Urban and Rural Contrasts

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This video program features two case studies on India in the region of South Asia:Delhi: Bursting at the Seams and Dikhatpura: Help Through Irrigation.

The first case study, Delhi: Bursting at the Seams, discusses the biggest challenge facing one of the world's most populous countries -- mass migration to the city. The case study presents potential solutions to the pull factors facing an urban area experiencing rapid growth. Squatter camps are now home to more than one-third of Delhi's nearly 14 million people, and continued migration threatens to overwhelm the inadequate infrastructure of the city. The region's planning board struggles to accommodate growth by designing satellite cities and by attracting foreign direct investment ventures.

Updates to this case study include further discussion of Delhi's increasing population, growth of squatter settlements, and the dramatic decrease in the city's air quality. Commentary is by Dr. Amrita Daniere.

Rural India is presented in the second case study, Dikhatpura: Help Through Irrigation. This examination of a village in the drought-prone area of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh shows how local farmers depend on irrigation canals for their livelihood. Rural areas of India have experienced an economic transformation through the construction of an irrigation infrastructure that stabilizes the agricultural water supply. Although introduction of irrigation has significantly reduced poverty, many resulting water resource management issues have yet to be resolved. Problems include frequent disputes over the allocation of water among farmers; leakage into the existing water table, which creates boggy soil; and salinization, the build-up of salt in the soil, which over time renders the soil useless for farming.

The update to this program includes in-depth critique of agricultural reforms, and the importance of gender equity to economic development. Commentary is by Dr. Jayati Ghosh.

Find additional resources, including primary source materials, interactives, and downloadable print materials, at: http://www.learner.org/series/powerofplace/page16.html

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