Do it yourself for a better India: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message on Friday in his first speech at Jayapur, the village he has adopted as part of the the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), was clear: for a better India, do-it-yourself rather than rely excessively on the government. In doing so, Modi attempted to break away from the past tradition of top leaders harping on the government's role as benefactor and suggested a model of development with community participation.

"The government will do whatever it needs to do. I have collected feedback from official channels on what needs attention in this village but I am not going to make announcements or promises from this stage," he said. "If everyone in the village decides that all chidren will wash their hands before they eat their food, illness among children will go down. Do you need the government for that?" he said. Mr. Modi cited a report he had read about another country where 40 out of every 100 child fatalities were related to children not washing their hands before eating. "Do we need a governement babu to remind us of our child's polio vaccine dose, can't the village youth do that?" Modi asked from the stage. Mr. Modi spoke on issues from skewed sex ratio to cleanliness in villages, that he said the villagers could improve with community participation. "Celebrate the birth of girls," he advised, outlining his vision of the ideal village.

"We have introduced Sansad Adarsh gram Yojana scheme for MPs, even I had to take responsibility as part of this. Jayapur took special place in my heart long time ago. An MP does not adopt a village. A village adopts an MP,” Modi added. Modi had announced the ambitious scheme in his August 15 speech and launched it less than a month ago in New Delhi. The scheme encourages MPs to develop one village from their constituency as a model village by 2016, and two more by 2019. Modi addressed a large crowd comprising not just residents of Jayapur but also from nearby villages. Chhedi Lal, 53, a weaver who walked six kilometres from Narayanpur village in Mirzapur said he enjoyed the speech "but expected some announcement for the region."

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister made a strong pitch for modernising thetextile sector. He asked weavers to utilise the e-commerce market to reach out to global consumers. “E-business is increasing. There are opportunities in the global market,” Mr. Modi said after laying the foundation stone of a trade facilitation centre for weavers in Varanasi. Mr. Modi also announced a package of Rs. 2,375 crore to revive 16 banks in eastern Uttar Pradesh. “We have decided to offer a package of Rs. 2375 crore. The amount would be used to revive banks in 16 districts,” he said.

Mr. Modi played the role of local MP to the hilt. He met a group of 15 residents of his constituency, seleteced by lottery, to listen to their grievances at a ''Janta Milan" at his local office. He also addressed party workers in the evening.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 8:17:15 AM |

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