The year 2014 is going to end in few hours. We are entering another new year with lots of hope, promises, and so many wonderful feelings. There are lots of things to remember, lots of good and bad and many more beautiful experience. But the word that was popular and one that I heard often in this year was ‘Development’ I think. The whole country was busy with election and so many promises had been made. The year ends with the very popular phrase ‘development for all’. That’s a good statement, in fact a beautiful one and a beautiful idea too.
The ‘development for all’is not impossible but I struggle with the idea every day. While working with the community I struggle to keep up the hope in my everyday work and life. The big concern is whether it is real or just a dream which would never come true. I am not against those promises made by the government and political leaders, I am not saying, it is a false hope that have been given to people but it is hard for me to believe that ‘development for all’ can be achieved with the present thoughts and attitude towards it.
What is development? I am not asking the definition!When to call a particular community developed, is a big question. What does development mean for those who are promising and for those who are hoping or expecting? Is the development all about the infrastructure, factories, business and international relations,economic development etc? In the name of development so many things have been happening but the poor are still poor or becoming poorer. Their struggles are increasing day by day with new troubles. Instead of the growth, new social and environmental problems are being added to their lives every day. What is then the development everybody is talking about?
Don’t you think development means much more than what most of us actually think? When can one say a community is developed? It might differ from one person to another but the basic thing about development would remain same. I think the development is when; peoples’ participation increases, they are part of decision making, there is opportunity to grow and use their potential, willingness to take initiatives, able to dream, there is education and awareness, people are contributing to the growth of the community, identifying and addressing their needs by themselves, community is improving their living condition without external help, able to manage resources effectively, participation in planning, implementation and evaluation of the community based programmes, able to facilitate others, enjoy good health, able to think freely, able to respect all human beings, able to communicate, able to maintain peace with one another and with the environment, has a good value system, there is a sense of security and there is justice. I would say a community is developed when I see all these. But I leave it up to you to think and define development.
For this to happen, I believe it should start from within. And it would be possible when we choose to work with people at their same level not as a superior being, trying to help them. Our superior attitude would never bring the change that we desire in our communities rather it would push them to deeper oppression. This might be possible only when they are facilitated to think on their own rather than imposing our thoughts on them.
I am not finished yet… I also will be sharing with you what the community thinks about development.I will continue this through my future posts but till then I leave you to think about your own version of development.
The dream of ‘development for all’ is not going to be achieved overnight….It is a long way to go….but no matter how long, let us make our contribution towards this as far as we can…. Where ever you are, you can make development happen….and that could be a part of your New Year resolution….Take care and share your thoughts….Have a blessed year ahead….