Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday lauded the J&K administration’s ‘Back To Village’ program in his radio program ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Appreciating the officers of the state administration for successfully organising the first of its kind public reach-out program, PM Modi said, “When I got to know about ‘Back To Village’ program at length, I felt that the entire nation should get to know about this program,”.
Referring to a letter written by Muhammad Aslam, a resident of Shopian, PM Modi said the south Kashmir resident requested him that the program must be repeated every three months with online monitoring.
“This was one of a kind programme where the public directly entered into a dialogue with the Government. The people of Kashmir are eager to join the national mainstream. Their enthusiasm is reflected in the mechanism of this program,” PM Modi said in his radio program that was broadcast on Sunday.
The week-long programme organised by the J&K administration saw over 4500 officers of the state administration reaching out to 4500 panchayats across the state where the villagers were briefed about the schemes implemented by the State and Centre.
“For the first time, senior officials reached the villages, directly, even those officials who had never visited a village were available to the villagers at their doorsteps, to judge for themselves to gauge the obstacles in the path of progress and to remove the hurdles,” the PM said.
During the program, modalities were also discussed to increase the income of villagers through interventions by panchayats, improving healthcare and hygiene, developmental works, water conservation and girl education among other issues were discussed during extensive deliberations.
“This program was not a mere government formality that officials roam around the village and return to base. Instead, officials spent two days and a night at the panchayat, enabling them to spend time in the village and meet almost every denizen of the village and to reach across to every establishment in the village,” the PM said.
He appreciated the state administration for making the program inclusive by organising competitions where sports kits, MNREGA job cards and SC/ST certificates were distributed.
“There were Financial Literacy camps and Agriculture and Horticulture Department set up stalls where knowledge about govt. schemes was disseminated. In this manner, this program became a festival celebrating development, a festival of people’s participation and a festival of people’s awakening!,” he said.
He praised the people of Kashmir for being open-hearted about becoming equal stakeholders in the development of their state by participating in the ‘Back to Village’ program.
The PM lauded the in-charge officers of Panchayats nominated by the state administration for reaching out to remote villages, border areas and even sensitive villages in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag without any fear.
“The Gram Sabhas, wherein people chalked out schemes for themselves is something that is an extremely pleasant experience. A new resolve, a new fervor and grand results. Programs like these and people’s participation or stakeholding indicate that our brothers and sisters in Kashmir want good Governance and proves the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs,” PM said.
“It is clear that those who wish to spread hatred en route to development, pose hurdles will never succeed in their sinister plans,” he added.
Referring to the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, PM Modi said the number of pilgrims who visited the shrine this year so far has broken the record of the past four years.
“I would especially like to thank the hospitality of the people of Jammu- Kashmir for a successful organization of Amarnath Yatra. Those who return after performing this pilgrimage become imbued with the feelings of warmth and kinship displayed by the people of the state,” he said.