In what the NDA government hopes will change the face of villages in the country, the “model villages” under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) will have it all — ‘smart schools’, universal access to basic health facilities, pucca houses for the homeless, universal PDS for eligible families, e-governance, and Aadhaar cards for all.
SAGY, announced by Modi in his first Independence Day speech, will be launched on October 11. Under the scheme, each MP will adopt a village every year for all-round development, and the implementation will be aided by his/her MPLAD fund.
According to a detailed blueprint of the ambitious programme prepared by the Rural Development Ministry, which has been accessed by The Indian Express, the scheme will ensure “holistic development” of identified villages in all aspects — personal, human, social, economic and environmental development as well as provision of basic amenities and services, social security and good governance.
As per the contours of the scheme, all schools in the village will be converted to “smart schools” with IT-enabled classrooms, e-libraries and web-based teaching. It also promises “universal access to education facilities up to Class X”. In the health sector, “universal access to basic health facilities consisting of health card, medical examination” will be provided, along with total immunisation.
Continuing with this government’s emphasis on the UPA’s Aadhaar project, SAGY will ensure the provision of Aadhaar cards to all.
Pucca houses for all homeless or those living in kutcha houses will be a key focus of the scheme, besides ensuring toilets in each household and all public institutions. Other facilities include piped drinking water, all weather connectivity to the main road, electricity connection to all households, village libraries, telecom and broadband connectivity as well as CCTVs in public places.
For social security, old-age, disability and widow pensions, insurance schemes like Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana and “universal access” to the Public Distribution System to eligible households will be provided. Under the scheme, each MP will be free to identify a gram panchayat to be developed as a model village, except his or her own village and that of his/ her spouse.
SAGY also lays emphasis on “personal development” by inculcating “hygienic behaviour”, “physical exercise” and “reducing risk behaviour”, including alcoholism, smoking and substance abuse. The blueprint says deliverables under the scheme will be “classified as immediate (within three months), short term (within six months), medium term (within one year) and long term (beyond one year)”.