India is a country of village. India cannot progress if her villages fall behind. So, various schemes are under work to improve the rural India. Community Project is one of such schemes.
What community project is:
Community project is an important scheme of the Government of India for the all round development of the Indian villages. This scheme has planned to bring group after group of village under its operation. It is so arranged for immediate want of money.
The beginning of the community project:
The beginning of the community development programme in India can be traced back to 1946. At that time experiments in intensive rural development were carried on at Sevagram at the Sarvodaya centres in Bombay. Such experiments also were done in Madras under the Fiaka Development scheme and at Etawah and Gorakhpur in U.P. under the pilot project. The success of these undertaking encouraged the Planning Commission to prepare a community development programme as an integral part of the first five-year plan. A sum of Rs. 900 millions was provided for its purpose.
Principle behind the community project:
In the pat, Government tried to improve the villages through its departments like Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Co-operation, Health, Education, etc. The private organizations were working in the villages out of philanthropic purpose. But the villagers themselves did not feel any incentive enthusiasm and spirit in these development works. They remained a passive body of spectators to see these operations working in their villages. The community project seeks to make the villagers conscious of their latest productive energies. The project, aims at inculcating in the villagers, new desires, new incentives, new techniques and new confident. For this the villagers will contribute in cash or in voluntary labour to bear a portion of the cost of development. This movement is based on self-help and the active interest and support of the village people. The list of priorities of the projects requiring immediate attention is also drawn up by the villagers themselves. So, community project is not purely official movement. The State provided only the administrative set-up and part of the cost of the organization. The representatives of the villagers are associated with the project at various levels. The panchayats are utilized in the planning as well as in the implementation of the programme.
The main items of the community project:
The main items of the community development programme are :
An increase in agricultural output by every possible means.
Promotion of local handicraft and small scale industries.
Improvement of village communication.
Extension and facilities for primary education, sanitation and recreation in the villages.
Improvement of housing
Strengthening of local institution.
The community project is really a good project. But in Orissa it is not working well, because village panchayats are infested with touts, brokers and self-seekers. It is complained that the block officers have become the cat’s paw in their hands, that the fertilizers and improved seeds are put to black-marketing, that all their actions are based on highway robbery and fearless corruption.