70 percent of the people in India live in villages. People are trying to migrate to cities but village life is still important. It is hard to say which lifestyle is better. There are good and bad things about living and working in a village in India.
Value of Education
Many children do get access to quality education. Besides the classroom imparted lessons, children usually do not know or do not have access to libraries, knowledge centers, and the internet. Many villages in India do not have a school, but some of them who do. Villages that have a school take pride in it, and value it. Living in a village and after learning about rural education systems, you will be glad that you went to a good school, had access to knowledge, and had great teachers.
Village school at budubalu
People of the village love having guests, and treat you with respect. They like having outsiders, and usually you are more than welcome to teach them your ways, and learn their ways. When an outsider needs help they go out of their way to help them. They are more than happy to share their stories, and listen to yours.
Transportation has improved in villages in India, and is well connected to major towns most times. However, there is little traffic, no access to proper transportation. Some villages are farther to major town. So most people walk few kilometers to work. Every other activity in a village, namely gardening, farming, woodcutting, logistics is done using human power. So people do not need to enlist in the gyms. So people in the village get lot more exercise than people in the city. You also take fresh in fresh air than polluted city air.
Kumbara – the village potter
Villages are Safer
Crimes, polluted air, road accidents make city not as safe as villages which have little or none of it. There is theft, and other crimes. A village has a sense of community, and people are ready to help each other. People living in cities are vulnerable to spread of a major disease, and often get lifestyle diseases. These things are less possible in villages.
View from one of the villages
A city life is always busy. People are always in a hurry, and often get stressed for various reasons which contribute to sedentary lifestyle. The vehicles in the city, the construction activity contribute to the noise pollution and bad quality of air. People in the village sleep peacefully because there is no noises connected to traffic, or construction activity. Only noise you are irritated about are the dogs howling at the moon. You also spend less in a village than in a city. Villagers do not dream of riches, but a simple life.
Having said these, Indian villages have some disadvantages. Some of the downsides are:
There are only few doctors practicing in the village. Some villages do not have a health clinic. People need to travel to a major city, or town to get healthcare. Hospitals in towns do not have the standards cities have. However, I see local governments send health workers to check up on villagers, especially infants and children.
Lack of Amenities
Villagers are usually promised uninterrupted electricity, but get little. People have to wait for a long time for electricity which is supplied only for few hours in the day on which people depend on, especially for cooking. Water is something people have to wait a long time for, one week sometimes. This makes life slow there.
Sanitation is also a major concern in a village. India leads the world in open defecation, and the government has been trying to improve infrastructure regarding sanitation. There are many organizations that are teaching people about good sanitation practices.
Village Temple and Politics
The village temple plays an important role. People usually take the advice before doing anything, and they usually doesn’t kindly to anyone who oppose their advice, or disagree with them. If you work for the government, you were in the position of power and people will come to you to settle disputes. People aligned with different political parties might come to loggerheads and usually fail at negotiation. I saw this first hand when I volunteered at Budubalu, a village near Mysore. However, they would unite and work together during the village festival.
Bad infrastructure in rural schools is one of the evils of rural education. Chairs and tables are usually in a bad condition. Village schools may not encourage creativity. Students are mostly expected to learn up the alphabets and write it in the tests as taught by the school.
A self help group meeting
Caste and Discrimination
Rural India has a strong caste systems. Decisions are taken based on this, and is usually ugly. People from the lower caste is more challenged than the higher caste people even though government is trying to promote equal opportunities. Caste also plays a major role in politics which is not a surprising.