An essay on life in an Indian village.
During the British rule the Indian villages were practically neglected. The then Government did not care to improve the condition of the villages. But things have changed since the independence of India. Our National Government is trying to improve the condition of the villages. These are now getting some advantages of town-life.
Different classes of villagers
There are generally three classes of people in a village. There are some rich people. Their number is few. There are middle class people. Lastly, there are the poor laboring classes.
Their mode of life
The rich people have not to work hard. Some of them are big land-owners. They have got hired labourers to till their land and reap the harvest for them. Some lend money to cultivators and other needy people at a high rate of interest. They have great influence over the poor people. They settle their disputes. Many rich people like flattery. So they have flatterers to please them. These rich people are ease-loving. They have not much work to do. They get up late in the morning. After lunch, they enjoy a nap. In the afternoon they generally spend their time by playing at cards, dice, chess, etc. Some are fond of angling in their big ponds to catch fish.
The middle-class people have some education. They earn their livelihood by holding service, carrying on business or independent profession. These people are the back-bone of the village. They are in touch with the town-life. They take leading parts in all movements for the uplift of the village. But a good many middle-class people are unemployed. They depend on the income of their relatives. Some middle-class young people are members of the village club. They arrange games and entertainments like dramatic performances. They also indulge in village politics.
The poor laboring classes consist of cultivators, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, potters, fishermen and small traders. They work hard to earn their bread. They live in thatched huts. They are ill-fed and ill-clad. Most of them are illiterate.
The women folk
Some young women of the rich and middle class families have now received some education in local primary or high schools. But elderly women are generally illiterate. The women of the poor laboring classes are illiterate. These women spend their time in doing household work. Sometimes they help the labourers in their work. The bathing ghat is a meeting place of the women. They go there for bathing and drawing water in pitchers. There they indulge in all sorts of idle talks. Sometimes they speak ill of others in their absence.
Some villagers have no touch with town life. Their ideas are narrow. Some of them are selfish. They quarrel with their neighbours on small affairs. Villagers are generally poor. In one respect they are happy. They enjoy the natural beauty of the village. Their life is peaceful. There is no din and bustle of the town in the villages. The air is pure. They get fresh fish, milk and vegetables. They are generally contented with their sad lot.
But the sanitary conditions of the villages are not good. There is want of pure drinking water. Epidemic diseases often break out. There are some tube-wells. But they cannot meet the need of all the villagers. Attempts are, however, being made to uplift the villages.