dated October 14, 1953: India Must Nurture Her Villages

The Times of London observed that every reformer in India who wished to improve the lot of the masses had to turn to the villages than to the towns and cities, for four out of every five Indians inhabited villages and lived on the land. Gandhiji who drove home the lesson had taught that nothing would really go right with India until the villager in his hundreds of millions could be rescued from the handicaps imposed upon him by low productivity, seasonal unemployment, poor communications and ignorance of hygiene.

The Times went on: "The present Government of India's community development programme, of which the report of the first nine months working was recently published, represents the scientific application of Gandhiji's ideas on a nation-wide scale, backed by the resources of the Central and State Governments. It will take at least 10 years to cover the whole country; but the progress made since last October warrants the hope that the idea behind the scheme — that of encouraging the villager by official help and trained leadership to improve his lot for himself-is practicable."

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