Gandhiji had it right, only, being a lawyer, he didn’t have the right strategic language that would make sense in the context of revenue generation or identifying sources of income. The future of India is literally in her villages, all 550 million of them, under the age of 25. Over 65% of live the rural hinterlands of the country and they cannot all migrate to the cities drawn by the glittering flickering images on their second hand black and white TV’s that run in their village shacks by car batteries and jugaad.
And yet, is it fair that they should be left out of the great social and economic revolution that is taking place in India’s urban sprawls?
Given the infrastructural constraints and the lack of time available, with the opposing maximizing pressures of [raise literacy, income, opportunity, skills] with [wants, needs, consumerism, economic prosperity] because given the environment and the finite geographical resources available, the population constraint is simply immeasurable.
So how do we bring down the transaction cost of every possible service to be delivered to the common man in India, the humble kisan, the aam junta, ‘His’ chosen people?
By using existing techological infrastructure to minimize costs and maximize reach, both in terms of return on investment and social value created.
How best do we bring the best the 21st century has to offer to the villages of India, with the benefits of learning, knowledge and culture in a manner that best fits their needs and yet serves to minimize the effect on the surrounding ecology?
Once we frame the problem correctly, we can begin to envision what I’ve been calling futuregaon, keep the best of the rural life [peace and quiet], while bringing in the best of the urban life [choice and convenience] to their doorstep. It will serve to curb migration, numerous social ills and help with chronic unemployment.
Or so one hopes…
Am I dreaming too hard?