On the occasion of birth centenary of reformist Nanaji Deshmukh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed a gathering in Delhi where he talked about the fight against poverty in India. The event also marked the 115th birth anniversary of socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan. The event was organised by the Ministry of Rural Development. It was attended by officials from local self-governance institutions and women of self-help groups from across the country. On the occasion, the Prime Minister said that he wants to make the states, a market for villages. He asked that this Diwali we should use ‘diyas’ made by local porters. The Prime Minister said if rural products such as earthen lamps were used in cities like a ‘fashion statement’, it would help the village poor prosper.
“Remembering Nanaji Deshmukh on his birth anniversary. We are constantly motivated by his noble service and emphasis on rural development”, Modi said. The PM said that there are over 18,000 villages that were living in the 18th century, as there was no electricity. He added that the government took the initiative at the Red Fort, for the electrification of villages in 1,000 days. He said that by now electricity has reached in over 15,000 of those villages. Modi added that if the villages have 24-hour power and water supply and were connected with optical cable for Internet; teachers, doctors and bureaucrats will come forward on their own to work there.
Stating that the rural economy should look beyond the production of mere foodgrains, he said a comprehensive integrated approach was required to increase production of timber, fisheries and cattle rearing in the villages.
Modi said the country has sufficient resources to deliver benefits to the last man in the queue and the desired results can be achieved through good governance. He said solutions for sustainable development in rural India cannot be force-fed from the outside but would have to be developed taking into account the needs of the people.