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Model villages will stop migration in India

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, calling it a scheme that would open the door for good politics, and inviting all MPs to select a village to develop on a demand-driven, rather than a supply-driven model, with people`s participation. The Prime Minister said that development in villages was often supply-oriented. The Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, would however have three distinct features - it would be (a) demand driven (b) inspired by society (c) based on people`s participation. The Prime Minister said that while democracy and politics were inseparable, damage was often caused by bad politics. This scheme would inspire a movement towards good politics, with MPs acting as facilitators and catalytic agents, the Prime Minister said. Addressing the gathering after releasing the guidelines for the scheme, the Prime Minister said that from independence till now, all Governments have worked for rural development. These attempts should be progressively modified with time, in tune with changes happening around the world. He said though government schemes were working across the country, in each state there were a few villages that the state could be proud of. This shows that there was something extra that the leadership and people in those villages had done, beyond government schemes. The Prime Minister said this "something extra" is the spirit behind Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. The Prime Minister sought inspiration from Loknayak Jayaprakash Narain on his anniversary, saying that people`s participation in development was essential in building an Adarsh Gram. He also paid tribute to Nanaji Deshmukh, who had worked towards the concept of village self-sufficiency. The Prime Minister said the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana will work through the leadership of Parliamentarians. He said that by 2016, one village will be developed by the MPs, and then by 2019, two more villages will be taken up. He said that if states also encouraged their legislators to take up the scheme - five to six more villages could be added in this timeframe. He said if even one village per block is developed, it has a cascading effect on other villages in that block. The Prime Minister said that various government schemes often worked in isolation - and this scheme would help MPs point out the bottlenecks in these schemes, leading to an outcome-oriented approach. The Prime Minister said MPs were free to pick up any village in their constituency, except their own village or their in-laws village. Stating that the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana would provide a flexible approach towards development, the Prime Minister expressed hope that the "Adarsh grams" would become places of pilgrimage for people interested in learning about rural development. The Rural Development Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari today said that Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, SAGY, will change the rural landscape of India. Speaking at the launch of the project by the Prime Minister here, Shri Gadkari said, each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024. The Project launched on the occasion of birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan aims to keep the soul of rural India alive while providing its people with quality access to basic amenities and opportunities to enable them to shape their own destiny. Shri Gadkari said, inspired by the principles and values of Mahatma Gandhi, the Scheme places equal stress on nurturing values of national pride, patriotism, community spirit, self-confidence and on developing infrastructure. He said, the Scheme is unique and transformative as it has a holistic approach towards development. It envisages integrated development of the selected village across multiple areas such as agriculture, health, education, sanitation, environment, livelihoods etc. Far beyond mere infrastructure development, SAGY aims at instilling certain values, such as people’s participation, Antyodaya, gender equality, dignity of women, social justice, spirit of community service, cleanliness, eco-friendliness, maintaining ecological balance, peace and harmony, mutual cooperation, self-reliance, local self-government, transparency and accountability in public life, etc., in the villages and their people so that they get transformed into models for others. Shri Gadkari informed that his Ministry is running 66 schemes for the development of rural areas and villages. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Upendra Kushwaha said, the scheme will be implemented through a village development plan that would be prepared for every identified gram panchayat with special focus on enabling every poor household to come out of poverty. He said, the constituency fund, MPLADS, would be available to fill critical financing gaps. The planning process in each village will be a participatory exercise coordinated by the District Collector and the MP will play an active facilitating role in this exercise. Shri Kushwaha said that strengthening of local democracy through strong and transparent Gram Panchayats and active Gram Sabhas and facilitating good governance is also an important objective of SAGY. He said, women participation in the decision-making process will be encouraged and in fact the Scheme envisages holding Mahila Sabhas and Bal Sabhas to discuss women and children specific issues and concerns. The Members of Parliament (MPs) are the pivots this Scheme will run on. Gram Panchayat would be the basic unit for development. It will have a population of 3000-5000 in plain areas and 1000-3000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas. In districts where this unit size is not available, Gram Panchayats approximating the desirable population size may be chosen.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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