CHIEF MINISTER Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said that being the largest state, Uttar Pradesh is also the biggest market in the country. He was speaking in Lucknow at the launch of Samuday, a collaboration between the state government and the HCL foundation to create model villages.
In the last two years, the company has invested Rs 100 crore in converting 720 villages Hardoi’s three blocks — chosen by the UP government — into model villages. It plans to invest another Rs 110 crore in the project next year. Moreover, in the next two to three years, the company is set to invest Rs 1,500 crore in the state.
“UP desh ka sabse bada rajya hai, iske naate sabse bada bazaar bhi hai (Being the largest state of India, Uttar Pradesh is also the biggest market in the country),” said Adityanath. “Not only the government, but every citizen is responsible for making the state attractive for investors,” he added.
On the need for public awareness about government schemes, Adityanath said: “Around 1,625 villages in UP do not have any access to government schemes due to several reasons since Independence…” While maintaining that the government is working on a plan to connect to these villages, he asked HCL to adopt some of these villages under Samuday.
HCL founder Shiv Nadar and his daughter Roshni, the CEO of HCL Corporation Private Limited, were present on the occasion. While Shiv Nadar did not address the audience, Roshni said the foundation wants to convert villages into model villages in such a manner that these become “sustainable, scalable and even replicable elsewhere”.
Claiming Samuday to be its “biggest corporate social responsibility initiative” in the last two years, HCL, in a presentation at the event, said it has converted 380 classrooms in Kachhauna, Behender and Kothawan blocks Hardoi into smart classes, provided solar electrification to 187 schools, increased income of around 5,000 farmers through use of technical expertise, reduced 25 per cent of water usage with use of laser leveler, increased institutional deliveries and set up 230 self-help groups among others.
“We make sure that we fill in the gaps. Like we were mobilising people for institutional deliveries but if there is no electricity in health centres then it does not make sense. We have to make sure that there is electrification 24/7, so we have set up solar plants for these facilities,” said Samuday director Navpreet Kaur.
“There are around 63 villages in Kachauna block, which do not have electricity at all… the next target is to install 44 mini solar grids… Solar energy itself will take around Rs 50 crore, while establishment of overhead tanks will require another Rs 20 crore,” she added.
When asked how the project will sustain itself, Kaur said: “We have set up self-help groups… bank accounts have been opened for the members… Villagers have already started investing…”
The pilot project was first started from Kachauna block two years ago and now the target is to turn this block into a complete literate block in one year, she added.
Ram Asarey, pradhan of Kateya Mau village in Kachauna claimed his village has become open defecation free with the help of Samuday. “It was difficult for me to convince villagers on my own to construct toilets. Teams came, camped in our village and convinced villagers not to defecate in the open. We got about 100 toilets constructed under the government scheme. Similarly, technical expertise like soil testing and high quality seeds was provided, which helped many farmers to increase their income.”