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Chief Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi on 20th February, Saturday, reiterated his commitment to free the poor from the shackles of exploitation through Garib Kalyan Mela.

Addressing the second Shaheri Garib Kalyan Mela at Bapunagar, he said that Gujarat has discovered an infallible medicine in Garib Melas to cure the malady of poverty, establishing a direct contact with the poor, eliminating the moneylenders and middlemen.

He said that our leaders have for the last 60 years provided just lip service to the poor, used them as a vote bank and filled their own coffers.

Assistance-equipment worth Rs.21.38-crore under 31 schemes were distributed to 7,094 beneficiaries in ten wards of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in the Bapunagar area today. The first such Shaheri Garib Kalyan Mela was held in the Odhav locality earlier this week, having extended over Rs.64.94-crore to 13,119 beneficiaries so far.

Earlier, nearly Rs.2,700-crore direct assistance have been provided to 25 poor families in 50-odd Garib Melas in rural areas.

Similarly, he said the plan is to provide Rs.5,000-cr for economic empowerment of poor women by 2014. Over Rs.400-cr has already been extended to 1.25-lakh Sakhi Mandals so far. These Sakhi Mandals are managing their own accounts. He said that Rs.1,000-cr has been earmarked on this head for the current year as part of Gujarat’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

This newly discovered method of extending direct assistance to the poor has lent them the inherent strength to themselves fight poverty. In case any one received sub-standard or defective equipment, one could immediately inform the government by just sending across a postcard.

The function was attended by Gujarat Assembly Speaker Shri Ashokbhai Bhatt, Revenue Minister Smt Anandiben Patel, Urban Development Minister Shri Nitinbhai Patel, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Shri Fakirbhai Vaghela, Ahmedabad Mayor Shri Kanaji Thakor, among other dignitaries.

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