Samras Panchayats presented with cash awards worth Rs.5.56 Cr

The Chief Minister Narendra Modi felicitated 221 sarpanchs (village chiefs) of Samras village panchayats of seven districts of South Gujarat at a function held at International Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Diamond City of Surat today. Villages which elect their panchayat members through consensus instead of elections attain the status of ‘samras gram’.

221 Samras Village panchayats of Surat, Bharuch, Narmada, Navsari, Valsad, Tapi and Dangs districts of South Gujarat, which were declared as Samras Panchayats in the last village Panchayat elections, that was held in December, 2011, were given away incentive cash awards worth Rs. 5.56 crore for the development of their respective villages by the Chief Minister.

Handing over the prizes the Chief Minister said that Gujarat has demonstrated a glittering example in Indian democracy in which the members of panchayat are selected unanimously without any bindings of law, even as a neck-cutting competition going on everywhere in the country.

Congratulating the sarpanchs and villagers the Chief Minister said that there are many works, which if undertaken in villages, will change the face of the villages. It requires leadership more than money.

It wonders entire world that our democracy has given 33% reservation to the women in panchayat and civic bodies. There are 290 such villages in Gujarat where men have willingly entrusted the administration of the village to the women, which is a matchless happening, he said.

Chief Minister called upon sarpanchs to actualize the dreams and expectations of villagers as the villagers have unanimously selected them to manage the administration of their village.

The government gives away assistance of lakhs of rupees to every village. Hence, for the sarpanchs and the villagers it is an opportunity to use it for creating a great atmosphere in the village by ensuring to keep the village clean, green and educated and to boost the rural economy by best practices of agriculture and animal husbandry.

“You will get blessings of mothers and daughters of your village if you care for constructing sanitation units in every house. This can only be made a success if all the leaders of the village unanimously agree to undertake this task”, he said.

The Chief Minister exhorted the gathering to go for organic farming to strike the double benefits of increased income and cleanliness. He also appealed villagers to free the pregnant mothers, infants and young girls from malnutrition.

The Chief Minister said if women join the activities of sakhi mandal in every village, it will change the face of rural economy. There are two and half lakh women in Gujarat who are involved in managing financial activities worth Rs.1600 crore through the network of sakhi mandal. More participation of women in this momentum will free the villages from the shackles of high-interest debts.

Mr. Modi appealed the sarpanchs to make use of broadband connectivity in solving the problems of village. He also asked them to encourage villagers to join Krishi Mahotsav.

Speaking about the ban imposed by the Central government on cotton export the Chief Minister said the Centre’s decision has ruined the farmers of Gujarat. This decision of the Centre has badly affected the output of cotton seed oil producing mills. The price of groundnut oil has gone high. The Centre’s inflation-causing policies has snatched the ‘life’ from the houses of the poor, he said.

Speaking on the occasion Minister of State Ranjit Gilitwala said the day of felicitating the samras panchayat and samras sarpanch will remain memorable for the south Gujarat.

Minister of State Ishwarsinh Patel, Parliamentary Secretary Harshadbhai Vasava, MPs Darshnaben Jardosh, Bharatsinh Parmar, C.R. Patil, MLAs Nanubhai Vanani, Kishorebhai Vankawala, Kirit Patel, Surat Collector A. J. Shah, Munuicipal Commissioner Manoj Kumar Das and DDO Remya Mohan were also present on the occasion.

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