21,000 villages picked for saturation of government plans

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New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said his ministry has chosen 21,000 villages across the country for saturation of seven Central welfare schemes during the 22-day “Gram Swaraj Abhiyan” programme to be started from Saturday.

Tomar’s announcement came just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all elected representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to go to villages to ensure that the benefits of the welfare schemes aimed at the poor and those living in rural areas reached them.

The Minister said the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan will begin on the birth anniversary of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar and end on May 5.

A total of 1,000 Central government employees have been selected for the “100 per cent” saturation of these seven schemes and they would be working along with state government officials, he said.

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The seven schemes include Ujjwala, Saubhagya or Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Ujala, Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, among others.

He said Ujjwala Yojana is related to the distribution of LPG cylinders, Saubhagya to distribution of electricity, while Ujala is linked to the distribution of LED bulbs to people in rural areas.

Tomar said the Central and state government officials would open accounts of people in the villages selected under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana and motivate them to take life insurance being provided by the Central government under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana.

He said under the programme, party leaders would celebrate April 18 as “Swachh Bharat Parv”, April 20 as “Ujwala Diwas”, April 24 as “Panchayati Raj Diwas”, April 28 as “Gram Shakti Abhiyan” and April 30 as “Ayushman Bharat Diwas” celebrating the scheme popularly called “Modicare”.

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A Kishan Kalyan Karyashala, focussed on empowering farmers by doubling their income, will be organised on May 2 and a Kaushal Vikas Mela will be held for the labour class on May 5.

The Prime Minister would also be visiting Maoist-affected Bijapur in Chhattisgarh on Saturday April 14 to join the programme.

–IANS

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