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PM launches ‘Sankalp Saptaah’, a week-long programme for Aspirational Blocks » Bhajpa Ki Baat

PM launches ‘Sankalp Saptaah’, a week-long programme for Aspirational Blocks » Kamal Sandesh

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched a unique week-long programme for Aspirational Blocks in the country called ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi today. He also launched the Aspirational Blocks Programme Portal and inaugurated the exhibition showcased on the occasion.

The Prime Minister also interacted with 3 Block Level Officers.

Interacting with Ms Ranjana Agarwal, School teacher from Baheri, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh the Prime Minister asked about the most impactful idea from the Chintan Shivirs organized in her block. Ms Ranjana Agarwal mentioned the all-round development programme of the block and highlighted the importance of all stakeholders coming on the same platform to turn the government schemes into a mass movement. The Prime Minister also enquired about the changes implemented to improve the learning outcome of schools. Ms. Agarwal mentioned opting for activity-based learning instead of the traditional teaching methods and gave examples of organizing Bal Sabhas, music lessons, sports and physical training etc. She also mentioned smart classrooms and the use of technology to improve the quality of education. She informed about the availability of smart classrooms in all of the 2,500 schools in her district. The Prime Minister said that one of the primary conditions of Viksit Bharat is the quality education of the children. He said that he is overwhelmed by the dedication and involvement of the teachers. This is the way to ‘Samarpan se Siddhi’.

Dr. Sajied Ahmed, Veterinary, Assistant Surgeon from Mankote, Poonch, Jammu & Kashmir explained the problems of migrating tribal animal husbandry folks and told about the ways of limiting problems and damage during the migration. He told the Prime Minister his personal experiences. The Prime Minister asked about the difference between classroom knowledge and experience on the ground. The Doctor told about the sturdy local breeds that were ignored in the classroom. The Prime Minister was informed about the vaccination campaign for foot and mouth disease and he was told about the massive uptake of the vaccine in the area. The Prime Minister narrated his closeness with the Gurjars of the region as they always reminded him of the habitants of Kutch.

Upon interacting with Shri Mikehenchard Ch Momin, Jr. Rural Development Officer from Resubelpara, Ngh (Garo Region), Meghalaya, the Prime Minister inquired about the solutions to the difficulties faced due to the extreme weather conditions in the region. Shri Momin mentioned issuing preliminary orders to stock up on essential goods and creating a team to monitor the progress. Upon the Prime Minister’s inquiry about the changes in the quality of the output brought by the introduction of regional designs and owner-driven construction in PM-Awas (Gramin) to improve Ease of Living, Shri Momin replied in the affirmative. When the Prime Minister asked about the production and marketing of cashews produced in the region, Shri Momin said that cashew produced in the region is of top quality throughout the nation and mentioned MNREGA and self-help groups being used to encourage its production. Shri Momin also urged the Prime Minister to set up more cashew processing units in the region. Shri Modi also touched upon the popularity of music in the region to increase awareness. The Prime Minister underlined the critical role of Gram Panchayat in the Aspirational Block and District programme.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted the venue -Bharat Mandapam and the gathering – people who are taking care of development in the far-flung areas. It is an indication of the government’s thinking that such a gathering is taking place at the venue of the G20 summit, where people deciding the direction of world affairs, gathered just a month ago, he said. The Prime Minister welcomed the ground-level change makers. “For me, this gathering is no less than G20”, Shri Modi stressed.

He said that this programme is a symbol of the success of Team Bharat and the spirit of Sabka Prayas. This programme is important for India’s future and ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’ is inherent in this.

The Prime Minister said, “In any list of the top 10 programmes of Independent India, the Aspirational District Programme will figure in golden letters”. The Aspirational District Programme has transformed the lives of about 25 crore people in 112 districts, he said. The success of this programme became the basis of the Aspirational Blocks programme, he added, mentioning the global accolades for the programme. The Prime Minister underlined that the Aspirational Blocks programme is bound to be a huge success not only because the scheme is unprecedented, but also because the people working towards it are prodigious.

Recalling his interaction with the 3 Block Level Officers a while ago, the Prime Minister highlighted his self-confidence increases manifold after witnessing the morale of those working on the ground level. Shri Modi emphasized that he wishes to work alongside the ground-level officers as a member of their team and expressed confidence that the goals of the programme will be achieved before time. Prime Minister Modi underlined that the programme will be meticulously monitored by him not because he wants to test their skills but because the successes on the ground level give him more energy and enthusiasm to work tirelessly. “The progress chart of the Aspirational District programme became an inspiration for me”, he added.

Noting the completion of 5 years of the Aspirational District Programme, the Prime Minister expressed happiness about the third party evaluation of the programme. Mentioning the simple strategy of the programme, the Prime Minister said that these are the lessons in meeting the challenging tasks of governance. Emphasizing the importance of holistic development, the Prime Minister said that all parts and regions of the country should be looked after. “Absence of all-encompassing development, touching everyone, benefitting all may show numerical development but basic development does not take place. That is why it is important that we should move while covering every grassroots parameter”.

