Are you aware that there are 6311 Community Development Blocks and 240,561 Gram Panchayats in our country? As per census report, about 72.2 per cent of the population lives in 638,588 villages… and how much do we know about this ‘majority’? Researchers, writers, students, teachers, bloggers, scholars, administrators, planners, tourists, librarians, and even the common man who has an urge to understand the rural realities of this country would be glad to have all forms of details served to him.
Let me tell you that this ‘Survey of Rural India’ comes to you as mammoth 27 crown-sized volumes of text and data weighing 52 kgs. Does the sheer size make you tremble with fear? Well, it took Dr N Seshagiri over 10 years of research and study and these volumes come with maps and coloured illustrations too. But what I liked best is the fact that that the entire content of 27 volumes is also digitally placed in a DVD that comes free with the volumes. This e-book in a DVD is what gives a reader faster and easy access and mobility of a reader doesn’t take him away from vital information at any point of time! To add to this digital advantage is the fact that a dedicated website www.surveyofruralindia.com is also being launched by the publisher. This site will have sample information for all the States of India.
Dr Seshagiri, who is also the Founder Director General, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Government of India, had realised that new challenging demands have emerged calling for more integrated rural information. Access to detailed information is vital to decision-making at all levels. There are sections of people who may want to get to the heart of rural issues and problems through a deeper and a thorough survey of rural India statistics. They need information related to communication, backward region grants fund, forest and reserved forest, annual rainfall, ground water, coastal villages, border villages, administration, education, medical facilities, literacy, reserved classes, irrigation, electricity, distribution of workers – religion & age-wise, data, languages, disabled population, drinking water, agriculture, recreation facilities, listing of important villages, and other areas.
I believe that an informed awareness is the first step to lessen the problems that our rural population faces. The ‘acute shortage of basic facilities such as drinking water, medical support, education infrastructure is still felt in the face of over 27 per cent of rural population who are still facing poverty and essential sustenance.’ This work by Dr Seshagiri is surely going to be a useful tool in the hands of the right people. However, this set of 27 volumes isn’t just heavy in weight, it is priced at Rs 90,000/- which makes it accessible to students and researchers only through its availability in libraries. I also hope our bureaucrats and politicians use all the statistical revelations to plan out major reforms that help rural India smile.
Title: Survey of Rural India
Publisher: Gyan Books Private Limited
Price: Rs.90, 000/-INR for 27 volumes (in 2013)
Written on 22 February 2013
Published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 23 February 2013