Here are some stark facts (“What development? For whom?” May 6). About 60 per cent of India’s population is engaged in agriculture which contributes 17 per cent of India’s GDP. With such demographics it is a given that a significant percentage of rural India will remain economically backward. The best way to ensure alleviation of poverty is to see to it that alternative and well-paying jobs are created in villages and adjacent towns to provide livelihood opportunities. While the MGNREGA may help avoid grinding poverty, it must encourage the rural folk to venture forth and look at other occupations. For this there must be availability of electricity, good roads and other infrastructure.

Another aspect to development is the provision of essential infrastructure and services so that citizens can lead a productive life. It starts with direct intervention to provide effective health care, sanitation and a quantum improvement in primary and secondary education. A third aspect relates to finding the financial resources. The current growth model, which has come under severe criticism, has a vital role to play. Urban India is the cash cow that will fund development in the hinterland.

K. Anand,

Bangalore

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