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PM’s interaction with Sarpanchs from across the Nation on Panchayati Raj Diwas

Namaskar!

My best wishes to all of you on the Panchayati Raj Day. The Corona virus pandemic has really changed the way we all work. Earlier we used to meet face to face in any event, but now the same programme is happening through video conferencing.

Currently, lakhs of sarpanches and Panchayat members across the country are connected via technology. My greetings to all of you! Today, many Panchayats have also received awards for their commendable work. Heartiest congratulations to all the award-winning Panchayats and the representatives of the people.

Friends, the Panchayati Raj Day is also an opportunity to reiterate our resolution of delivering good governance to the villages. And amid the Corona crisis, this resolution has become even more relevant. It is true that the Corona pandemic has created many problems for us.

But more importantly, the pandemic has taught us a new lesson and has given a new message. Today I wish to send out a message to every citizen of the country through this programme, whether the person resides in villages or cities.

Friends, the biggest lesson taught by the Corona crisis to us is to become self-sufficient. Villages, districts and states must become self-sufficient at their respective levels and be able to fulfil their basic needs. Similarly, the whole country must become self-reliant, so that we don’t have to look outside to meet our needs. It has become indispensable. In India, this idea has been prevalent for centuries, but today the changed circumstances have once again reminded us to be self-sufficient. Gram Panchayats of our country will play a major role in achieving it. Strong Panchayats are also the foundation for a self-sufficient village. And so stronger the Panchayat system, stronger will be the democracy and more and more benefits of development will reach the people at the lowest rung of the society.

Friends, with this very idea, the government has consistently worked to modernize the infrastructure and the systems related to Panchayati Raj. Otherwise, there was a period some 5-6 years ago, when merely less than a hundred Panchayats in the country were connected with broadband. The Broadband has now reached more than 1.25 lakh Panchayats. Moreover, the number of common service centres in villages is also about to cross three lakhs.

As a result of the campaign launched by the government to manufacture mobiles within India, today, low-cost smart phones have reached every village. These factors have played a major role in the video conference that is taking place on such a large scale today.

Friends, two more projects have been started today by the government to strengthen the rural infrastructure and to reduce the distance between the cities and the villages. You’ve seen in this video film that one of the projects is the e-Gram Swaraj portal and the App and the second one is the Swamitva scheme.

e- Gram Swaraj i.e. Simplified Work Based Accounting Application for Panchayati Raj is a major step towards the complete digitization of Gram Panchayats. In the future, this will be a single platform to keep a record of every work of Panchayat. Now you would not have to work on different applications. As mentioned, this portal or app will have details ranging from the development works of the Panchayat to the allocated funds and the amount spent on them. Through this, any person will now be able to keep track of the work being done in his Gram Panchayat.

This will not only enhance transparency in Gram Panchayats but will also help to keep records in a much easier way and the process of planning and completion of projects will also be faster. Just imagine how much the e-gram swaraj is going to empower you all!

Friends, you all know very well about the situation concerning properties in the villages. The Swamitva scheme is an attempt to correct this. Under this scheme, drones will be used to map the houses in all villages of the country. After that, the people of the villages will be given a ‘Title Deed’ for their property.

The people of the village will get many benefits with the Swamitva scheme. Firstly, it will remove the confusion surrounding the property. Secondly, it will help in a better planning of the development schemes in the village. Another big advantage will be that it will make the process of getting loans from banks easier in the villages just like the cities.

Friends, at present, this scheme is being implemented in 6 states-Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand on a pilot basis. We will gain experience from this practice and get to know where the issues need to be fixed and modifications have to be made. After making all the modifications, this scheme will be implemented across the country.

Friends, sometimes I think that the test of true education in life is possible only during a crisis. True knowledge and capability cannot be tested in a protective environment. During this corona crisis, the people living in the villages of the country, even though they have not attained education in any big or well-known university, have shown their values and the knowledge of traditions.

The updates coming from the villages are an inspiration for the major scholars. The work done by my friends, those living in the villages, my tribal brothers and sisters, farmers and workers involved in sowing and harvesting, is inspiring the country.

All of you have given the mantra of – ‘Do gaj doori’ or ‘ a distance of two yards’ to the world. The focus is on the villages on how this mantra is being followed. ‘Do gaj doori‘ i.e. social distancing would keep you away from the Corona virus. It is due to your efforts that there has been a discussion going on around the world today about how India has fought back with Corona.

Friends, despite this worst crisis, this pandemic, the Indians have fought back with the limited resources, instead of succumbing to the numerous challenges. It is true that there are obstacles, challenges and difficulties, but the country is being taken forward continuously with the new resolutions and new energy while looking for new ways.

Friends, under these circumstances, I’m constantly seeking information from different sources about the activities going on in the villages. Today, I would like to know from some of the friends about the experiences during corona and suggestions related to it. Come, let’s begin the discussion. I have been told to hear out from Jammu and Kashmir first.

