The soul of India lives in its villages - Mahatma Gandhi

Government of India, under the energetic & innovative leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is working on Smart cities program which is good initiative.

69% of India’s population lives in villages. They youth migrate to cities in search of work as there are no or less opportunities for employment in villages. They leave a good quality life of villages for a poor quality of life in cities. This leads to slums & poor hygienic conditions of life for them in cities. We need to stop this migration from villages to cities. For this we need to create work opportunities in villages.

During the mentor on road drive in USA to 35 states & 35 cities, driving 16,000+ kms in 78 days, Jagat Shah, the mentor met 1500+ Indian American diaspora and presented to them “New India 3.0” which included a project of smart villages. The approach is to motivate Indian diaspora living abroad to adopt their home villages in India and we will convert it into a smart village in 1000 days. How will we do that ?

First we submit a secondary research report on the “As is situation” of the village on 70 parameters of village benchmark:

Based on this report, we expect the village adopter from abroad ro give us three days of their time whenever they visit India. During these three days, in their presence, we will conduct a primary survey of children, youth, middle aged men & women and elderly people in the village to find out their pain points in the village which they wish to change. This will be done through separate questionnaires which we have prepared for each category of people. These surveys will be conducted by school and college children living in & around the village. This will be a practical learning for the children / youth who conduct these interviews and in every problem of the society, lies a business model. So it Is expected that some of these youth will start a business to solve the pain points of the village, thereby creating employment in village itself.

We want the overseas adopter to be present during the primary survey son that they can first hand feel the pain points of the village. Besides, we expect the overseas adopters to suggest technology based solutions to the pain points and we look forward to their knowledge, experience, talent, networks, access & experience of technology and most importantly - their honestly.

Based on the pain points identified, we shall devise an action plan to solve them, one by one through a special purpose vehicle ( SPV ) company which we will set up in the village, which will be advised by the overseas adopter. Those issues will be solved first which majority of village call as a pain point. This way it will be a bottom - up approach to development.

The big question Is where will the money come from?

We will tap resources of private & public sector corporate social responsibility ( CSR ) funding, overseas development agency funding, personal social responsibility ( PSR ), funds from central government, state government, municipal corporation, panchayat & MLA / MP funds.

Every three months the activities will be monitored for impact assessment.

We are glad to share that so far 62 villages have been adopted from Indian Americans in USA all over India in 19 states and we have already submitted the secondary research reports for 42 of these villages and 12 adopters are expected to visit India in next 2-3 months for the primary survey.

Smart village program launch in Kundrodi - Kutch, Gujarat