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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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Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle against Covid: PM
Combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed in this fight: PM
PM emphasizes significance of tracking, tracing and testing; highlights importance of increasing RTPCR tests
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.