An education has been made free and compulsory

An important factor in the rural health programme is the problem of the lower income of the rural people. Economic distress, the burden of children, superstitious beliefs and practices, the diffi­culty of attracting the medical personnel to the rural areas have further added to the rural health problem. The rural administrative bodies are giving more importance to rural health nowadays. Voluntary associations are also playing a vital role in this regard.

The rural people have started realising the importance of the modern means of medical facilities during the recent years. Intensifi­cation of rural education has been a great help in this regard. Rural Welfare Activities: More than 2/3 of the people of the world still live in villages. Rural welfare activities consti­tute one of the powerful means of promoting the progress of ruralites.

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No nation can afford to ignore rural development and rural welfare. Some of the rural welfare activities are as follows: 1. Rural Education: Rural education is given much importance nowadays.

Kindergartens, nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools, adult education centers are being established even in villages now. Primary education has been made compulsory in some nations. Primary education has been made free and compulsory for the children below 14 years in India. 2.

Rural Economic Development: Economically, the rural people are relatively poorer. Hence, various economic developmental programmes have been undertaken in rural areas. Agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry farming, fishing, rural crafts, cottage industries—and other rural eco­nomic tasks have been given more attention now. In India, through the Community Development Projects and National Extension Services the rural developmental work is taken in hand. The Five- Year Plans have been giving more importance to the rural economic development.

3. Provision of Civic Amenities: The rural communities are also provided with more and more civic facilities today. Transport and communication facilities, educational and medical facili­ties, entertainment facilities have been improved in the villages.

Buses, trucks, taxies, cycles, motor cycles have now reached the village. Men and materials can move from one area to another. Post and telegraph facilities and radio, telephone and television facilities are found in the villages also. Good roads, bridges and railways are connecting the villages with the towns and cities. Electric facility has made the village life more interesting. Modern electric appliances have already reached the villages.

4. Other Welfare Activities: Various projects and schemes have been undertaken to promote the welfare of the children, women, unemployed persons, agricultural labourers and the weaker sections of the village. The unemployed young men are given maintenance allowance and old and needy people are given old-age pension. Various co-operative societies, agricultural banks and vol­untary associations have come in to prevent the exploitation of the weaker sections. Attempts are made to maximise rural agricultural production and to develop the rural cottage industries. Special attention has been paid to take the maximum benefit of the human power.

Rural youths have been encouraged to organise various cultural as well as economic activities. Various voluntary organisations have been working in the rural areas also to develop the right attitudes among the ruralites towards matters such as higher education, family planning, rural sanitation and health, communal harmony, cottage industries, civil rights and duties.


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