Asserting that India has attained new milestones in gram swaraj and democratic empowerment of panchayats in the last eight years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged sarpanches to make efforts for saturation coverage of welfare schemes, conserving water and making the upcoming Yoga Day special.
In a letter to sarpanches (village heads) days after his government marked its eighth anniversary, Modi listed several issues on which he sought their support while appreciating their contribution in the last eight years. He asked them to work to make the eighth International Yoga Day, which falls on June 21, special and to encourage everyone in their village to join the exercise. They can select an ancient or tourist place or a place near a water body in their area for everyone in the village to do yoga on the day, he said, urging them to share pictures to inspire others. People all over the world observe the day enthusiastically, and pictures of them doing yoga in different corners, from skies to the Himalayas and sea, in the preceding years have made Indians proud, the prime minister has written. Noting that “Yoga for humanity” is the theme of the Yoga Day, he said the COVID-19 pandemic has made people realise the importance of health and how big a role yoga can play in this. Emphasising on the need for conserving every drop of water, Modi asked village heads to continue making collective efforts in villages in this regard while pitching for rain water harvesting measures. To achieve this goal, the country has resolved to make 75 amrit sarovars, a reference to water bodies, in every district in the 75th anniversary of its Independence, he said. With the prime minister often stressing on the need for saturation coverage of welfare measures to help every eligible beneficiary, he told sarpanches that they will have a big role in this and asked them to speed up their efforts to ensure that no one is left out from the benefits of government schemes. “When every eligible person in the village gets full benefits of schemes, then the village as well as the entire country will prosper,” he wrote. Modi also asked them to continue with the efforts for Swachh Bharat (clean India) with all seriousness. On the issue of gram swaraj (village self-rule) and garib kalyan (poors welfare), he said, “New milestones have been achieved towards gram swaraj and democratic empowerment of panchayats.” India has around 2.5 lakh panchayats. According to the 2011 census, nearly 69 per cent of the population lives in rural India. The prime minister also noted that the WHO had recently felicitated ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist), workers, and said it is a matter of pride for villages. In the letter, the prime minister also wished farmers a good monsoon season.
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