The process of development followed in India has resulted in lop-sided spatial development along with a rural-urban divide which has led to large scale migration and rural poverty- induced urbanisation. We thus witness rural areas, without basic infrastructure or amenities, stripped of their capacities to provide decent livelihoods to the people on the one hand and overburdened urban areas with growing slums where the urban poor live in dismal conditions.
Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS) New Delhi undertook a research study in order to develop a framework for integrated district development and planning, called the Samarth Zilla framework that uses a regional approach. It borrows substantially from Sustainability Livelihoods Framework (SLF) so far as to include five types of capital (i.e. Natural, Human, Social, Physical, and Financial) and the constraints by which these five types of capital are bound. (For an overview, please refer to RGICS, Policy Watch Vol. VIII Issue 6.).
The Samarth Zilla framework aims at building an institutional eco-system to make the district more capable (Samarth) of providing decent livelihoods and a good quality of life to its inhabitants.
The study was undertaken in two districts each in eight states viz. J&K, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Assam and Tamil Nadu. Two districts selected for study in Chhattisgarh were Bastar and Bilaspur.
The reports of the study will be available on this page. To begin with, we are sharing the reports from our study on People’s Plan for a Samarth Bastar.