I am just back from a trip to rural Vidarbha, in Maharashtra State where i saw the Development paradigm intertwined with the infrastructure story in full glory. The cinematic narrative of the Dibakar Banerjee film ‘Shanghai’ played out in real life. Pragati or Development seems to have been relegated to the real estate hardware component rather than human development indicators such as education, healthcare access or employment generation. Special Economic Zones are fantastic instruments to jump start economic activity in an area because of the Tax Holidays, but what about the farmers who sells out his land, has a lot of cash to deploy but does not have the knowledge to invest to properly to diversify his livelihood since he knows nothing else apart from the generational vocation of farming.
The issue is’nt whether the Farmer is rich overnight by selling his land to a real estate developer for an IT Park, the catch is whether how he handles the money.
Otherwise he will be back to the streets after squandering the money in Bars and Fancy SUVs after a couple of years. Whether it is Gurgaon or Panvel, the storyline is the same eveywhere.
A DTH Set Top Box at home with bad drinking water in the family well is not the kind of development which is too sustainable. A rethink would certainly help.