Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday said the state’s village and ward volunteer system has redefined governance, effectively delivering welfare with inclusiveness.

On Monday, the state government organised a felicitation programme for 2.23 lakh volunteers and gave cash incentives totalling Rs 229 crore to all of them.

The felicitation programme will start in every constituency after Ugadi Telugu new year festival.

“The service orientation of volunteers is laudable and the awards will be an annual affair to felicitate those who have shown exemplary work,” said Reddy, launching the Visishta Puraskar Seva Award.

Recalling some stellar acts by the volunteers, Reddy said one of them went all the way from Srikakulam to Visakhapatnam to deliver pension to an old lady hospitalized after an accident.

“The volunteer understood that the old lady needed money at that point of time and extended her service. A volunteer from Prakasam went to Hyderabad to disburse pension to a woman who had undergone heart surgery at Hyderabad and in a similar case one volunteer from Chittoor delivered pension at a hospital in Bengaluru to the beneficiary,” said Reddy as he cited more examples.

As part of the felicitation, 2.18 lakh volunteers were given the Seva Mitra award, which includes a cash reward of Rs 10,000, shawl, citation and a badge.

The Seva Ratna award, bestowed on 4,000 volunteers, carried a cash prize of Rs 20,000, a citation, shawl and a medal.

The chief minister asked the volunteers to keep up their good work, ignoring detractors.

“Volunteer system has brought governance to the doorstep by providing 32 types of services with each volunteer taking care of 50 houses in rural (areas) and 100 houses in urban areas and delivering welfare schemes in a transparent and corruption free manner looking beyond caste, creed, religion and party affiliations,” Reddy said.

He personally felicitated nine volunteers and transferred Rs 19 crore into the bank accounts of 18,576 volunteers. He also released a special booklet featuring their success stories.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also praised the volunteer system during a chief ministers meeting a few months ago.

–IANS

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