IAS (Admin.) IAS Mains Essay: Questions 1 of 180

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People՚s Participation: The Key to Sustainable Development

Explanation

Sustainable development refers to the development that meets the needs of the present generations – of all sectors of economy and all sections of society, without compromising on the ability of all the generations to come, to do so. It is the ideal state of balance between preservation and productivity; ecology and economy; and present and future. Development, the benefits of which reach every single individual is sustainable. And for this, the benefits to reach the masses, participation of the masses is a must. So people՚s participation is the key to sustainable development.

Many of the developmental projects have turned to a fiasco, either getting doomed or banded or achieving meager results, and all because it did not involve the masses in the planning and implementation stage. Government ignored people՚s participation, and people ignored government՚s representation. They largely remained apathetic or antipathetic to government՚s programmes. So, all our planning results stand testimony to the fact that people՚s participation is the key to nay successful developmental project.

We are passing through an age of severe ecological, social and cultural crisis. The political systems and the economic direction is being frequently questioned. All this is just a manifestation of the long years isolation of the masses and the in-result frustration. The need of the age, then, is People՚s participation.

Our ecological crisis ranges from issue of availability of clean water, green forests and clean air for the humans, animals and every other being.

Our clean water-resources are dwindluing under the pressure of large population and unmindful exploitation. Our rivers are turning to sewage lines. We stated with programmes as Ganga Action Plan, Yamuna Action Plan etc, but met with immense failure. People՚s effort at watershed management and preserving every drop of rain water is needed. And for this, the age old techniques used by cleaning any river are not a task humanly possible by a department or a ministry. Only when people become aware of the problem, stop further polluting the rivers and clean up the already created mess, can rivers spring back to life. Treatment of waste water at the source before being passed on to the rivers is again possible only with each individual participating.

For preventing air pollution, all of government՚s rules have failed. Only aware people united against unscrupulous industrialists and others, can completely stop air pollution.

Movements of the order of chipko ‘movement’ are needed again, and not only for trees but for all facets of ecology.

Plush forest, clean water and pure air would in turn bring back to life much biodiversity. Wildlife habitat would stand protected and promoted. And all this is possible only through people՚s participation.

So that we cherish our environment to the utmost, and pass on a utter earth than we inherited, the only need is people՚s participation.

All our attempts at privatization, further prove that it՚s high time the government withdrew and let the people take over. Development of entrepreneurship skill is the only way to economic prosperity of any nation, and it is nothing other than people՚s participation.

In all sectors of economy agriculture, industry, tertiary, it was people՚s action which created the magic. The soulful participation of Punjab farmers during Green Revolution in India , or the entrepreneurship of the masses during Industrial Revolution (in Britain) , all stand to vouch for the same.

These ‘revolutions’ produced their share of ill-effects, but even these can be rectified only by mass awareness and participation. So people՚s participation is the key to large-scale economic development.

Even the development of political system and the freedom from political evils is subject to the extent of people՚s participation. There can be no better example for it than our struggle for independence. It was an out and out people՚s movement.

Even democracy exists till date only because it involves the people after every few years in the process of election. Still a number of evils divide our polity. Their eradication also lies subjected to people՚s participation. The evils or corruption and insensitive administration can only be taken care of by ensuring more and more of people՚s involvement.

Democracy needs to start at the roots-at the level of local self government and even below that for the mission of a strong and vibrant nation.

Even issues like terrorism insurgency can be solved only through people՚s participation. It arose because we neglected the needs and wishes of our people and even its solution lies in addressing the wishes of the people. Thus people՚s participation becomes imminent for a peaceful nation.

People՚s participation is thus the only key to sustainable political development of a nation.

Further, no political development is possible without concomitant social development. And social development can never be brought about by isolated government action. People՚s participation is the only way.

Be it ′ programmes for literacy, or controlling population growth rate; issue of female literacy and empowerment or the inhuman superstition practices, the only solution ever possible is through people ′ s participation. In all such areas and others, whatever success we achieved have been because of mass involvement, and what remains, can also be accomplished only the same way.

The social stigma attached with caste stratification or the evil consequences of the religious disunity all can be done away with, by leaving the people to their own. Left to them, and not instigated by leaders with selfish motives, masses would only spread love and affection, care and empathy. Just being left to themselves, all the differences will we dissolved and people would form a composite whole beyond all distinctions.

The issue of lopsided regional development also finds its cure in people՚s participation. The largely under-developed regions have remained so, among other reasons, also because of lack of involvement of people. Development of each region as per its own potential is the way out and it is possible only through people՚s participation.

Higher levels of people՚s participation further ensures strengthening of culture-keeping to one՚s own culture and adding on the positives of other, and thus strengthening of moral and social set up.

So sustainable social development would only remain an illusion, if it is not from the people themselves.

Moreover, the pertinent questions, development for whom, if it is not for the people՚s? and for the people, development cannot be through programmes and policies chalked out by officials sitting in secluded cabins oblivious of the problems and prospects of the masses. So, whether any project would succeed or not, and to what extent, depends only upon the extent of people՚s participation therein.

All these however doesn՚t nullify government՚s role. Government should act as a facilitator, creating support structure, necessary infrastructure and regulating laws. It should focus its energy on defence, science and technology, research and development and the facilitating mechanisms. Most of all, it should try in every way to remove the hurdles to people՚s involvement in all the projects and plans.

Only such an action-people՚s participation to the maximum, can ensure undreamt of prosperity for each individual, ecology in it՚s purest form. Pristine clear water in rivers flowing in wide catchments areas, wide plush forests, clear air and richest biodiversity for the ecology; a society free of evils of corruption, crime, racial or religious strife would be readily available through people՚s movement.

There would be food for every mouth, work for every hand, love in every heart and a spark in every mind. Strong people forming strong societies, strong societies forming strong nations and strong nations causing an IDEAL WORLD ORDER will be the truth of the day then.