4.d) Impact an development policy

Comilla has definitely had a strong impact an Pakistan's development policy. In this respect. the adoption of the Pilot project in rural works as integral part of the Third and Fourth Five year Plans for the whole country is outstanding. This Programme designed at Comilla also had a considerable influence an infrastructure building, an development and strengthening of local government and an the improvement of the income of the underemployed rural population. The outcome, the causes and limitation of which cannot be dealt with in detail here. was much greater in East Pakistan than in West Pakistan.

Another major aspect of development policy in East Pakistan is the Thana Irrigation Project, also designed along the lines suggested by the Comilla Academy. Especially the introduction of Winter irrigation by the Academy caused much criticism as it was considered odd to irrigate the usually flooded land. But these critics forgot that because of the flood risks Winter is the only season for safe cultivation, as soon as ,irrigation made cultivation possible at all. The quick adoption of Winter irrigation by the peasants endorsed the Academy's view.

Another important aspect of the Academy's work is gaining ground in general policy even though the process is slower in this case: to listen carefully to the rural population and to involve the common man in the developmental process is one of the important demands of Comilla. This is gaining more and more ground in different settings like Thana Councils, Union Councils, etc., as well as in the slow reorientation process of making civil servants understand their job as that of teachers and helpers of the people instead of thinking of themselves as administrators. Under the notion "development from below," it has its place in today's discussion of rural development.