Focus On Rural Development

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In an age of globalisation, migration – internal and external – has become common phenomenon. Technology, transportation and trade have broken down the physical barriers of people’s mobility. Nonetheless, migration is connected to social, economic, ethnic, cultural and geographical evolution of human beings since the ancient time. Today civilisation has reached an advanced stage. One factor behind this is: the people are on the move. There has been tendency among the people to shift to a favourable places that ensure secure and happy existence. For example, the Khas Aryan entered Himavatkhanda region more than three millennia ago from the West Asia. They came to the Himalayan nation via the west Nepal in search of viable means and resources for better survival and security. The Great Atlantic Migration, considered the largest migration in modern history, saw over 17 million Europeans migrating into the United States permanently between 1840 and 1910. 

Better economic opportunities and public facilities such as health and education have been primary elements behind the migration. The movements of individuals and families from village to cities are common trend worldwide. Compared to the rural areas, the cities offer many opportunities because the national resources are unevenly concentrated there. Nepal has witnessed the rapid migration of people from rural areas to urban centres. Similarly, thousands of families are leaving to settle abroad permanently. In addition, Nepali workers and students are leaving the country in droves for job and education abroad. After reaching the foreign soils, most of the students prefer to stay there and do not return home for settlement. 

In recent years, many Nepali villages have worn a deserted look. The number of youths are declining drastically. Even growing number of families have migrated to Tarai, abandoning their native places for good and all. This has affected the agriculture production, with fertile lands falling barren. A news report, published in this daily, around 30 families of Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality-2 in Dailekh district have migrated to different places in the southern plains in pursuit of lucrative job and other opportunities. Now there are only seven families left in the village. Abandoned houses are falling apart and the farming lands remain uncultivated. In the absence of employment, the locals prefer to go to Kalapahad to eke out a living. It is not the story of only Bhagwatimai Rural Municipality, the people from all 11 local levels of the district are migrating to other districts and foreign countries. 

The migration trend has happened amidst the efforts of local levels to push the development works in the rural hinterlands. The municipality has conducted various people-centric programmes to generate jobs for the youths. Karnali Province government has adopted a policy that the arable land must not be left barren. But, out of 43,121 hectares of cultivable land in Dailekh, 8,624 hectares is now uncultivated. The fast dwindling of the population has negative repercussions for the composition of demography, economy and culture of the society. The locals have expressed concerns that migration of the people will risk disappearing the diverse cultural practices and traditions. In order to check the migration, the three-tier government should promote balanced and sustainable development, with the facilities of road, health, education, social security and industrial centres. Similarly, the government should give attractive incentives to farmers to enhance production and productivity.

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