Mohammed Iqbal is joining us from Kashmir’s Baramulla. He is the Chairman of the Block Panchayat Narvav. Iqbal ji Namaskar !!

Iqbal ji, how is the fight going on against Corona in your Block ? What more are you doing to maintain social distancing and cleanliness?

Iqbal – Namaskar Sir, heartiest greetings to you from Baramulla Block Narvavo of Jammu and Kashmir. My best wishes to you Sir on the occasion of Panchayati Raj Day. Sir, at this time, Narvavo is fighting against the corona virus; your directions and guidelines on lockdown are 100% being implemented on ground. We had made preparations for the same in advance since day one of the lockdown. We held a meeting at Block level and issued an order from the BDC’s office. In that meeting, we trained all the three departments, the ASHA workers, ICDS Workers and Panchayat PRI’s members. We informed them about the preventive measures against the Corona virus. Thereafter, we sent them to every household in our block.

And in fact, not a single household in our block has been left out. Our team, our PRI staff, our medical and ICDS workers have visited every house and have made every single individual aware about how the corona virus can be prevented. Till date, only one positive case has been reported in our Block, and the biggest reason for that case was the non-existence of a Panchayat there; we did not have Panchayat members and we could not trace out that case.

But in the rest of the villages and Blocks, we have identified each house, recorded the travel history of each person, identified them, and quarantined them with the help of the district administration and the health department. PRI’s have been put on duty there. They were put on duty there 24×7, so that the purpose of home quarantine becomes successful. Moreover, our district administration had directed us to be strict with the lockdown guidelines to make it a success. Our members of the Panchayati Youth Association were directed by our district administration that PRIs have to make the lockdown successful. They made posters and along with the volunteers, they made the lockdown a success! They came up with two slogans. ‘Respect all, suspect all’ was the first slogan. The second slogan was – ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’. Following these two slogans, today 99% of the situation in our Block is under control, Sir.

Iqbal – Thank you sir.

Prime Minister- you have mentioned a lot of things. It seems that you always devote time in the field itself. You visit every village, and as a result, you have been able to understand things with such a great ease. You have developed the human resources, followed the rules, and have done it very well. I believe that this mantra of social distancing must be learnt by every village, every house and the entire Jammu and Kashmir. I congratulate you; you have done excellent work and I also congratulate all the citizens of your block! And it is the month of Ramadan. Due to the hard work that you have done, the festival of Ramadan will also be celebrated in a very good manner. So you have really done a great service!

Now, after Jammu and Kashmir, let’s go directly to the south. Let’s hear from Karnataka. Mr. Naveen Kumar is joining us from Chikkaballapur in Karnataka.

Naveen Kumar – Greetings from the Gram Panchayat to the country’s Prime Servant.

Prime Minister- These days I get the opportunity to talk to the village heads as well as to the heads of states.

Naveen Kumar – Thank you sir. There is no corona patient in our Gram Panchayat and we have 14 people in home quarantine. Arrangements have been made to deliver water, milk, vegetables, ration etc. to their homes through the Panchayat. A task force of ASHA workers, health department officials and all members and staff of the Gram Panchayat have been formed. Every week, two-four meetings are held to discuss how to stop the spread of corona and what can be done for the same. IEC, social distancing and sanitation work are going well.

More than 5000 people have been benefitted from these four schemes – Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana and Pension scheme.

The village police have been formed by motivating the youths here. All these village police are working by putting check posts in the Panchayat Boundaries. This has prevented unnecessary communication of people. This has stopped the Corona virus from reaching one state from another. Besides sanitation, IEC has been carried out everywhere for Individual and community hygiene.

More than 170 workers, who have come from Maharashtra due to the lockdown, are being kept in a school. They have been provided with food, water and medicines; We have also involved them in some work.

A market has been organized for fruits and vegetables. This is not causing any economic loss to the farmers. Their economic status and morale have been boosted. We are also delivering the required medicines from the doctors to their homes.

We are creating the opportunity for the Panchayats labourers, farmers, individual workers in water conservation under Mahatma Gandhi Rashtriya Udyog Yojana. This has boosted the morale of the people in gram Panchayat.

Prime Minister- Naveen Ji, what is the population of your village?

Naveen ji –8,500 Sir.

Prime Minister – that means it’s a big village. How long have you been the village-head?

Naveen – First time, Sir.

Prime Minister – You have become the Sarpanch for the first time? But you are doing a lot of work and that too systematically with a lot of planning. Do the villagers listen to you?

Naveen – Yes sir.

Prime Minister -well, that’s splendid! I would like to congratulate you and your village for this excellent work. I appreciate your leadership, your vision for taking all the schemes to the people and for making economic progress possible. And I congratulate you all for giving a glimpse of what the strength of a village is!

Let us now move on to Bihar.

