- How to bring down the population growth?
- How to enhance the opportunities for employment and jobs?
Let the government announce a program and guidelines for social groups, companies and religious organizations to set up non-profit non-governmental organizations (NGO) that are responsible for the promotion of family planning, health and hygiene, sanitation, women welfare, child care and other related areas.
Let these NGO's be allowed to create physical infrastructure and trained welfare staff organizations under them for the said purpose.
Let them be registered with the government (state or central).
Let them be provided with grants and be allowed to accept donations from the public and also charge nominal service charges for their services from those who can pay.
Let their accounts be fully transparent and in the public domain through their own websites.
Let them be free to plan their action plans and implement them using their staff and volunteers. Let them also be free to appoint their staff and fix their remunerations.
With every RFPC employing at least 10 people, the rural employment generation through this would be 1,000,000 or one million.
Ideally, an RFPC should have about 1000 square meters of land and about 200 sq.m of building space of its own. For any rural area, this would cost on the average the following:
- Land cost : 1000000 @ Rs. 1000/- per sq.m
- Building cost: 2000000 @ Rs. 10,000/- per sq.m
- Other: 1000000
The scope and extent of these RFPCs could be further extended to include other developmental activities as well.
Now from where this money would come? Some years ago, the government of India began the Local Area Development (LAD) Scheme for the members of the parliament (MP) called the MPLADS. As per this scheme, every MP has been given a budgetary allocation of Rs.50 million per year to be spent on any scheme of his or her choice in their respective localities or constituencies. There are 776 MPs in India. In an year, they could get 776 x 50 = Rs. 38800 million as MPLAD.
The members of the state legislative assemblies (MLA) also has their own LAD which is about 20 million per year. There are about 4120 MLAs in India. Their total allocation potential is 4120 x 20 = Rs. 82400 million per year.
Both MP and MLAs together have been provided with 38800+82400 = Rs.121200 million per year of fund to be spend for their area development. For total cost for a sustainable RFPC as mentioned earlier which will give permanent employment to 10 rural people would be 50 million. Thus, the MPs and MLAs can either fund 30000 RFPCs in an year with regard to their infrastructure and finance all the RFPCs in about three year' time. They can also part finance the initial recurring costs till they become capable of self sustainable with regard to their own generation of funds through various means.
As I have mentioned, the funds to set up and run these RFPCs can also come from other sources, such as the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of the companies, transfer from surplus funded educational societies, individuals, etc.
What is essential is the policy and the statutory guidance of the government. The policies and the guidelines should not be too stringent in which case those volunteering to make it would find it a headache. On the other hand, it should not be a platform for some people to pilferage public money without proper accountability. The government could also consider the NGOs as purely non-profit and exempt their incomes from income tax and service taxes.
Such an initiative not only creates more than one million rural jobs, but also helps substantially in making the rural masses the necessary guidance in a variety of much needed actions such as:
- Awareness for population control
- Extending family planning facilities
- Awareness on public health and disease control
- Awareness creation for sanitation
- Program implementation for sanitation
- Program implementation for drinking water
- Program implementation for rural area pollution control
- Program implementation for non-conventional energy use
- Program implementation for composting and bio-gas production
- Rural self employment generation
- Rural road development
- Adult literacy enhancement and informal education
- Agricultural product sourcing and marketing, etc