Ten months after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a tie-up with corporate honchos and industry leaders for creation of model villages across Maharashtra, the initiative is yet to take off. On August 25, 2016, Fadnavis had rolled out the initiative for social transformation in villages, following a meeting with business captains, philanthropists, and celebrities, including Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Rajashree Birla, Rajkumar Dhoot, Deepak Parekh and Amitabh Bachchan, among others.
The plan involved convergence of various rural development schemes. The government and the industry players were to partner in the funding and monitoring of the initiative. The funds raised under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) were meant to be infused in the project. Fadnavis had then announced that work in at least 100 villages will kickstart on October 2, 2016. By 2019, the target was to transform 1000 villages under the initiative.
Rural infrastructure in suicide-prone villages in Vidarbha and Marathwada was to be taken up. While a governing council headed by Fadnavis himself and comprising top industry captains as members was formed on the day of the announcement, government sources confirmed that actual work had not begun in a single village so far. Actor Amitabh Bachchan was chosen as the face of the initiative. “This is a massive exercise.
The preparatory work is going on in villages. We have appointed village development officers in some villages. These officers are undergoing training,” said a senior officer. While some of the corporate houses have offered to adopt villages under the initiative, they were yet to be assigned these. Sources said villages in Amravati, Yavatmal, Wardha, Gadhchiroli (Vidarbha), Nandurbar (North Maharashtra), and Aurangabad (Marathwada), are scheduled to be developed in the first phase of the scheme, while villages in Beed, Parbhani, and Nanded (Marathwada) will be transformed in the second phase.