Bhaskar Kumar Kakati
Dr APJ Centre for Policy Research and Analysis
Indian Institute of Management Shillong
Umsawli, Shillong-793018, Meghalaya (India)
Sustainability is one of the pre-conditions for development in the post-world war period. The primary objective of sustainability is to achieve the present needs without disturbing the ability of subsequent generations to meet their needs. Therefore, one of the world’s priorities is developing a blueprint to achieve sustainable development for all to have no hunger, unemployment, and no ecological disturbances. Gram Swaraj or Village Swaraj is a unique idea proposed by Mahatma Gandhi to achieve a self-reliant village as most people in India live in the village. The objective of Gram Swaraj is to address various development issues of rural areas. One of the significant attributes of Gram Swaraj is the village industry, as Gandhi believed that the village industry has the potential to employ a large section of rural society. Scholars and development planers considered Gram Swaraj as one of the important models for rural development. However, after independence, the policymakers emphasised more on economic growth than the moral and ethical value, which is the backbone of Gram Swaraj. With the outbreak of Covid-19, it became the prime concern for development planners to search for alternative development models to cope with economic challenges, basically unemployment. In such a context, this study attempts to understand the relevance of Gram Swaraj in the study of rural industries.
Key Words: Self-Reliant, Unemployment, Rural industries, Migration, Covid-19.