May 29, 2021 5:23:41 am
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday appealed to newly elected gram pradhans (village heads) to help the state government control the spread of Covid-19 in rural Uttar Pradesh, and prepare to save villagers from communicable diseases during the upcoming rainy season. Governor Anandiben Patel also addressed the event.
Adityanath told the almost 58,000 new pradhans that they were a significant part of the government’s efforts to contain the pandemic, and urged them to work for everyone in an unbiased and non-partisan manner. “Remember that now you are gram pradhans. Now you do not have any party. Those who voted for you, those who did not, you have to look after everyone,” Adityanath said in his address.
The chief minister encouraged the village chiefs to be competitive in ensuring that their area is “corona free”, and pointed out that a recent government survey had claimed that 68 per cent of villages were free of Covid-19. Adityanath said Rs 10,000 crore available to gram panchayats was lying unutilised, and this money should be used wisely to ensure cleanliness, upgrading medical and education facilities, and other welfare measures. Adityanath also requested villagers — especially those who live in regions where water contamination is a major problem — to boil and filter drinking water.
The chief minister asked the gram pradhans to use the public address system to not only spread awareness about diseases such as Covid-19, malaria, dengue and encephalitis, but also play “bhajans [devotional songs]” and “deshbhakti geet [patriotic songs]”.
Adityanath made a four-point appeal to the new rural officials, saying, “We have to save people’s lives as well as their livelihoods.”
The chief minister claimed that the state had been able to control the second wave of Covid-19. He asked the gram pradhans to ensure proper surveillance through monitoring committees, especially to get people to wear masks. He said that during his recent tour of districts he saw a significant section of the rural population not wearing masks. Adityanath advised the village heads to engage women self-help groups to ensure the widespread availability of masks.
The CM also directed the newly elected officials to ensure that medicine kits are provided to people displaying Covid symptoms, and that they are tested.
Adityanath told the village heads to also ensure the completion of “panchayat secretariats”, which the government plans to equip with internet connections and computers. According to the chief minister, these centres can help people register for vaccination.
Meanwhile, in her speech, Anandiben Patel focused on the empowerment of women in the panchayat system. She pointed out several youngsters, especially young women, had been elected village heads. Many women gram pradhans were young, some only 21 years old, and several were part of self-help groups, she added.
The governor said more women and youngsters should be encouraged to participate in the functioning of panchayats. She asked the village heads to focus on tree plantation.
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