Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked for an outcome-based approach to development in rural areas which should be free of poverty, illness and casteism. He was addressing a gathering in Delhi to mark the birth centenary of reformist Nanaji Deshmukh and the 115th birth anniversary of socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan. The event was organised by the Ministry of Rural Development which ensured the presence of thousands by bringing in officials from local self-governance institutions and women of self-help groups from across the country.
Modi said the country has sufficient resources to deliver benefits to the last man in the queue and the desired results can be achieved through good governance. He said solutions for sustainable development in rural India cannot be force-fed from the outside but would have to be developed taking into account the needs of the people. It had to be implemented using the latest technology, without any diversions and within strict timelines. “It should be outcome based not output based…. There should be no dilution or diversion from the spirit it was conceived. We have to adhere to a timeline for completion,” he said. “In India, benefits of a scheme can be delivered to even the last man in a queue. India has enough resources. What it has been lacking is good governance,” Modi said.
“Our villages are still poisoned with the venom of casteism…. The poison of casteism destroys the village and crushes its dreams,” Modi said. “We need to make efforts so that the villages rise above casteism and become inclusive and cohesive,” he added. The Prime Minister said if rural products such as earthen lamps were used in cities like a “fashion statement”, it would help the village poor prosper. Likewise, he extolled the gathering to work on ideas such as
producing wax from bee-hives which has more demand across the world as compared to chemically-produced wax. Stating that the rural economy should look beyond production of merely foodgrains, he said a comprehensive integrated approach was required to increase production of timber, fisheries and cattle rearing in the villages.
Modi added that if the villages have 24-hour power and water supply and were connected with optical cable for Internet, teachers, doctors and bureaucrats will come forward on their own to work there. “Their prolonged stay will help the rural areas gain from their presence,” Modi said, adding that rural India today seeks to get facilities available in cities such as power supply, latest technology and internet connections.