Back to the Roots!

Back to the Roots!

Back to the Roots!

Rahul Bhandari, IAS

Large scale rural to urban migration is putting an added pressure on countries that are already suffering severely from population explosion. The world is still grappling with the problem of a wide influx of illegal immigrants, and meanwhile, resources and opportunities seem pooled into places that are infrastructurally more developed. Lack of opportunities in rural areas has been a topic of lengthy discussions and the think-tanks all around the globe have tried to come up with immediate solutions to this problem. And surprisingly, what emerged, look like empowering factors for people belonging to rural communities. 

Small Scale Business Holds the Key

In India, small scale businesses like making Incense Sticks or candles have caught the bigger eye with the expansion of the olfactory industry. They are not just a tradition used in religious and social gatherings, but their uses have expanded into the idea of organic and better aromatic experiences at home, as well as made its way into the aesthetic market of consumption. The biggest advantage lies in the fact that the low cost of capital investment makes it a widely acceptable means of livelihood. The story of the world-famous banana wafers from Kerala became a thriving business that caught attention of the localities, especially homemakers in remote locations who were able to sell the chips to big market players like Walmart. Today, the Kerala chips market’s worth has reached close to a whooping Rs.600 crore business. Initiatives like these give more power to marginalised communities and ensure not just financial stability but promote sustainable living as well.

Alternatives of Plastic

With large scale spread of awareness regarding climate change, people have started rethinking alternatives of plastic, and the government in many countries have helped by banning the use of plastic altogether. In such a case, manufacturing jute bags and other items made of jute that can replace plastic, is a proliferating business idea in today’s date, and is only expected to grow further in future. Eastern parts of the country like West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa indulge in large scale cultivation of jute. The fact that their contribution to the GDP of the country is lesser than other states shows the plight of migration from rural villages to as far as the capital. Revival of the Jute industry and its rising demand in the current context has led the rural population to slowly move towards a more independent form of lifestyle. Plus, the feasibility of weaving a jute bag in one’s own home cannot be questioned, and has already remained a part of traditional values in the east. Why not make money out of it?

If the base of India is its rural population, they need to feel equally empowered as the rest of the country. When people living on the fringes feel provided for, the concept of ‘going back to the roots’ suddenly makes more sense, doesn’t it?

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