PM launches 'Rurban Mission', says his govt is for poor,dalits

PM launches 'Rurban Mission', says his govt is for poor,dalits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the ambitious 'Rurban Mission' for developing 300 villages across the country as urban growth centres amid his assertion that his government is for the poor, dalits and other oppressed sections of the society.

Noting that the mission was aimed at curbing migration of youth from villages to cities, he targeted the previous dispensations, saying nobody had thought about planning and providing facilities even as urban areas continued to expand and slum clusters continued to come up because of migration.

While launching the ambitious scheme in this remote tribal area of Chhattisgarh, Modi said a "huge country" like India cannot have proper economic development unless even the remotest places are developed as growth centres and provided with urban facilities and "good life" like education, healthcare and internet while retaining the "rural spirit".

"This government is for the poor, dalits, adhivasis, oppressed and deprived sections of the society. It is for the person standing in the last row," he said.

Listing out various schemes including Swacch Bharat and Rurban Mission, Modi said these are all aimed at bringing positive changes in the lives of the poor people. "This is the only way that will benefit the country and we have started marching on this path," he said.

Under the 'Rurban Mission', he said 300 rural centres, catering to at least four adjoining villages each, will be developed as urban clusters with modern facilities.

100 such centres are targeted to be developed this year itself, the Prime Minister said at the event which was also attended by Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Rural Development Minister Birendra Singh among others.

"There will be big change in quality of life. Pressure on cities will reduce and new cities will be developed, which will be planned and have good economic activity. I am sure crores and crores of people will benefit from this," he said.

"People in villages have been sending their children to cities for good life, education, hospitals, internet. But in the cities, jhuggi jhompris have been coming up as people continued to migrate from villages. Nobody thought about planning, providing facilities...So even going to cities became difficult.

"Should we then leave such people to their fate? Should we compel people to live in jhuggi jhompris? We cannot. That is why we came up with this 'Rurban Mission'," the Prime Minister said.

He said if such a programme had been launched earlier, so many years would not have been wasted in developing the tribal belts of the country.

"There are small villages where even the doctor does not go," Modi said, adding the Rurban Mission will at least help ensure that urban level healthcare reaches the adjoining villages of such rural areas.

On the occasion, he also launched a 'Jan Aushadi Bandaar' campaign for providing cheap medication to people.

Explaining why he decided to launch such major programmes in a "remote area", the Prime Minister said it was part of his endeavour of taking governance out of Delhi to the midst of people and villages.

In this context, he took a dig at his predecessors, saying "earlier, the governments had the habit of doing such programmes in Delhi's Vigyan Bhavan and used to get 24-hour publicity from media because of friendship."


He said his endeavour of taking government to the people had ensured a new direction to development and "with the blessings of the public, development will touch new heights".

Modi felicitated some villagers for extraordinary work in Swachh Bharat campaign, including a 104-year-old woman Kunwar Bai who had sold her goats to build a toilet, and said such activities needed to be highlighted prominently.

"I tell the national media also, if you don't show my speeches, it is ok but you should tell the nation about people like Ma Kunwar Bai," he said.

He said the campaign to end open defecation was gaining momentum and at least two villages in this area had become 'open defecation-free' due to the people's movement.

He cited the decision of the local body in one village to impose penalty for open defecation and quipped that their courage was appreciable as he, being the Prime Minister, was reluctant of levying any new taxes.

Ending open defecation is a significant way of showing respect towards women, Modi said.

He also talked about the recently-launched Crop Insurance scheme and said it was the first time that such a major protective cover had been provided to the farmers who have to suffer the vagaries of weather.

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