Having dumped the cultivation of conventional millet, with the onset of the Green Revolution, the people of Madhya Pradesh are now realizing how suitable it was for the terrain and climate as well as the nutritional benefits it offered…the effort now is to reinvest energy in making millet cultivation easier and less of a drudgery that it was
Uprooting a girl from her familiar surroundings when she gets married, separating her from her family and friends, assuming she will merge seamlessly with her new family is a traditional, social expectation; carrying the ‘amputation’ even further is the custom in Belliguda of renaming a new bride with the name of her parental village; this completes the obliterating of her identity
Whatever progress is made in the livelihoods and economic spheres of life, women in villages will only experience significant empowerment when violence—physical, emotional, psychological and other areas-against them is totally eradicated
Recognizing the idea of the Panchayati Raj as crucial for the foundation of the Indian political system, the 73rd Constitution Amendment was passed by Parliament in 1992, giving Constitutional power to local elected bodies, leading to a decentralized form of governance in which each and every village is responsible for its own affairs
Expressing her anguish at customs and cultural practices that are blindly followed, a young 14-year-old bride’s gut-wrenching questions remain unanswered: “Why does the world have so many expectations from women? Why do we have to listen to abuses all day, even after killing ourselves to match up?
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The best, the quickest and the most efficient way is to build up from the bottom...Every village has to become a self-sufficient republic. This does not require brave resolutions. It requires brave, corporate, intelligent work...”
Implementing MGNREGA in its fullness is a movement to establish local democracy and instruments of local governance, honour local wisdom and knowledge, promote power decentralization to panchayats and encourage participatory decision-making. Jharkhand’s experience warrants telling.