THE International Exposition of Rural Development, an event Involving 50 nations, will be held in Delhi, India, front February 5-15,
The Exposition will document and dramatise successful projects that have given poverty-stricken villages new life and new hope.
For the last 40 years, the nations of the world have been pouring vast resources of money and energy into
rebuilding developing countries in the image of successful countries.
Progress in poor nations has been made; smallpox has been eradicated, incomes have doubled, average life expectancy has increased from 42 years to 54 years, adult literacj has risen from 30 per cent to 50 per cent and some countries, such as India, have achieved self sufficiency In food.
However, current pessimism exists which obscures these and many other hard-won
achievements. Robert McNamara, former President of the World Bank and one of the members of the Exposition Global Advisory Board said. "NO million
people in the world, one out of six remain caught up in absolute poverty, a condition of life so limited by malnutrition, disease, illiteracy, low life expectancy, and high infant mortality as to be beneath any rational definition of human decency."
The International Exposition of Rural Development grew out of the experiences of communities and organisations all over the world that have broken out of this despairing condition, and are now centres of effective living that can serve as models for other communities. "Spotlight on Success through Sharing Approaches that Work" is the aim of the organisers of the Exposition.
The goal of the Exposition is to accelerate the use of tested methods and models of rural development worldwide. The India event will highlight success in development so that hope in the future can be Founded realistically on past experience.
The emphasis is to be on local involvement in decision making. Mr Tartia Uttachl,
Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs, Unicef, points out, "It will nu longer work to try to spread the message from the top down. The messages that work spread horizontally from village to village. If something works in a village, you don't need a newspaper to spread it to the next village. It spreads because it works."
The Exposition will include hundreds of corn moony residents and agency people who will document and present their !earnings in health, housing, agriculture, small industry, education, nutrition and employment. They will exchange effective methods, tools and models.
Prominent Catholics, including Fr Theodore M Resburgh, President of Notre Dame University, USA and Mr August Vanistandael, President of Caritas Cathoiica Belgica, Belgium, Dame Miriam Dell, President, International Council of Women, France are among members of the Global Advisory Board. Enquiries lo: 277 St Anne's Road, London N15 511G Telephone: 01-8022848.