I was born in a rural village of Madhya Pradesh, when Madhya Pradesh was at its growing stage. Those days are milestone for today’s Madhya Pradesh, which is almost on the track of change. Presently, Madhya Pradesh is tenth largest state by GDP is being hailed as a rising economic state in India. However, given its poor records in poverty eradication, human development indicators and inclusive growth, it has yet to go a long way to achieve its brand reputation among Indian states. As I born and bought up in Madhya Pradesh, I travel the length and breadth of the state right from Gwalior to Pachmarhi and Jhabua to Sidhi. As a resident of Madhya Pradesh, I know the pulse of the people, government and the politics of Madhya Pradesh. After its establishment on 01 Nov 1956, many governments came in power and did what they can do to change the situation of the state. Though change can be seen right from the establishment of the state but the dramatic changes which I experienced in the last decade is unimaginable. The changes come from and across all the major sectors which may be considered as underdeveloped till now. Health, Education, Infrastructure, Agriculture and Investments are the major areas of concerns now-a-days, which grown with the unexpected rate during the decade. But some areas are still underdeveloped or I can say that undermanaged, which government needs to take care immediately. Now, consider the example that the number of people below poverty line is 38 per cent of the people in Madhya Pradesh. They are leading their lives below the poverty line officially. Actually this number is as much as 60 per cent of the population. Despite of the fact that many talks about development and even the big companies like Reliance Industries set up industries here and earn profit, it does not actually benefit the poor of the state. We are hiding the poor status of a large chunk of the society and despite a number of developmental activities; their benefits have not reached the poor. This is just an example to elaborate the things which are still hidden in terms of development and government need to think of these areas if they want to pick the momentum for
growth in terms of safe, secure and a comfortable life for a common man.
If I remember correctly…???
Though, we are the second largest state by area in the country and seventh largest state by population with 5.87% population, we are still lacking behind some other states and even some of the small countries (rated below Ethiopia and Chad in terms of poverty). I can remind my past moments with a little bit of pressure on my memory. I use to travel in a bus and it took almost 3 hours to travel a distance of around 22 Km. I use to go to district hospital for a small body check up or some general medicine. I saw children to go to school to some nearby town/district by bicycle/bus. I saw farmers to go to district market to buy a small thing which is necessary for their daily work life. But now situation is very different. Madhya Pradesh grown up with more than unexpected rate in some areas but still we need to look in to uncovered areas which may be a reason for undermine the value and the status of the state. Madhya Pradesh did a great job in terms of development in some core sectors. These core sectors include Infrastructure, Health, Investments, Agriculture and Telecommunication, to name just a few. Now-a-days, people are able to enjoy the basic amenities which an “aam-aadmi” has a right to do.
This decade (2001-2010) is a catalyst for growth of Madhya Pradesh in terms of size and numbers. We can see the drastically improvement in road transport network with a 4670 Km of national highways right after UP, Rajasthan and Tamilnadu. If we talk about the installed power capacity in the state, which is the seventh largest state in terms of installed capacity with 6780.01 mt. We can see the unimaginable GDP growth rate from 2000-01 to 2006-07 which is -1.16 to 10.21 respectively. Recently, Madhya Pradesh stands eighth in literacy with 76.5% according to National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which is released on 11 Oct 2007. We are eleventh in terms of tax revenue contribution of 127,222 crore Rs. The state has five domestic airports located at Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Khajuraho. Air strips are located at Ujjain, Khandwa and Satna. Flights are operated by Indian Airlines and Air Decca among others. Indore is proposed to become an International Airport by 2010. In terms of higher education, we have prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior. We also grown in tourism sector, because of natural location which is continuously attract the tourists both from the county and from the abroad. Tourism has a huge potential in Madhya Pradesh and it is also a huge source of government revenue. It is also proved a milestone for attracting a large sum of FDI in the sector. These are some changes which somebody cannot imagine with such a short period of time. There are some immense changes in living standard and people’s thoughts. Government after 2001-02, did a great job till now and I hope that they will continue it. The way of doing the work by the present government is really admired by the people of Madhya Pradesh. One thing which I should accept from the current CM of the state is that “If you want to initialize the change, you have to be a strategist in thinking and aggressive in nature”. Present CM proved himself a catalyst for the Madhya Pradesh in general and for the people of the state in particular.
The Challenges Ahead…???
We did an unimaginable work till now but unfortunately there are still some of the areas which we should look in to. The big challenge in front of the present government is to clean the system from corruption which is a hurdle to implementing the government policies. And the cleaning process should begin at the top by drastically reforming the electoral system. Excessive, illegal and illegitimate expenditure on the elections is the root cause of corruption. Fighting corruption and cleaning the prevailing mess should receive top priority if government is to realize its goal of inclusive growth and poverty eradication to create a new 21st century Madhya Pradesh, which is like a dream for the people of the state. Though, current CM proved himself by doing things in a straight forward way, but still corruption is an issue which is to be watch in near future. Till now, Madhya Pradesh did a great job of changing the face by facing the change. We grown almost from the ground up to some level till now but still we need to take care of some major issues which are undermined or we can say that underdeveloped yet. The way of doing work should be continue like this without any interruption. Some major events left a solid mark on the clean image of the state like Bhopal gas tragedy etc. Another side of the coin is to implement NREGA, Right to Information Act and Right to Education Act is also a big challenge for the government to ensure the transparency and to improve the literacy rate respectively. Government needs not to be over confidence that they did a lot till now but we need to focus on the weak sections of the society if government really want to establish an identity among all states. If we analyze the ranking of our state in terms of electrification which stood on eighteenth with 71.4%, which is not a good signal for our dream and developed Madhya Pradesh. Again, if we look in to the ranking of the state in terms of fertility rate, which is 3.1 and we are at thirteenth position among all states, which is not a good sign. In underweight people ranking, we are at second and fifth with 36.3% male and 40.1% of females respectively. Our population is growing with an average rate of 67% means we will be the state of highest population in near future. Our birth rate is 28 which is far ahead than India average 22.8. If we look in to HIV awareness ranking, we are at twenty-six and twenty-four with 68% males and 45% females respectively. These are some of the worst ranks for the state. Government should look in to some major issue to develop a dream Madhya Pradesh like to expand the banking and insurance services in rural areas, farmer’s education on agriculture, women’s literacy, girl child education, poverty, school education, electricity, industrialization. Government should make people competent enough to be emerging as a leader and most successful state in country. I hope that present government will do some magic to prove themselves as a strategist leader among all states.