The Prime Minister urged the Secretaries of departments present on the occasion to work in two new directions – Rapid development of every state and handholding of backward districts.  He asked them to identify 100 blocks in the country that are lagging behind in their respective departments and work towards improving the conditions. He insisted that all parameters of development would change once the 100 identified blocks move above the country’s average. He suggested that all departments from the center emphasize the development of the blocks which have room for improvement. Highlighting the role of state governments, the Prime Minister suggested identifying the 100 most backward villages and creating a model to improve them which can be further replicated to develop the next 1000 villages.

Referring to the Pran of making India a developed nation by 2047, the Prime Minister said that being developed does not mean developed metro cities and backward villages. “We don’t follow that model, we wish to move with 140 crore people”, he said. He mentioned the healthy competition among districts during the Aspirational Districts programme and gave the example of Kutch district in Gujarat which was once considered a place for punishment posting for officers but has now become the most respectable place with the dedication and diligence of officers who were posted there after the earthquake. He credited the young officers for the developments carried out in the aspirational districts of the country. For the Aspirational Block programme, the Prime Minister suggested the state government encourage young officers by promoting those who become successful at the block level.

The Prime Minister also talked about the shift to outcome from just output orientation of the government’s budget. This has brought about a qualitative change, he said. Speaking from his vast experience of governance, the Prime Minister said that the budget is not the only factor of change. He highlighted optimum utilization of resources and convergence as the basis of development without budget. He said convergence and complementarities of schemes should be leveraged.

The Prime Minister also talked about the fallacy of overreliance on results on the good performing aspects and pushing resources towards them. “Pushing resources into abundance leads to wastage while if it is given to the areas of needs, utilization is much better. Resources should be distributed equally with a special focus on the needy areas”, he said.

Prime Minister Modi stressed the need to come out of the mentality of reliance on the government and highlighted the strength of the society to accomplish great tasks. Speaking about the necessity of ‘Jan Bhagidari’, the  Prime Minister underlined the need for a leader in every sector. He highlighted the aspect of team spirit being inculcated in the ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ programme which will lead to the emergence of leaders and new ideas for Jan Bhagidari. He gave the example of society coming together to support one another during a natural calamity.  He also touched upon doing things collectively at the block level to induce the spirit of people’s participation and gave examples of celebrating anniversaries of regional institutions and distributing food to school children on such occasions to eradicate malnutrition. “Jan Bhagidari or people’s participation has tremendous potential in finding solutions to problems”, Shri Modi emphasized.

Similarly, the Prime Minister illustrated the power of social participation by elaborating on the role of diaspora in the rising global profile of the country as their activism has supported the government’s diplomatic efforts. The Prime Minister asked the delegates to make maximum use of the Sankalp Saptah. He asked them to pool resources and concentrate efforts for maximum impact. This will remove silos and infuse a whole of the government approach. While acknowledging the role of technology in communication, the Prime Minister said that there is no alternative to physical presence and we should not compromise with that as we get to know the strengths of the place when we visit there. He said that sitting with colleagues for a week during the ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ will make them aware of the strengths and needs of each other and will improve team spirit.

The Prime Minister asked the delegates to focus on 5 parameters and get good results. This will increase their confidence. With this gradual address of problems, the block will become a source of aspiration for others, he said. “112 districts that were Aspirational Districts have now become inspirational districts. I am sure within a year at least 100 aspirational blocks will become inspirational blocks”, he concluded.

Shri Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog was present on the occasion among others.

Background

‘Sankalp Saptaah’ is linked to the effective implementation of the Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP). The Prime Minister launched the nationwide programme on January 7, 2023.  It aims to improve governance at the block level in order to enhance the quality of life of citizens. It is being implemented in 500 Aspirational Blocks across 329 districts in the country. Chintan shivirs were organized at village and block levels across the country to implement the Aspirational Blocks Programme and to prepare an effective block development strategy. The ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ is a culmination of these chintan shivirs.

‘Sankalp Saptaah’ will be observed in all of the 500 Aspirational Blocks. Each day in ‘Sankalp Saptaah’, from 3rd October till 9th October 2023, is dedicated to a specific development theme on which all Aspirational Blocks will work. The themes for the first six days include ‘Sampoorna Swasthya’, ‘Suposhit Pariwaar’, ‘Swachhta’, ‘Krishi’, ‘Shiksha’, and ‘Samridhi Diwas’.  The last day of the week i.e. October 9, 2023, will be a celebration of the work conducted during the entire week, as ‘Sankalp Saptaah – Samavesh Samaroh’.

The inaugural programme will witness the participation of about 3,000 panchayat and block-level people’s representatives and functionaries from across the country in Bharat Mandapam. In addition, nearly two lakh people including block and panchayat level functionaries, farmers, and persons from other walks of life, will join the programme virtually.

(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Bhajpa Ki Baat staff and is published from a kamal sandesh feed.)

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