WB paints picture of hope for Bihar
Source: TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ TUESDAY, AUGUST 02, 2005 02:20:40 AM ]
NEW DELHI: This is the Bihar story: of persistent poverty, complex social stratification, non-existent infrastructure and weak governance.
The problems are well known, but not well understood. But this is also a story of hope — that Bihar can build on its successes and strengths. The World Bank has just come out with a report on what’s wrong with Bihar and what needs to be done. Entitled “Bihar: Towards a development strategy”, the report aims at drawing policy attention to India’s third largest state of 83 million which is also home to one-seventh of the country’s poor.
The main message of the report is one of hope. One need look no further than the Comfed dairy cooperative, Muzaffarpur’s national literacy campaign or the Paliganj participatory irrigation management experience as examples of excellence.
Bihar can do it. “The people of Bihar — civil society, businessmen, government officials, farmers and politicians — also struggle against an image problem that is deeply damaging to Bihar’s growth prospects.
An effort is needed to change this perception, and to search for real solutions and strategies to meet Bihar’s development challenge,” the report says. A boost to economic growth, improved social indicators and poverty reduction will require a multi-dimensional development strategy that builds on Bihar’s successes and draws on the underlying resilience and strength of its people.