Prime Minister NarendraModi said on Sunday that those trying to spread hate and obstruct development works in Kashmir will never succeed.
In his monthly ‘Mann kibaat’ broadcast, he said the “Back to village” programme held in June in Jammu and Kashmir saw enthusiastic participation of villagers everywhere, including in very sensitive and remote villages, as government officials reached there to discuss development schemes with locals.
“It shows how keen people of Kashmir are to join mainstream of development… Such programmes and people’s participation in them show that people of Kashmir want good governance. This also proves the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs,” he said.
“It is clear that those who wish to spread hatred en route to development, pose hurdles will never succeed in their sinister plans,” he added.
For the first time, the Prime Minister said, senior officials reached the doorsteps of villagers across 4,500 panchayats.
Appreciating the officers of the state administration for successfully organising the first of its kind public reach-out program, PM Modi said, “When I got to know about ‘Back To Village’ program at length, I felt that the entire nation should get to know about this program,”.
“This was a one of a kind programme where the public directly entered into a dialogue with the Government. The people of Kashmir are eager to join the national mainstream. Their enthusiasm is reflected in the mechanism of this program,” PM Modi said.
The week-long programmeorganised by the J&K administration saw over 4500 officers of the state administration reaching out to 4500 panchayats across the state where the villagers were briefed about the schemes implemented by the State and Centre.
“For the first time, senior officials reached the villages, directly, even those officials who had never visited a village were available to the villagers at their doorsteps, to judge for themselves to gauge the obstacles in the path of progress and to remove the hurdles,” the PM said.
During the program, modalities were also discussed to increase the income of villagers through interventions by panchayats, improving healthcare and hygiene, developmental works, water conservation and girl education among other issues were discussed during extensive deliberations.
“This program was not a mere government formality that officials roam around the village and return to base. Instead, officials spent two days and a night at the panchayat, enabling them to spend time in the village and meet almost every denizen of the village and to reach across to every establishment in the village,” the PM said.
He appreciated the state administration for making the program inclusive by organising competitions where sports kits, MNREGA job cards and SC/ST certificates were distributed.
“There were Financial Literacy camps and Agriculture and Horticulture Department set up stalls where knowledge about govt. schemes was disseminated. In this manner, this program became a festival celebrating development, a festival of people’s participation and a festival of people’s awakening!,” he said.
The PM lauded the in-charge officers of Panchayats nominated by the state administration for reaching out to remote villages, border areas and even sensitive villages in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag without any fear.
“The Gram Sabhas, wherein people chalked out schemes for themselves is something that is an extremely pleasant experience. A new resolve, a new fervor and grand results. Programs like these and people’s participation or stake holding indicates that our brothers and sisters in Kashmir want good Governance and proves the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs,” PM said.
These officials also reached villages on border which live under the shadow of cross-border firing, he said, adding that they also visited sensitive villages in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag- districts which have seen heightened militant activity of late, without any fear.
PM Modi also noted that over 3 lakh pilgrims completed the Amarnathyatra since July 1 and said it has already outnumbered the number of devotees during 60 days in 2015. “I would especially like to thank the hospitality of the people of Jammu- Kashmir for successful organization of AmarnathYatra. Those who return after performing this pilgrimage become imbued with the feelings of warmth and kinship displayed by the people of the state and it will boost tourism in J&K, ” he said.
In the Chardhamyatra in Uttarakhand too, large numbers of tourists have visited holy sites, he said, adding that over eight lakh devotees had visited Kedarnath shrine, a record number post the massive 2013 floods that had devastated the region.
In his 25-minute address, PM Modi asked people to celebrate August 15 with special preparations and find out new ways to observe Independence Day with greater participation of masses.
“You must ponder over the fact how 15th August could be celebrated as a folk-festival and also as a people’s festival,” he said.
Speaking of floods in different parts, he said the Centre in tandem with state governments is working at a “lightning pace” to provide people relief and succour.
The issue of water conservation has stirred the nation, he said, and lauded the Meghalaya government to frame a water policy and the Haryana government for encouraging farmers to shift to cultivating crops that need less water.