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Lucknow, Sep 15 : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that the state must work for the holistic development of gram panchayats and make them self-sufficient in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to realise Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of ‘Gram Swaraj’.
The CM said, “The soul of India resides in villages and they are the key to attaining ‘Bapu’s dream’ of a self-reliant village. A smart village can be developed only if we have self-reliant villages. Numerous efforts have been made in this regard by the UP administration.”
The CM was addressing a gathering on the occasion of the inauguration of a two-day conference on ‘Smart Village Panchayat: Empowering Rural Communities: Leaving No One Behind’ at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan.
He said that the state has the possibilities and the potential and needs only a little effort to achieve self-reliance of villages. “There are about 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India of which over 58,000 (23 per cent) are in UP. These gram panchayats will play a crucial role in achieving PM Modi’s goal to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy and UP a 1 trillion dollar economy. Use of technology and high-speed internet in rural parts of the state can help achieve the goal faster and more smoothly,” he said.
Speaking on the state’s strategy for increasing GDP, he said, “If we have to raise GDP by 1 per cent, the internet and Wi-Fi facility in gram panchayats will have to be raised by 10 per cent to progressively boost the GDP by 1.3 per cent.”
He said that in UP approximately 32 to 33 per cent of rural areas have access to the internet and Wifi, if it is raised to 80 to 85 per cent the GDP might rise by 8 per cent.
The CM said that there are approximately 4,600 PHCs in the state while mentioning the most recent opening of a health ATM in Gorakhpur. “Before 2017, these centers lacked access to doctors. We connected these centers with AYUSH and provided doctors for them,” he said.
Yogi said, “For specific disorders, people opt for specialised medical professionals. We began the Arogya Melas in 2020, which are held every Sunday and feature a variety of expert doctors, including gynecologists, physicians and skin specialists among others. Around 3 to 4 lakh people attend these Melas.”
He said about 55 types of medical tests could be conducted in less than five minutes using health ATMs. “These are all CSR managed. In the initial phase, we are connecting the PHCs with Health ATMs. In the next phase, we will connect all Gram Panchayats with these,” he said.
The CM said that village secretariats are being constructed in each gram panchayat today for effective implementation of various government schemes at grassroots level. “Over 24,000 gram panchayats in the state have their own secretariats. Each panchayat now has an assistant. Additionally, BC Sakhis will be assigned to each gram panchayat in UP. Over 33,000 BC Sakhi have been posted up to this point and they are all working admirably and making good money,” he said.
Appreciating the work done by BC Sakhis in gram panchayats, the CM said, “Transactions worth Rs 5,500 crore have been made by them in a year and earned a net profit of Rs 14.50 crore. One BC Sakhi has earned a net profit of Rs 3 lakh in a year.”
The CM informed that LED lights are now installed in all panchayats while community toilets have been built. “Open defecation is not practiced in any village. For 40 years encephalitis caused over 50,000 deaths in the state. Today, I’m delighted to report that there have been no deaths from Japanese Encephalitis or Acute Encephalitis”, he remarked.
Yogi said that under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the exercise of excavation or rejuvenation of ‘Amrit Sarovars’ (ponds) will encourage the villagers towards conservation of rain water and raising the water level in the villages. “These can be used as a source of income as fisheries can be practiced by the villagers. Additional land can be used for commercial purposes,” he said.
Stressing on the need for public participation to ensure clean water in each area, the CM sought cooperation from village panchayats in the implementation of the Har Ghar Nal Yojana.
The Chief Minister said that in 2019, the women’s self-help group Balinee Milk Producer Organisation of Jhansi earned Rs 14.50 crore as profit in 2021-22 through improved breed bovines. “The land of gram panchayats can be used to make cow shelter sites, natural farming, biofuel and solar energy,” he said.
During the Inaugural session, the e-Learning Module prepared by Panchayati Raj Institute of Training (PRIT), UP in collaboration with partner organisation GIZ was launched and the training module on Localization of Sustainable Development Goals (LSDG) prepared by Panchayati Raj department in collaboration with partner organization UNICEF was released.