By Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH : Going by the precept that India can shine only if Bharat does, the government of Himachal Pradesh has resolved to make its villages hold a candle to any developed city of the state. Out to make all its villages wear an urbane look, equip them with modern basic facilities and improve the quality of life of its rural poor, it had identified 225 villages of districts Solan and Sirmaur under the Pradhan Mantri Adarash Gram Yojna to develop these as model villages. The government will provide Rs one lakh each to these village.
It was stated by Sarveen Chaudhary, State Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, in a meeting of Central Advisory Committee of Pradhan Mantri Adarash Gram Yojna at New Delhi on Friday in which Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Mr Mukul Vasnik, Union Rural Development Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh and the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministers of various States were also present.
She said that the base-line survey had been completed in all the 225 villages of Solan and Sirmaur districts. She stressed the need of training for officials for effective implementation of the Yojna. Adding she said that though the topography of the State was different from rest of the States of the Country, still the State government was giving top priority to social service sector. The government earmarked 29.26 per of its total budget to execute some of the most ambitious developmental plans in social welfare sector.
The state government has to play a pro-active role in ensuring overall development of the rural poor especially scheduled castes who barely manage to survive despite surging economic growth around. The Minister said that the State Government was spending 24.72 per cent of the total annual budget under Scheduled Caste sub-plan. She said that all the basic infrastructural facilities were being made available to those villages where the population of SC families was 50 per cent or more under the plan.
The government had made a provision of Rs. 816 crore made in the budget in the year 2011-12 for this purpose, she added. She said that Ambedkar Bhawans were being constructed in every assembly constituency.
Going beyond the script, the state government has taken such initiatives as 50 per cent relaxation was being given to children of Scheduled Caste BPL families seeking admission for computer education in all the schools of the State. Besides, free stationery and uniform was also being made available to them.
Apart from this students of SC and OBCs, who had completed college education were being provided free computer courses in recognized institutions of the State to make them capable for services in Government and Non-Government organization, said the Minister.
But all this could not have been possible without determination of the government being lent financial muscle. In the current financial year, villages where population of SCs were more than 40 percent, were being developed as model villages under ‘Mukhya Mantri Adarash Gram Yojna’ under which two village in every assembly segment would be developed as model villages and a sum of Rs. 12.40 crore would be spent every year for this purpose, disclosed the minister. The Minister said that the State Government had also launched ‘Mata Shabri Yojna’ to facilitate the SC women who were living below poverty line by providing them 50 percent subsidy on purchase of LPG connection.