The Rural Development Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari today said that Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, SAGY, will change the rural landscape of India. Speaking at the launch of the project by the Prime Minister here, Shri Gadkari said, each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024. The Project launched on the occasion of birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan aims to keep the soul of rural India alive while providing its people with quality access to basic amenities and opportunities to enable them to shape their own destiny. Shri Gadkari said, inspired by the principles and values of Mahatma Gandhi, the Scheme places equal stress on nurturing values of national pride, patriotism, community spirit, self-confidence and on developing infrastructure.
He said, the Scheme is unique and transformative as it has a holistic approach towards development. It envisages integrated development of the selected village across multiple areas such as agriculture, health, education, sanitation, environment, livelihoods etc. Far beyond mere infrastructure development, SAGY aims at instilling certain values, such as people’s participation, Antyodaya, gender equality, dignity of women, social justice, spirit of community service, cleanliness, eco-friendliness, maintaining ecological balance, peace and harmony, mutual cooperation, self-reliance, local self-government, transparency and accountability in public life, etc., in the villages and their people so that they get transformed into models for others. Shri Gadkari informed that his Ministry is running 66 schemes for the development of rural areas and villages.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Upendra Kushwaha said, the scheme will be implemented through a village development plan that would be prepared for every identified gram panchayat with special focus on enabling every poor household to come out of poverty. He said, the constituency fund, MPLADS, would be available to fill critical financing gaps. The planning process in each village will be a participatory exercise coordinated by the District Collector and the MP will play an active facilitating role in this exercise.
Shri Kushwaha said that strengthening of local democracy through strong and transparent Gram Panchayats and active Gram Sabhas and facilitating good governance is also an important objective of SAGY. He said, women participation in the decision-making process will be encouraged and in fact the Scheme envisages holding Mahila Sabhas and Bal Sabhas to discuss women and children specific issues and concerns.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) are the pivots this Scheme will run on. Gram Panchayat would be the basic unit for development. It will have a population of 3000-5000 in plain areas and 1000-3000 in hilly, tribal and difficult areas. In districts where this unit size is not available, Gram Panchayats approximating the desirable population size may be chosen.