Mhow (MP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday underlined the need to strengthen rural economy to boost the country's development as he launched a village self governance campaign here which, he said, has been inspired by Dr B R Ambedkar's vision.
The campaign 'Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Abhiyan' (village self governance campaign) has been inspired by Amdedkar, who was farsighted and a votary of social harmony and modern technology, Modi said.
"Mahatma Gandhi's dream of gram swaraj has not taken shape yet, and even almost after 70 years of Independence, the desired change has not manifested. We have launched this Abhiyan (campaign) to ensure change in villages," Modi said addressing a huge gathering here on the 125th anniversary of Ambedkar at his birthplace.
The campaign aims at creating awareness about various schemes of the Centre for rural India, among other things.
"India's development won't happen through 5 or 50 cities and industrialists, and foundation of villages will have to be strengthened for sustainable development," Modi said.
The PM said the government had announced that 18,000 villages which don't have power will be electrified in 1,000 days. But now it appears that electricity will reach them in less than 1,000 days due to government's initiatives.
He said it was unfortunate that even after 70 years of Independence, power hasn't reached a large number of villages in the 21st century and people in these places are still living in 18th and 19th century.
The work to lay optical fibre lines in 2.5 lakh villages was underway to bring in digital connectivity, he said.
Nearly 10 lakh families have given up cooking gas subsidy in last one year, Modi said, adding that one crore poor had been given LPG connections in the same duration.
Modi said that five crore poor will be provided cooking gas connections in three years.
The government has taken a resolve to double the income of farmers by 2022, which will be accomplished, he said.
"Some economists and intellectuals told me that doubling the income of farmers was a Herculean task. I told them I had been picked up to accomplish difficult task," he said.
There was a need to improve purchasing power of villagers to strengthen rural economy as a large chunk of rural populace makes purchases from the cities, he said.