Model Village: A Concept Note

1. The Idea of a model village
 

63.37% of our population lives in rural areas (Census 2011). Though the number is expected to fall in the coming years, it is still estimated that more than half of our population would be rural even in 2050. Despite there being several past initiatives by governments at all levels – Central, State and Local – in the past, the level of improvement has not kept pace with the rising aspirations among Bangladeshis. On most development parameters, there is still a significant gap between rural and urban, as the table below illustrates:

One reason for the failure of rural development schemes has been the lack of a holistic focus on the village as a unit. Separate flagship schemes targeting different sectors such as health, education, and livelihood have been launched in the past but met with limited success. The “Model Village” concept could address these challenges comprehensively. It can address resource deficits in each of these sectors, with adequate focus on the special needs of every village.

 

The idea of a model village has been explored because of the acute unemployment rate. In Bangladesh, people are not getting quality education due to poverty and insufficient services.  As a result, people are more likely to migrate in urban areas in search of work and most of them are unskilled. On the other hand, people from rural areas are not that much aware of their health, nutrition so they are facing very adverse impacts on their health which ultimately has aa negative impact on our national economy as well as production. Especially those children who are born with disabilities or some neurological problems are left behind in the society as a burden.

 

The model village tends to address and minimize all those problems existing in society by taking some initiatives and interventions in terms of fulfilling some of the SDG goals. The model village aims to create a school-based development program by which it will create very strong skill-based knowledge among the students from the very beginning of their childhood in order to contribute to our economy. In addition, the rest of the family members of the child would be self-sufficient through various training and awareness training so that they can play a positive role in the economy of this country.

2.  Objectives

A model village project has the following important objectives:

  • Prevent distress migration from rural to urban areas, which is a common phenomenon in Bangladesh’s villages due to lack of opportunities and facilities that guarantee a decent standard of living.

  • Make the model village a “hub” that could attract resources for the development of other villages in its vicinity.

  • Provide easier, faster and cheaper access to urban markets for agricultural produce or other marketable commodities produced in such villages

  • Contribute towards social empowerment by engaging all sections of the community in the task of village development.

  • Create and sustain a culture of cooperative living for inclusive and rapid development.

An intervention under one of these areas could have an effect across other areas as well. For example, technology could be used to improve the quality and delivery of other services such as health and education, which in turn contributes to sustainable development. Similarly, the use of renewable energy, apart from meeting energy needs, also contributes towards environmental sustainability. Village tree plantation drives could encourage community participation, benefit the environment, prevent soil erosion and benefit agriculture, conserve water, and finally contribute to the aesthetics of the village. A number of these initiatives have already been taken in different parts of the country, but most of them have been attempted in isolation. The urgent need is to bring about a convergence of all such initiatives, for which 2 things would be essential – a) grassroots level planning; and b) mobilization of resources.

4.  Resources

There are 3 primary resource streams which can be utilized for this purpose:

  • Funds under existing schemes across different sectors such as health, education, skill development, livelihood etc could be utilized, and based on the specific demands of the village; resources could be channelized into the development of the village.

  • Construction of high quality, sustainable assets such as school buildings, hospitals, and school kitchens for Mid-Day meals and the construction of toilets in schools and homes, particularly for girls.

  • Self-help groups, who are eligible for subsidized loans under various Central and State government initiatives

 

 

5.  Features of the model village

 

  • Health facilities for deprived community

    • Medical camp

    • Ambulance service

    • Mental health corner

    • Pre/Post maternal health and awareness campaign

    • Wheelchair for disable community

  • Poverty Alleviation & Unemployment eradication

    • Job creation

    • Women entrepreneurship

    • Technical and skill-based training

  • Disable rehabilitation and Income generating approaches

    • Skill-based training (Accessories training, Handcraft training, Cooking training, Crosscutting training)

    • Capacity building

    • Market-driven ICT training

  • School-based development and Training

    • Quality education

    • Innovation and science project showcasing

    • Soft-skill development training

    • Women parliament

    • Autism and NTDD service corner

    • Mental and psychological counselling

    • Self-defence training for girls

  • Climate change combat

    • Tree plantation

    • Climate change awareness program

    • Response in Pre/Post-disaster situation

    • Medicine tree plantation

    • Rain-water harvesting model

  • Hygiene, sanitation and pure water 

    • Sustainable toilet

    • Hygiene awareness program

    • Pure water reservation strategy

    • Wash Program

©2018 by KERNEL Foundation