Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Sarpanchs of Gram Panchayats across the country on Friday through Video Conferencing, on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day 2020.
Addressing the Sarpanches, PM Modi said, the Corona pandemic has changed the way people worked and taught a good lesson. He said the pandemic taught us that one has to be self-reliant always.
“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.”
“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.
Narendra Modi said that the Government worked hard in trying to provide self-sufficiency to villages and making the Gram Panchayats stronger.
“In the last five years nearly 1.25 Lakh Panchayats have been connected through broadband from a mere 100 before. Similarly, the number of Common Service Centres had crossed 3 Lakhs”, he said.
He said since mobile phones are being manufactured in India, the cost of smartphones has become cheaper and the low cost smartphones have reached every village and this would further strengthen the digital infrastructure at village level.
The Prime Minister said the “Progress of Panchayats will ensure the development of the nation and democracy”.
During his interaction with the sarpanchs, PM 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. He appreciated the slogan, saying that it motivates people to practice social distancing.
Prime Minister said that notwithstanding the limited resources at its disposal, India has taken the challenge proactively and showed its resolve to move forward with new energy and new ways.
He said, “the collective power of the villages is helping the country move forward”.
He stressed that amidst these efforts, we have to remember that the negligence of any one can endanger the whole village and therefore, there is no scope for relaxation.
The Prime Minister urged the Sarpanch’s to work towards the Swachhata Campaign in the villages, to take care of the old, divyang and other needy in the villages, while ensuring quarantine, social distancing and covering the faces with masks.
He urged the Sarpanches to provide correct information to every family on various aspects of COVID-19.
He 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.
The Prime Minister said that serious efforts are made to ensure that poor people of the village get the best healthcare. He said that Ayushman Bharat Yojana has emerged as a big relief for the poor of the village and nearly 1 crore poor patients have received free treatment in the hospital under this scheme.
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 interacted with Sarpanch’s from Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka, Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, Punjab & Assam.