Today is Gandhi Jayanti, birth anniversary of a great political and spiritual leader of our times- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His ideologies on non-violence are well known, but, what really fascinates’ me are his ideas on sustainability. He believed that the future of India is only possible by Decentralized Rural Development. His dream village would be self-sufficient, that relied on local rural production and consumption. He personified his ideas. With little energy needs and very few material needs he lived a self-sufficient lifestyle. For example, he loved spinning his own cloth and preferred walking to any vehicle. These are simple ideas, with lot of wisdom and power. Gandhi’s work was a by-product of these simple ideas that changed the world. I believe that today, we have all the technology to support this vision. There is a lot of learning for businesses if they really wish to operate in rural markets. They have to be an integral part of overall rural development by generating opportunities for local people, using local skills and local resources. This will automatically cut lot of energy needs (such as, shipping) and also de-alienate corporations from rural consumers. Sustainable local production meant for local consumption – can be a very effective business model.
I am intrigued to see how Gandhi’s vision for rural development is so relevant even after 5 decades of India’s independence.
Top Picture : TopNews ( Gandhi and his Spinning Wheel)
Bottom Picture : Wikipedia ( Gandhi’s room at Sabarmati Ashram)