One of the sad realities of development in Bangladesh over the past decades is the inequitable way in which it has been achieved.
With the weight of our development concentrated in regions that were already considered urban, the rural areas of our country have missed out on the many amenities that our megacities currently enjoy.
And that is exactly why the government’s recent announcement to develop nearly 90,000 villages while targeting job creation in these areas is very much in line with the need of the hour.
According to the program, a total of 30 guidelines will be prepared which will deal with village communication, growth centers and market infrastructure, rural water supply, rural waste management, master plan upazila, community space, capacity development of local government institutions and creating computer villages.
This is exactly the kind of holistic planning that Bangladesh needs in rural development.
More than 60% of the population lives in villages that easily fall into the category of marginalized people, a vast swathe totally excluded from our development network. As such, the “My Village My Town” program is meant to uplift an inordinate number of people in terms of livelihoods and quality of life.
As a nation, Bangladesh’s development trajectory has been unprecedented given our humble and impoverished beginnings. But unless that development is distributed and enjoyed equitably, it doesn’t matter how many skyscrapers we erect or bridges we build.
True development takes everyone into account.