mills with their wages spent on this liquor and not been taken care of by their spouses. The stories are:

  • Udaar Anandrao
  • Sita Ka Durbhagya
  • Tarak Devta
  • Savitri Ka Suka
  • Mode Gaon Ki Kahani

Aarogya Ke Aadhaar

Everyone knows that air, water, food, clothes and shelter are the essential things which we require to live. Therefore, each and every person works hard to achieve these things. Governments and international organisations also help in providing these things to the people. But in spite of these efforts many people still lead unhealthy life, full of ailments.

This book written by Dr Ragni Prem is an effort by her to inculcate a habit of healthy living amongst the readers of this book. This book links old habits and customs regarding health and treatment to modern science and presents a new perspective towards health for its readers.

Lens into the Gandhian Movement: Five Village Development Organisations in North East India

This study is an exploratory report by Paul Clements of five village development organisations and about Gandhian movement. The Gandhian movement is alive in India, working to further the interests of the rural poor and to build a decentralised, self-sufficient and just social order.

A network of village development projects is working towards economic and skill self-sufficiency, creating village organisations, applying appropriate technology, propagating moral ideals, and struggling various forms of oppressions and injustice. These organisations are applying Gandhian notions, but also creating, refining, and compromising on their own theories of what to do how. The movement is deeply embedded in the Indian social structure, influencing and influenced by it. It is providing a set of potential solutions to some of the most severe problems facing India today.

This paper is an attempt to clarify, support and explore the contentions made in the above paragraph. The author has taken five village development projects, all more or less connected with the Gandhian Movement, and has used the term as a lens into the movement, at the same time exploring certain issues which are common to any village development project. The author focuses on how the projects deal with the local problems of absolute poverty and oppression, and to a lesser extent on their relations with and their importance to the nation and outside.

Generally, the author has constructed a perspective on village development in India and the Gandhian Movement, not by which to evaluate them, but to highlight certain issues within what the author hopes the reader will find to be a helpful and coherent framework.

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