Rabindranath Tagore's Rural Reconstruction Experiment: Present Intervention

Guest lecture by Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul, Associate Professor

Time: 29 October 2013, 10:15-12:00
Venue: Room 24.0.11, KUA, Faculty of Humanities, UCPH


Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the greatest poet of the modern India and visionary, was basically a humanist and his heart ached in deep pain at the distressing conditions of the villagers who were reeling under acute poverty and suffering from malnutrition, ill-health, various ailments and illiteracy. For improving the conditions of these deprived villages, Tagore initiated the “Sriniketan Experiment” in 1922 in Visva-Bharati. Tagore built Visva-Bharati (presently a university financed directly by the Government of India) as a centre of international understanding and study. Tagore was the first Nobel Lauriat in Asia. Visva-Bharati located in the twin campus of Santiniketan and Sriniketan, has as its motto - “Where the world makes its home in a single nest”. Tagore's mission of rural reconstruction was based on four principles - self-interest, self-respect, self-reliant and joy in work. Tagore wanted to construct the villages in such a way that the villagers will be self-sufficient in all their needs. He wanted to make the people a 'complete man' and make the people aware of the larger society through appropriate education, and inspire them to cultivate the spirit of cooperation and self-reliance. Rabindranath was, in fact, the pioneer for his experiment in Rural Reconstruction in India, and the Institute developed by him at Sriniketan soon became a model for rural development elsewhere. Present lecture will highlight Tagore’s rural reconstruction experiment with present intervention.

Dr. Sujit Kumar Paul is Associate Professor at the Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension at Visva Bharati University.