Mahatma Gandhi on Village Industries
The idea behind the village industries scheme is that we should look to the villagers for the supply of our daily needs and that, when we find that some needs are not so supplied, we should see whether with a little trouble and organization they cannot be profitably supplied by the villagers. In estimating the profit, we should think of the villager, not of ourselves. It may be that in the initial stages, we might have to pay a little more than the ordinary price and get an inferior article in the bargain. Things will improve, if we will interest ourselves in the supplier of our needs and insist on his doing and take the trouble of helping him to do better.
Village economy cannot be complete without the essential village industries such as hand-grinding, hand-pounding, soap-making, paper-making, match-making, tanning, oil-pressing, etc. Congressmen can interest themselves in these and, if they are villagers or will settle down in villages, they will give these industries a new life and a new dress. All should make it a point of honour to use only village article whenever and wherever available.
1. There should be two models of village-one as is existing today and the other an improved one. The improved village will be clean all throughout. Its houses, its roads, its surroundings and its fields will be all clean. The condition of cattle should also improve. Books, charts, and pictures should be sued to show what industries give increased income and how.
2. It must show how to conduct the various village industries, wherefrom to obtain the needed implements, how to make them. The actual working of each industry should be demonstrated. Along with these the following should also find place:
(a) Ideal village diet.
(b) Comparison between village industry and machine industry.
© Model lessons on rearing animals.
(d) Art section.
(e) Model of village latrine.
(f) Farm-yard manure v. chemical manure
(g) Utilization of hides, bones, etc. of animals.
(h) Village music, musical instruments, village dramas.
(i) Village games, village akadas, forms exercise.
(j) Nai Talim
(k) Village medicine.
(l) Village maternity home.
Subject to the policy enunciated in the beginning, this list may be further expanded. What I have indicated is by way of example only, it should not be taken to be exhaustive. I have not made any mention of the Charkha and other village industries as they are taken for granted. Without them the exhibition will be absolutely useless.