also mentions some of the strategies for development
adopted by certain countries. The manner in
which Japanese cars penetrated the American
and European market is highly instructive,
though perhaps only a rigorously disciplined
people like the Japanese could have achieved
it. Of more relevance perhaps is Indonesia's
Indonesian government decided its economic
and social priorities over two decades ago.
These included emphasis on infrastructure
development, particularly literacy and health,
population control, attracting foreign investment
and technology and finally, boosting the Indonesian-owned
private sector. The result has been impressive
economic growth, averaging over six per cent
this rate, within 25 years, Indonesia, which
used to be far behind the US, will be developed
and industrialised. Its poverty and backwardness
are things of the past.
booklet looks at the ground level, which is
equally important. He heads a non-governmental
organisation with the rather unfortunate name
'Drag' (Development and Research Action Group).
Its activities presently centre on what is
really a shanty-town on New Delhi's ridge,
a place called Kusumpur Pahari.
has 40,000 people, a substantial number, almost
all of whom are migrants from various parts
of the country, driven out by the impoverished
countryside and the exploding population growth
and desperate for a livelihood. Drag, like
so many othes, has been trying to find out
how best it can help them.
giving up on income generating schemes and
mahila mandals, it has wisely zeroed in on
highlights some of the dilemmas faced by an
ridge, he points out, is the backyard of the
Kusumpur Pahari residents. It is where they
collect their firewood, cut down trees for
their shelter, get their clay for their huts
and where they graze their goats. But they
are also destroying one of the last open spaces
of Delhi, something which makes environmentalists
is the way out? He gives the answer; politics
that generates jobs in the countryside and
keeps our population within manageable limits.
liberalisation and with the state hopefully
interfering less in our everyday lives, NGOs
are going to play a bigger role. Vohra provides
acute insights on how to tackle developmental
issues that are worth pondering over.