Modi Interacts With Village Heads Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the biggest lesson that the coronavirus crisis has taught the country is to become self-reliant and asserted that citizens have taken up the challenge instead of succumbing to difficulties, despite having limited resources and facing several problems.

While interacting with Sarpanchs from across the nation via video conferencing, on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Diwas, the Prime Minister said Gram Panchayats are the centres of the united power of the country’s democracy.

“This pandemic has thrown at us new challenges and problems which we have never imagined, but it also taught us a very good lesson with a strong message. It has taught us that we have to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. It has taught us that we should not look for solutions outside the country. This is the biggest lesson we have learnt,” he said.

“Every Village has to be self-sufficient enough to provide for its basic needs. Similarly, every district has to be self-sufficient at its level, every state has to be self-reliant at its level and the whole country has to be self-reliant at its level,” he said.

The Prime Minister complimented the villages for giving the mantra – ‘Do gaj doori’ to define social distancing in simpler terms. He said that the slogan of “Do gaj Deh ki doori” given by rural India showed the wisdom of the people.

“All of you have given the mantra – ‘do gaz doori’, or ‘do gaz deh ki doori’. Special attention is being provided in villages to follow this mantra. It is because of efforts of people, the entire world today is talking about how India has responded to COVID-19 crisis. Despite limited resources and difficulties amid coronavirus crisis, citizens are taking on this challenge instead of succumbing to difficulties,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that the broadband has reached more than 1.25 lakh Panchayats and the number of common service centres in villages is also crossing three lakh.

He said that there are problems but the work is going on to save and take the country forward with a new commitment, energy and ways.

Emphasising that the disease can only be fought by maintaining physical distance and taking the necessary precautions, the Prime Minister said,” Every village, every house, all of us have to follow the 2-gaj ki doori mantra. We have to wear masks, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one, we can even use the traditional gamcha to cover our mouths.”

Modi himself used the traditional ‘gamcha’ to cover his mouth and nose during the interaction with Sarpanchs.

Prime Minister Modi said that there are problems but the work is going on to save and take the country forward with a new commitment with full energy.

He said that the progress of Panchayats will ensure the development of the nation and democracy.

He also informed that around one crore poor people have got free treatment in hospitals under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The Prime Minister said that the work of sanitisation in villages, setting up quarantine centres for people coming from cities, feeding the people and spreading awareness about coronavirus should continue without any break.

“In today’s situation, the beginning of taking the country forward and make it self-reliant will only start with the collective power of the village. Amidst these efforts, we have to remember that the negligence of anyone can endanger the whole village. So there is no scope for relaxation,” Modi said.

He urged the use of digital platforms such as e-NAM and GEM portal to reach out to larger markets for better prices for village produce.

The Prime Minister also launched a unified e-GramSwaraj Portal and mobile application and Swamitva Scheme.

The e-GramSwaraj helps prepare and execute Gram Panchayat Development Plans. The portal will ensure real time monitoring and accountability. The portal is a major step towards digitization down to the Gram Panchayat level.

The Swamitva scheme which is launched in pilot mode in 6 states helps to map rural inhabited lands using drones and latest survey methods.

“The scheme will ensure streamlined planning, revenue collection and provide clarity over property rights in rural areas. This will open up avenues for applying for loans from financial institutions by the owners. Disputes related to property would also be settled through the title deeds allotted through this scheme,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also appealed to people in rural India to download the Aarogya Setu app and asked Panchayat representatives to ensure that every person in their Panchayat downloads the app. (ANI)

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