Back to the village: 4,500 top bureaucrats put their boots on the ground in J&K’s biggest ever outreach initiative

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Published: June 20, 2019 10:23:33 PM

The Back to the Village programme has four main goals: energising local panchayats, collecting feedback on the delivery of government-sponsored schemes, capturing specific economic potential, and undertaking an assessment of the needs of villages.

This mega outreach programme — Back to the Village — began today and will last till June 27. (IE)

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been in trouble, and so have been its people. The state has a massive military presence to prevent any kind of misadventure by terrorists backed by the neighbouring country. However, this has affected the residents of the valley and created distance between the people and the government.

To bridge this very gap, the state administration has decided to put over 4400 of its top officers on the ground to know the problems the people are facing and what they need from the authorities. This mega outreach programme — Back to the Village — began today and will last till June 27.

The Indian Express reported that officers across the hierarchy will visit every panchayat of the state, stay overnight and spend two days listening to peoples’ grievances. Explaining the need for such a move, Divisional Commissioner of Jammu Sanjeev Verma said that the state has suffered a lot since the connect between government officials and the people has broken due to security reasons and also because of the difficult terrain.

He believes that the feedback obtained directly from the people will help design government schemes — central and state —based on their needs. He also said that the occasion will provide an opportunity for village panchayats to come up with area-specific schemes for the development of their people.

Speaking on the programme, Principal Secretary in the Planning, Development & Monitoring department Rohit Kansal said: “We have 4,483 panchayats in the State and every panchayat will be attended to by a gazetted officer.” He also said that this is probably for the first time that such a large number of top officers are visiting every nook and corner of the state and will stay with the people.

During the week, the officers will visit over 7,000 villages spread over four thousand panchayats in the state. The initiative is aimed at directing development efforts in rural areas through people’s participation. The Back to the Village programme has four main goals: energising local panchayats, collecting feedback on the delivery of government-sponsored schemes, capturing specific economic potential, and undertaking an assessment of the needs of villages.

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