On National Panchayati Raj Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Madhya Pradesh to launch Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan at Ramnagar and unveiled the road map for development of tribal areas.
Assuring that the Centre will always help in development of villages, Modi said Indian culture "teaches us to live for the nation".
Speaking at a gathering in Mandla district, Modi said, "I am delighted to be in Madhya Pradesh on National Panchayati Raj Day. Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) always highlighted the importance of villages and spoke about 'Gram Swaraj'."
The newly-launched scheme is aimed at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient. He said the Centre is committed to fulfilling the wishes of the villagers as people residing there had shown trust in us. "Today we pledge to boost development of villages. Indian culture motivates us to live for the nation", he said.
"Budgets are important while talking about rural development. But, there is a shift in the discourse in the last few years. People are now talking about the need to ensure that money allocated for a project is utilised and it is done in a timely as well as transparent manner".
"The work of setting up an LPG plant in Mandla district at a cost of Rs 120 crore will be provided, which will ensure the availability of gas cylinder in all the adjoining areas, and provide employment opportunities for the people", he said. Modi will lay the foundation stone of an LPG bottling plant of the Indian Oil Corporation at Maneri and launch a local government directory.
He also appealed to the villagers to focus on the education of their children. "This is essential for the child's future... education for all is a top priority for a central government", he added. Modi also praised the Centre for taking action to exclude bamboo from the definition of tree under the Indian Forest Act.
"Jan Dhan, vann dhan, gobar dhan: With these three things, we can bring a great change in a village's economic status", Modi said.
Elaborating on the essence of each of the three initiatives, he said, "Ensure that people have Jan Dhan accounts and insurance coverage under the government schemes. If there is a neem tree today, its branch can provide source of income for the village women. Today, cow dung is not used scientifically in villages. Gas and electricity can be produced from it. This can be done without monetary aid, but will need the help of the government schemes".
"Let us pledge that by 2022, we develop our villages along the lines of what Mahatma Gandhi had once wished for" , he added.
Modi also addressed the Centre's initiative to introduce capital punishment for rapists of children below 12 years of age. "The recent steps taken by the government will be beneficial in furthering the safety of women", he said. "This government sits in Delhi but listens to your voice and then takes decisions. We should teach responsibilities to our sons. If that happens, our daughters won't have to worry about their safety", he said.
Modi arrived on Tuesday in Mandla district to address the Panchayat bodies and the indigenous communities. He earlier tweeted that National Panchayati Raj Day is an occasion to celebrate the efforts of all those "who are a part of our vibrant Panchayati Raj institutions".
National Panchayati Raj Day is an occasion to celebrate the efforts of all those who are a part of our vibrant Panchayati Raj institutions. These institutions foster a spirit of democracy and further the development aspirations of our citizens. pic.twitter.com/HuupfukYDJ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 24, 2018
Modi felicitated village heads with 100 percent smokeless kitchens, 100 percent vaccination under Mission Indradhanush and total electrification under the Saubhagya scheme. He will also interact with district collectors of some districts of the state.
Modi left from Delhi around 9.50 am and reached Jabalpur's Dumna Airport from where he took a helicopter and reach Mandla. He will leave for New Delhi at 2.55 pm.
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 15:02:07 IST