One page Summary of Observations -Khandwa experience as part of IIM Indore's 'MP Darshan'

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We had a memorable experience at Khandwa. Over the 5 days we got to interact with the administrative machinery at the Village and the Taluka Level. We also interacted with the local villagers and the common man of Khandwa town. The experience was insightful, eye opening and extremely enriching. Apart from sensitising us to the basic issues at ground level of ‘Bharat’, it also helped us open ourselves to numerous opportunities that lie in rural India which could not only make a difference to lives of many people but also be profitable at the same time.

As a group our focus was primarily on Agriculture and allied activities, Industries (if any), Health, Education and infrastructure.

What sets this experience apart is the fact that the administration facilitated the whole trip and the easy access to the government officials meant that we had quick access to relevant data and we could present our observations to the people who matter. The ‘Sarpanch’ and the ‘Sachiv’ of every village guided us at every stage to understand the ground situation better and fast. Khandwa has excellent roads and the public private partnership model was used effectively. Also, NREGS , Kapil Dhaara, Ladli Laxmi Yojana and the TSC (Total Sanitation scheme) were the most popular schemes and also the local administration had given a major thrust to it. Kapil Dhaara and NREGS had made a great difference to the villagers’ lives. More than 100 villages had been declared ‘Nirmal’. Our Major observations are:

· Power shortage is the major issue. However, even the available power is not being managed properly (for e.g. uninformed power cuts and supplies) leading to higher irrigation costs.

· Extreme shortage of manpower in both health and education. We came across schools with ratios of 16 teachers for 800 students and 1 doctor for 4260 people in 35 villages

· Lot of families get into the BPL list via unethical means while a lot of people in need of assistance are categorized as APL families .It is a major reason why fights arise at the Panchayat meets and Gram Sabhas as most government funds and schemes are for people in the list

· The ‘Sachiv’ and ‘Sarpanch’ of most villages were highly respected and revered. Generally, people considered them honest. A lot of village Panchayats were getting elected unopposed

· Deforestation is major issue. The collector hopes to tackle it through Self-help groups (SHGs) who shall prevent cutting of trees planted in their area under the NREGS scheme

· Farmers are very creative in a lot of regions and some of them adopt rapidly the technology suggested by the Agricultural department officials

· No industries due to deficit in raw materials, power and water. The government hopes to solve the last 2 aspects soon

· 2 more thermal power plants of 1600Mw capacity to be set up in 5 years by Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company (MPPGCL)

- Ankit Doshi , IIM Indore, Batch of 09-11