RECESS – The Human RO Plant
Although, osmosis is a natural process, in which a semipermeable membrane separates two solutions with different concentrations of a solute, the solvent has a tendency to move from low to high solute concentrations for chemical potential equilibration. In human society, the concentration is all about economics. Low solute concentration is basically low socio-economic conditions and opportunities and similarly, high concentration is bigger & higher opportunities. This semipermeable membrane is the distance, the distance between two economic zones of higher & lower opportunities & amenities. People run from lower opportunities area to higher opportunities area, and that’s natural. These two areas in today’s world are primarily rural & urban.
Now, let’s come to the concept of RO – Reverse Osmosis. Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing a solvent from a region of high solute concentration through a semipermeable membrane to a region of low solute concentration by applying a pressure in excess of the osmotic pressure. The largest and most important application of reverse osmosis is the separation of pure water from seawater.
The question in the case of human beings is to understand, how do we generate that pressure, which is higher than the natural osmotic pressure of leaving a low opportunity area for a higher opportunity area
The answer is to first understand the human nature, value system and affinities, basically a SWOT of human beings, and here we aren’t talking of exceptions, it’s generalized viewpoint. By default, human beings are fun loving, emotional and homesick people, who would love to be at ease and would like to lead a comfortable life, with good amenities for earning, health, education and recreation. If all these are available at their natural habitat, they’ll by and large be contented and wouldn’t like to take pain for moving to another dwelling place with higher opportunities, unless the natural resource for earning, education, health, livelihood, sanitation & recreation deplete to an unsustainable level. Now the above understanding, leads us to the second BIG question of economics. How much it cost to build the infrastructure in the natural habitat of the human beings – the villages. Let’s take India as an example. Why India – is because, for any social survey, the best sampling possible is in India. We get all samples of social-economic, multi cultural diversity here.
The Indian Example
So let’s take a closer look, in India we have about 6,38,000 villages, about 1610 cities and a plan to build 100 smart cities, with a whopping budget of INR 48000 Crores, which means about 480 Crores per city. About 68.84% population is in villages. This means 860500000 people out of a total of 1250000000, reside in villages. Taking an average here, would mean roughly about 1348 people reside in a village. A usual Indian family has 3-5 members, with at least one kid. Taking this as sample figure for academic purpose, what we get is 269 families and about 250-300 kids. Economically, it’ll be exponentially cheap to build a school, a college, a hospital or even a stadium for 1348 people in 269 families, wherein in real estate is in abundance, fresh air, fresh water and all natural amenities are in abundance, compared to a city wherein the population is in millions, structures are already built, all brownfield, air pollution, water pollution, plastic waste is a part of routine life. Real estate cost is skyrocketing, natural resources are depleting, and all costs are very high.
So where’s the catch?
The catch is not the natural resources, but the man-made resources. School, college, hospital, stadium, mall, hotel, all can be built, but the issue would be to make teachers, doctors, lecturers, coaches, engineers, available in the villages to teach, educate, medicate, cure, coach and maintain them. Those who are capable do not want to go to the villages, and those in villages aren’t equipped enough. Those who are from villages and get capable get settled in cities and don’t come back, as the economic opportunities are higher in cities, for the skills they have acquired. But we have a good part as well, India annually produces, 50K MBBS doctors, about 0.7 million medical practitioners in alternative therapies under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and about 1 million engineers per year, as per the details published by various newspapers and government agencies. Annual Survey repot on higher education by MHRD of India says 28.56 million graduates with bachelors degree are produced every year in India from 642 Universities, 34908 colleges and 11356 Stand Alone Institutions across the country. With so much of student power in the country, why should we be wasting them in politics, why not make social entrepreneurs out of them? We have countries with a mandate for all citizen to undergo military training, then we can’t we have a mandate for rural development? At least it isn’t as tough as military training. We have student unions in every college & university, but no avenues for rural rejuvenation in any of them.
Now that means, we have manpower available in abundance, which is skilled and not everyone gets settled with a job by doing graduation. As a matter of fact, there’s a mandate by MCI (Medical Council of India), that every MBBS has to work in rural area for minimum 2 years before attaining a license to practice, its like an internship, but the same isn’t applicable to rest of the streams.
Also, as per the data from DGR (Director General Resettlement) website of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defense, every year 60,000 trained professionals of the Indian Armed Forces, are released / retired at relatively young age of 42. These are trained combat professionals capable in various fields, who can work as life coach for the village community.
And now comes the last mile – the amenities & facilities, for which information technology comes as a savior. In this information age, with advent of Internet, the World has become flat. There are smart phones, broadband, wireless and VSATs to cover the villages for getting connected to the world. The hospitals / primary health care centers can be connected to super specialty hospital via telemedicine, schools & Colleges can have distance education via e-classrooms, cinemas can have movies released over remote telecast, village festivals, performances can be telecasted over YouTube, artisans can have their own e-commerce portals to sell, agri produce could be sold over e-mandis, so on and so forth.So how do we execute this?
Re-establishing Cultural & Economic Self-Sufficiency (RECESS) Program for villages
RECESS, as the name suggests, its taking a break from the rat race or urbanization. It’s a program for vacation from the urban traumatic stressful unhealthy life style. Its rejuvenation of human capital, human values, ethos of humanity, It’s the back to village program. A program to re-establish the self- sustaining rural economy and cultural values.
- Government has to come up with a mandate, for all graduates to serve the villages for minimum 3 years.
- The retirement of all Armed Forces Professionals shall get increased by 3 years and the cadre for last 3 years of service shall be rural development.
- Funds shall be allocated from the MLA & MP local development funds.
- Construction can be done by various PWDs in every state.
- Instead of working in smart cities, we can build smarter villages and the revolution would take over the entire development plan for the country for the grass root levels.
- With an Army man as the project officer, the entire project shall be running in mission mode and the scenario would change in just a few years.
So all is possible, with a little political will, a few mandates and a lot of courage to sail against the tide for a brighter future.