August 8, 2021 2:30:49 am
The Gujarat government repa-ckaged the Maadar-e-Vatan sche-me launched in the 2020 annual budget to encourage non-resident Indians (NRI) to partner with the government for village-level projects, as “Vatan Prem Yojana” and launched it on Saturday.
An equal partnership of the state government and NRI in the terms has been changed to 60 per cent share of the NRI and 40 per cent of the state government.
The announcement about the launch of the “Vatan Prem Yojana” was made during the “Vikas Divas” celebrations to mark the completion of five years of Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat. A portal for the scheme was also virtually launched by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the event held in Gandhinagar.
“Through this Vatan Prem Yojana, the Gujarat government has given an beautiful opportunity to Gujaratis living across the globe to participate in the development of their country… I do not think there is any better opportunity than this for all those who want to become partners in development works in their respective villages. I appeal to all Gujaratis living across the globe to join the Vatan Prem Yojana,” Shah said at the event where brochures for the scheme were distributed.
A government resolution dated July 29, 2021, by the Panchayats, Rural Housing and Rural Development department accessed by The Indian Express, states that the Maadar-e -Vatan scheme would henceforth be called Vatan Prem Yojana and it would cover village-level projects such as Smart Class in schools, community hall, primary health centre, Anganwadi, library, CCTV survelliance system, water recyling, drainage, sewage treatment, beautification of ponds, bus-stand and solar energy powered streetlights.
Under a new clause of the Vatan Prem Yojana, a governing body headed by the chief minister and an executive committee will be created.
A senior official of the panchayat, rural housing and rural development department, which is implementing the scheme, told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity, “There is no way any scheme in Gujarat will have a word with Persian roots. This was a reason for the change in name of the scheme.”
Professor Nisar Ansari (retired), who used to teach Persian in Ahmedabad, says, “The word Maadar-e -Vatan means motherland. ‘Maadar-e’ in Persian means mother.”
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced the “Maadar-e- Vatan” scheme on February 26, 2020, and had allocated Rs 200 crore in the state’s annual budget.
“Apart from the name, the percentage of contribution of the state government in this scheme has also been changed. The earlier version of the scheme saw 50:50 contribution with state government contributing equal amount of money donated by an NRI for development works in the village. Now the contribution of the state government has been reduced to 40 per cent and that of the private donor increased by 60 percent,” the official added.
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