Ananda Nagar - A New Model for Development

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In many countries of the developing world today there has been as massive deterioration of land, environment and quality of life, which has created unprecedented social, economic and political disruption. If the increase of poverty, erosion of traditional moral values, and environmental degradation continues at the present rate, the result by the end of the century will be catastrophic.

To stem this tide of decay, developing countries'governments have poured vast resources into urban development with the hope that this would some how "trickle down" to the rural poor, but the result has been only the increasing pauperization of the rural masses and the spread of corruption and materialism in the cities.

What is needed now is a dynamic new program for rural development, where most of the population of the developing countries lives, to regenerate the rural economy by stimulating industry, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and energy production, and improve village life by providing better education, medical treatment and sanitation.

Ananda Nagar ("City of Bliss") is a unique developmental complex in India that does exactly this. Situated in a lovely natural environment of rolling hills, crystal rivers, and numerous natural springs, in one of the most geologically ancient and historically rich areas of the world, it is a model for a totally new and integrated approach to development - an ideal community which is completely self-sufficient and progressing harmoniously in all spheres of life.

Located in one of the poorest and most backward areas of India, Purulia district in West Bengal, the area around Ananda Nagar is inhabited by indivent tribal villagers and exemplifies, in fact, most of the problems which rural people face: lack of education and literacy, chronic disease especially leprosy, widespread nutrition verging on starvation, total absence of any source of energy life electricity, non-productive agriculture on arid and non-irrigated lands, and lack of any type of industrial development.

Here in one of the most poverty-stricken, neglected areas of the world, inhabited by tribal people - many of who are literally living on grass, the new 500 acre development complex of Ananda Nagar is rising, like a phoenix from the ashes.

By transforming one of the most depressed districts on earth into a vibrant community through the maximum utilization of the natural and human resources of the area, Ananda Nagar will set an example not only for Inida and other struggling developing nations, but for the entire world.

Originally published in a brochure "Ananda Nagar: A new Model for Development in Kolkata, India May 1988.
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