Rolling fields vs. ladder-like fields
This village somehow takes me on a thought tour of my own village where I lived for first 17 years during my childhood. We did not have sheeps but a goat (owned by me). We had cows and buffelos. There were many kettle fields (read mountains) towards the jungle. Every family had to accompany them once a month and bring back in the evening. There were no rolling fields but ladder-like agricultural land. Thre was no road though the middle of the village but a small broken path. Even a sick-old person needed to be taken to the health centre on the shoulders or special ‘doli’ by people.
I visit my village every summer or when opportunity arises. As per usual Indian conditions, lot of peole are jobless. They were jobless even before but had no opportunities to compete in the modern lifestyle. Kali-Kumaun (Read the story by a British Hunter ‘Jim Corbette’: “Maneaters of Kumaun” published in early 1900) has been a very poor place for the culture/education as compared to Almora, NainiTal or even Pithoragarh. Even Lohaghat Town has a direct bus connection from Haldwani and is less dependent on the broken road from Tanakpur. In 7 years, 11 district Magistrates have come to the district of Champwat but none could do much for this unfortunate road. People are frustrated in this region and usual jobless situation is going to be more problematic due to the socio-political situation.
Need of character, scientific ways and long term plans
In a way, this world is a village or made up of villages, countries, human borders etc with various languages and cultures. There are clear differences between the people. When I asked the one of the foreign student, can you tell me what makes your country different from the 'some other' (EU) country, - he immediately replied: “Character"!
Other Indian visitor commented while talking about the richest Indian in UK, ‘Many rich people even in India have emerged from Rajasthan-a desert, where there was not enough water even for drinking. While others had water, agriculture but wasted heir precious time and energy in non-scientific agriculture and remained poor’. Suddenly I see that his comment seems to be directing us towards something very natural in the present context. There is a need to put forward various ideas such as
(i). Scientific ways of lifestyle including sanitation
(ii). Water conservation and harvesting
(iii). Introducing the idea of ‘shares’ in a joint property venture through joint lands
(iv). Village tourism (visitors stay with villagers and pay)
(v). Mini- Hydroelectric plants and solar electricity/ solar heating
(vi). Provisions of charging of mobiles , batteries with solar power, solar stations along the national highways, in towns and villages
(vii) Primary and High school education
(viii). Higher education in pure science (including Mathematics, and Economics)
(ix). Computer and Internet education
and last but not the least
(x). Conservation of local culture along with the modernisation
Desclaimer: I visited UK for about 2 months. Besides my professional work I came across some experiences, I thought they may benefit the visitors or society in general. I am writing this in good faith; and especially do not claim that what is mentioned here is true to its full extent. It’s the impression I have got with various data collected with my five senses. I would welcome critic and comments but I am not sure if I will find time to respond-PBB.