Thursday, May 19, 2011

Village is a more representative unit of Indian civilization and culture

A unique project of Sri Aurobindo Society in Rural Development.
Senthil, Chitra and Chiranjeevi

An integral approach to village development which includes the inner growth of people as well as the outer development of the community; with a people-centric inclusive and participatory process of growth; where development programmes and activities are identified, planned, organized and managed by the village community with SARVAM acting only as a catalyst of the development process.
Key Perspectives
Background; the strategic vision; manaveli, a model hamlet: vision in action; village journal & TV; village coordinators & social workers; practices for inner growth.
There are two factors, which make the Indian Village important for the future of India. First is that, the village in India, even now in our modern age, is a more representative unit of Indian civilization and culture than the urban towns and metros, which have become more or less westernized. However we need a more integral approach to Rural Development. The integral view looks at a community not merely as an economic and social unit but as a living human organism with a collective soul, mind and life. In this view the main emphasis is on inner growth of the community, which means mental, moral and spiritual development of the group, through education and yoga but without ignoring or neglecting the outer growth in the economic and social dimension. For, our approach cannot be integral if we ignore the development of the outer life. But the integral ideal is that outer growth has to be a spontaneous expression of the inner growth.
The Strategic Vision
Sri Aurobindo Rural Village Action and Movement (SARVAM), is the Rural Development wing of Sri Aurobindo Society. The SARVAM can be considered as an experimental “action-research” in integral community development. The programme of action is four-fold, covering the following areas:
bullet Physical and economic development using available local materials and technology.
 Development of the family and community, particularly empowerment of women, skills enhancement and entrepreneurship.
 Psychological and cultural development through education and training.
 Spiritual development through the right understanding of religion, spirituality and Yoga, and their role in life.

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