Ensure development reaches tribal people, Modi tells governors

Ensure development reaches tribal people, Modi tells governors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the opening session of the 49th Governors’ Conference, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, on Monday. PTI

With the next Lok Sabha polls less than a year away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday turned to the governors of the states to reach out to the tribal communities of the country.

Modi said that the governors of the states with significant tribal population could help in ensuring that the tribal communities benefit from the government initiatives in fields such as education, sports and financial inclusion. the Prime Minister was speaking at the opening session of the 49th Conference of Governors at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He said that the tribal communities had played a key role in the freedom struggle, and it should be recognised and recorded for posterity, including through digital museums.

The Prime Minister's call to governors to reach out to the tribal communities in the states and help the government take its development programmes to them came at a time when the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is preparing to launch its campaign for the parliamentary elections, likely to take place in April-May next year. 

The BJP is keen to highlight the Modi government's initiatives for the tribal communities and village population in order to counter the allegation by Opposition parties that it neglected the under-privileged people in rural areas over the past four years.

Modi on Monday spoke at length about how governors of the states could leverage their experiences in different walks of life so that people derive maximum benefit out of various central development schemes and initiatives.

The Prime Minister noted that the governors were also chancellors of the universities. He said that International Yoga Day on June 21 could be utilised as an opportunity to generate greater awareness about yoga among the youth.

Modi mentioned some key themes of development such as the National Nutrition Mission, electrification of villages and development parameters in aspirational districts. He suggested that the governors could also visit a few recently electrified villages to witness first-hand the benefits of electrification.

He said that during the recent Gram Swaraj Abhiyan from April 14, seven key schemes of the government had been implemented fully in over 16,000 villages. He said that these villages had been freed from seven problems through Jan Bhagidaari.

He said Gram Swaraj Abhiyan was now being extended to 65,000 more villages, with a target date of August 15.