HYDERABAD: While there is ‘fantastic’ growth in the economy, India is still plagued with poverty, joblessness and a poor health and education system. This is because leaders are working only to favour the rich and the minorities are being alienated from the idea of India. This will change only when there is a brown revolution, said Vithal Rajan, writer and political economist. He stated that revival of the agricultural sector will strengthen the country.
Rajan was delivering the first endowment lecture on the T Hanumantha Rao ’s critical contribution to the future of India at the Institute of Engineers in the city on Thursday. Rao, who passed away in 2017 was an irrigation engineer and among other things known for creating the four waters concept. It talks about optimal utilisation and storage of rainwater, soil moisture up to the water table level, ground water and surface water. “This method comes to the aid of farmers, who belong to the rural part of India, and they need to be empowered. However, leaders have been working only for the rich,” said Rajan, who was closely associated with Rao.
He said that Rao’s four water concept was not just a technical solution to strengthen the water system, but also the integration of several departments, at various levels. “The key is to focus on rural poverty, in which bulk of Indians live. We also need to focus on their lands and their property. Farmer groups need to be empowered and given the power to take their own decisions,” said Rajan.
We need to think about farmers groups which would get access to banks and also to the markets. There need to be connected to the markets too, added Rajan. He pointed out that the farming systems approach has been long neglected in this country. “Rao has also advised several governments worldwide and I hope that he will be remembered for his valuable contribution,” Rajan concluded.