Indian is an agriculture country and most of its people live in villages. A village is a collection of small huts in the midst of fields on which the village farmers work. Some villages are big while others are comparatively smaller. They are generally cut off from the cities and have a different kind of life.
The villagers live in the midst of natural surroundings. The charm of nature justify the remark of the famous poet Cowper, “God made the country and man made the town”, As we rise early in the morning, we can listen to the sweet songs of birds. We can enjoy the beauty of the rising sun and the sweet breeze of the greenery of fields around, are the various pleasures that abound in the countryside.
The villagers pass a healthy, peaceful life. There is no smoke and noise of the city factories. They breathe fresh air which promotes their health. They also get pure ghee and milk. There is no hustle and bustle and no worry as in the modern life. The villagers, therefore, are happy and healthy. They lead a simple life and their desires are few. They are satisfied with what they have and never dream of those luxuries and comforts that modern science has provided us with in such ample measure.
Most of the people who live in villages are farmers. They cultivate their farms situated in the neighbored of the villages. They go to their fields early in the morning where they work till evening, ploughing, sowing or reaping, according to seasons. Spinning and weaving is one of the most important cottage industries of a village. It helps to increase their meager income. Beside this, some people keep shops and provided the necessities of life of the villagers. Other works as potters, carpenters, blacksmith, etc, to fulfill their needs.
The villagers are deeply religious. They worship a number of gods and goddesses. They devote regular time to player and worship. The village priest enjoys great respect. But they are highly orthodox and any change is dislike and opposed. Many kinds of superstitions flourish among them. They live in constant fear of ghost. They believe in a number of omens.
The villagers are socially knit together. Their life is co-operate and interdependent. They depend on each other for the supply of their daily wants. They share in the joys and sorrow of each other. They help each other in time of need. Their social sense is so strong that the guest of one is considered as the guest of all. In a town or city, one does not care to know even one’s neighbour. But each villages is familiar with the family history of other villagers. In the evening they assemble in the village “Chopal” with there ‘hukkas’ and chatting and talking goes on till late the night. This is their simple recreation.
But the village life has also some serious drawbacks. The villagers are extremely poor. They live in one roomed “kachcha” mud houses, which often fall to the ground in the rains. In this way, they are put to great hardship. Suitable houses must be constructed for them. At present there are only a few Pucca houses in villages. In spite of their hard work, they are not able to earn enough to provide themselves with even two square meals a day. They are ill-clad and ill-fed. As they are not able to save anything, in a need they have to borrow from the village money lender. They are frequently in debt which they are often never able return. Scientific methods of agriculture must be used, and government should provide facilities of this purpose. There is no doubt that much improvement has been made in this respect in recent times but it is not enough.
The villages are illiterate. Most of them do not even know how to write their names. There are no suitable arrangements for their education or for the education of their children. Even when there is a school, it is highly unsatisfactory. The teachers is ill-paid and takes no interest in his work. Their ignorance makes them superstitious and conservative. They are content with their old methods of cultivation and do not like scientific methods.
In villages, there are no suitable arrangement for treatment of the sick. Often there is no qualified doctor. The village Vaids and Hakims are mere quacks who kill more patients than they cure. The villages are highly in sanitary and many infectious disease breakout from time to time. Thousands of people die every year, uncared for an without any medical aid. However, now things are fast changing. Good hospitals have been constructed near each village. Good, qualified doctors are now there in most villages.
Such is the life in an Indian village. In spite of its various drawbacks, it is a better life than that of the city. If I were given the choice, I would prefer to live in the village. The Government has already taken in hand various measures to improve the conditions of th villages. “Jawahar Rozgar Yojana” and “Panchayati Raj” are two of the important steps taken in this direction. Let us hope, in the near feature, their poverty and illiteracy shall be eradicated. A village will then really by a paradise on earth, as God intended it to be.