Hyderabad: An investment of Rs 24 lakh in the steel sector will generate only one job, but an investment of Rs 1 lakh in the textile industry will generate 24 jobs, according to Varun Gandhi, the BJP MP from Sultanpur.
Mr Gandhi was speaking during the launch of his book A Rural Manifesto: Realising India’s future through her villages in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The central theme of the book is that India needs to concentrate more on its villages and to achieve reverse migration from urban areas to rural areas.
Mr Gandhi said he wrote the book because he wants to influence government policy. “If you help one person or if you help 5,000 persons, it is equivalent to a drop in the ocean. The only way to help or influence four or five million people is through government policy. Though the solutions in this book I want to influence government policy,” he said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle later, the great grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru said, “This book is about the 67 per cent rural population that lives in villages. This book is about solutions to problems people in villages are facing. Now villages are not viable economic units any more — they are collapsing almost into nothing. They are sucked into the expanding cities. Through this book I want to make people understand how we can make villages a viable, interdependent economic structure.”
Citing an example, Mr Gandhi said, “Our country about 500 years ago had the highest GDP in the world. It was higher because we were the leaders in the textiles industry, which was 44 per cent of GDP. At present, the textile industry contributes under two per cent to the GDP. For every one per cent increase in textiles as a percentage of GDP, 27 million jobs will be generated.” He pointed out that the inequality among our people can be assessed through the use of water.
Three districts, namely Mumbai, Pune and Thane in Maharashtra, use 60 per cent of the water meant for 36 districts; 40 per cent of the water is used in the remaining 33 districts.
The water consumption of the top 10 per cent of the richest people in the village is 30 times more than the 10 per cent of the poorest people in the village.
“The book is about your future and my future. Take the example of a major city like Delhi where around 5,000 new people come to live every day. But there are no jobs or homes for them. Eventually, they end up with deteriorating health as they live in subhuman conditions. Their children are deprived of basic hum-an necessities. Though they lived in the village in a dignified way, after coming to cities they lead a life of indignity. If we give them a sustainable life in the village, they will not come to the cities. If we don’t make villages economically viable units our collective futures are going to be in danger,” he explained.
Mr Gandhi was depressed by the large number of farmer suicides in the country and started an economic movement that would understand the reason for the suicides. They have identified 4872 farmers in 22 districts and prepared individual plans for each one of them....