Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan in Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Day.
The scheme seeks to strengthen the country’s Panchayati Raj system and address critical gaps that hinder its success. The scheme was launched in the tribal-dominated district of Madhya Pradesh.
The Central government scheme aims at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.
The programme seeks to address critical gaps that hinder the success of Panchayats by enhancing their capacities and effectiveness, and promote devolution of powers and responsibilities.
On the occasion, Modi unveiled a roadmap for development of tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh over the next five years. Under the plan, Rs 2 lakh crore will be spent for development of areas under tribal panchayats.
While addressing a public meeting, PM Modi also pitched for a social movement to ensure the safety of women and girls.
“Shivraj ji (Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) just referred to the capital punishment provided in the ordinance for rape against minors and I could see that it (the remark) received cheers from everyone present here,” he said.
“There is a government in Delhi which listens to your voice and takes decisions. So, the Centre has made a provision for capital punishment to the monstrous intent,” he said while referring to the recent ordinance on rape, which he said demonstrated his government’s determination to act on the issue. He also stressed that people must respect their daughters and make their sons more responsible for an atmosphere of safety.
The Union Cabinet on April 21 approved the ordinance under which the death penalty could be awarded to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age, amid a nation-wide outrage over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a teenager in Unnao.
The prime minister also urged the panchayat representatives to spend NREGA funds during the months of April, May and June only on works related to water conservation.
He also honoured panchayats for their achievements in implementing the government’s e-governance scheme, making villages under their jurisdiction open defecation-free (ODF) and also smokeless by switching from conventional fuel to LPG.
(With inputs from PTI)