New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched an ambitious village development project under which each MP will adopt three villages and ensure their development.
Under the programme called the "Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana", each MP will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019.
The goal is to develop three model villages each by March 2019 of which one would be developed by 2016.
Calling it a scheme that would open the door for good politics, the Prime Minister invited all MPs to select a village to develop on a demand-driven, rather than a supply-driven, model, with people's participation.
The Prime Minister said the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana will work through the leadership of Parliamentarians. He said that by 2016, one village will be developed by the MPs, and then by 2019, two more villages will be taken up. He said that if states also encouraged their legislators to take up the scheme - five to six more villages could be added in this timeframe. He added that if even one village per block is developed, it has a cascading effect on other villages in that block.
“If nearly 800 MPs develop three villages each by 2019, around 2,500 villages will be covered,” said the PM while launching the project on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan.
The PM said he would also adopt a village in Varanasi, the constituency from where he was elected to the Lok Sabha.
"I too have to select a village for Varanasi, have received the guidelines. I will go there, discuss and decide," Modi said as he launched his another ambitious mission.
Asking every MP to adopt a village and work for their development, Modi said: "Whichever party the MP belongs to, he or she has to keep working among people and spent lot of his time to get work done for the government."
For the MPs elected from cities, the Prime Minister urged them to look at a village that is close to their city.
"MPs can select a village in their state...This is not a scheme about money. It is people-driven and guided by people`s participation, guided by the MPs," he said.
Addressing the gathering after releasing the guidelines for the scheme, the Prime Minister said that from independence till now, all governments have worked for rural development. These attempts should be progressively modified with time, in tune with changes happening around the world.
He said though government schemes were working across the country, in each state there were a few villages that the state could be proud of. This shows that there was something extra that the leadership and people in those villages had done, beyond government schemes. This "something extra" is the spirit behind Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, the PM told audience at Vigyan Bhawan.
Stating that the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana would provide a flexible approach towards development, the Prime Minister expressed hope that the "Adarsh grams" would become places of pilgrimage for people interested in learning about rural development.
Parliament should be involved with every aspect of rural development in India, insisted Modi.
"Let us take interest and create an atmosphere where every person is proud of his or her village," added the PM.
The Prime Minister said that while democracy and politics were inseparable, damage was often caused by bad politics. This scheme would inspire a movement towards good politics, with MPs acting as facilitators and catalytic agents, the Prime Minister said.
Elaborating his views on development, he said, "A debate is going on for long. Whether it should be from top to bottom or from bottom to the top. Discussions do help. But those who are working have to begin work somewhere...The talk about bottom to top and top to bottom will continue in the academic world."
"We want to work. We want to see whether we can bring change through public participation... I am not claiming that I will change the situation all of a sudden...This schemes is not the ultimate. Changes and improvement will come in this with the passage of time," he said.
The PM sought inspiration from Loknayak Jayaprakash Narain on his anniversary, saying that people's participation in development was essential in building an Adarsh Gram. He also paid tribute to Nanaji Deshmukh, who had worked towards the concept of village self-sufficiency.
Minister for Rural Development Nitin Gadkari and MoS for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha, also spoke on the occasion.
The project aims to keep the soul of rural India alive while providing its people with quality access to basic amenities and opportunities to enable them to shape their own destiny.