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Chief Minister presents Rs.7.30-cr incentive awards to 298 ‘samras’ villages of central Gujarat

“2,133 ‘samras grams’ in Gujarat elected sarpanchs through consensus”

“There are many more government schemes which don’t need funds”

“Education of every girl child, nutritious food for every family, toilet in every home and drip irrigation in every farm the minimum goals” – Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Friday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi presented incentive awards worth Rs.7.30-crore to 298 ‘samras gram’ panchayats and felicitated their sarpanch (village heads) from seven districts in central zone at a glittering function at Anand today.

Villages which elect their panchayat members through consensus instead of elections attain the status of ‘samras gram’. The seven districts covered today are Ahmedabad, Anand, Vadodara, Kheda, Dahod, Panchmahals and Surendranagar.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that several villages in the past had been centres of rivalry between a few influential families and the village panchayat elections also used to be marred by avoidable clashes, leading to neglect of development works in the village. Contesting elections has its charm and appeal, but consensus could be more appealing. With the introduction of ‘samras gram’ in the state, he said that such villages now manage their own affairs better than other villages. The concept is democratic and yet more effective. Such villages in cooperation with the officials can do wonders and literally become Eden Garden.

Mr. Modi said that there are many more government schemes which do not require any funds. He called upon the village panchayats to take advantage of such schemes.

Describing ‘samras gram’ as Gujarat’s yet another gift to the nation, Mr. Modi welcomed the sarpanchs of Maharashtra, who have come to Gujarat to study the novel scheme.

He described Gujarat’s massive check dams’ network to check rainwater going down the rivers into the sea, implemented at village level, as another unique scheme which is paying handsome dividends in the form of recharging wells and raising the underground water table, to last till another monsoon. He said that ‘nirmal gram’ is another successful state government initiative. It began with four such villages ten years back and now number about 6,000. The minimum goals are education of every girl child, nutritious food for every family, toilet in every home and drip irrigation in every farm.

Additional Chief Secretary for Panchayat Rajnikant Patel gave details of the scheme.

Prominent among those who attended the function included Panchayat Minister Narottam Patel, Education Minister Ramanlal Vora, Ministers of State for Health Parbat Patel and Jashwantsinh Bhabhor, Deputy Whip Ambalal Rohit, MPs Smriti Irani and Mansukh Mandviya, Gujarat Mahila Commission Chairperson Lilaben Ankoliya, MLAs Jyotsna Patel and Shrish Shukla, District Panchayat Presidents, ex-MP Deepak Patel and Principal Secretary Sangita Singh.

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