Mr. Ajay Singh Yadav, the head of Gram Panchayat Gharaniya from Jehanabad district of Bihar is joining us. Ajay ji Namaskar!

Ajay – Namaskar, sir. I, Ajay Singh Yadav, head of Gram Panchayat, offer my heartfelt greetings on behalf of Panchayat Gharaniya, Bihar, and sir.

Prime Minister- Namaskar.

Ajay – The lockdown was imposed on the 22nd, after that, I did continue to campaign in the Gram Panchayat area myself for four consecutive days to aware the people about the lockdown and the significance of social distancing of six feet to be followed.

Prime Minister – Ajay ji, Please explain the two yards distance.

Ajay – sir two yards distance?

Prime Minister – Yes

Ajay – Sir we sprinkled the bleaching powder in the village. ASHA workers, ward members, and Sarpanch Sahib, all visited every household and taught them about washing hands with soaps. Sir, we did put 18 people in home quarantine. The Panchayat also provided facilities to them. Sir we built a home quarantine centre of 30 beds. We have made arrangements for meals; ANM and security guards were  put on duty. Sir we have formed a Gram Raksha Dal of 45 people. Sir, we have put bamboo barriers around the village so that the people of the village do not go out. The person with urgent or emergency work, such as to get medicines should only be allowed to go out. And Sir, people from the Health department come to the village twice a week. Sir, we also hold a meeting with the representatives of the Panchayat government after every three days which includes five to ten heads, sarpanches, Gram Panchayat and Panchayat workers.

Prime Minister – Good Ajay! Many migrant friends from your Panchayat might have returned home from other cities and those who could not return yet would also want to come.

Ajay – yes sir, they want to come back, but we have stopped them and have asked them to stay wherever they are. They can come back once the lockdown is over. As we keep the returnees in school for 14 days, they are saying that they will come back only after the lockdown. They don’t want to stay there for 14 days.

Prime Minister – That means, everyone listens to you?

Ajay – Yes sir.

Prime Minister- May all have you been safe and I hope those in the cities should also safe. I hope they are calm. You definitely keep talking to them on the phone. I know that living in the cities is creating problems for them. They are missing home, their parents, which is natural. But at such a time, if people from the village talk to them, then they would feel a little de-burdened. And I congratulate you for the work you are doing today.

Let us move on to Basti in Uttar Pradesh. Sister Varsha Singh, the Pradhan of Basti Gram Panchayat Naqteedehi, is joining us. Namaskar, Varsha ji!

Varsha-Namaskar sir. I would like to welcome you on behalf of the people of my Gram Panchayat. And my heartfelt wishes on Panchayati Raj Day.

Prime Minister – Is Lockdown being followed properly in your place?

Varsha -sir, there is complete lockdown in my village and I am making people aware through ASHA workers, Anganwadi sisters and ANMs who are going to every household and telling them about following lockdown, social distancing and staying at home.

Prime Minister – How long have you been the Pradhan?

Varsha- Sir, this is not the first time that I have become a Pradhan. I have worked as a Pradhan even before.

Prime Minister – how is the implementation and reach of the Central Government’s schemes such as the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi there?

Varsha- Sir, we have 25 beneficiaries under the Ujjwala Yojana, 155 beneficiaries of Kisan Samman Nidhi and 10 people are under registration and 50 people have benefitted under the Jan-Dhan Yojana.

Prime Minister – How is the experience of the people there? Are they all satisfied?

Varsha- Sir, people are very satisfied. Your instructions and lockdown regulations are being followed very well and the people are feeling very safe. Those people think that we are safe at home because this corona virus has no exact cure. The only way to save ourselves in this situation is to stay at home, be safe, and follow social distancing i.e. – maintaining two yards distance. People must follow social distancing at home.

Prime Minister – Look, Corona virus is a very strange virus but it also has a specialty. It does not go to someone’s house on its own; it does not go anywhere on its own. If you go and invite it, only then it will enter the house with you. Then it will not leave anyone in the house. And so these mantras of a social distancing should be followed religiously like talking only by keeping a distance of two yards or standing only by maintaining a distance of two yards. For example, if one person is wearing protective gear and the person in front is also covering himself, then the distance of two yards is being maintained automatically.

Well, how are the people of the village here feeling about getting the entire fund? Earlier they used to say that if Delhi released one rupee, then only 15 paisa used to reach them. Nowadays, if one rupee is released, the entire 100 paisa is deposited in their bank accounts. So how do the villagers feel as they are receiving all the money?

Varsha-villagers are very satisfied, sir.

Prime Minister – What do they say?

Varsha- they say that ever since this government came to power, all the benefits are being received completely.

Prime Minister – well, Varsha ji, you are doing a great job! Yes, you were saying something.

Varsha- Sir, it was being discussed in the village that in a global crisis like the Corona pandemic, what would have happened to the country if we did not have a Prime Minister like you. Sir, this is being discussed everywhere amongst ourselves.

Prime Minister – Varsha ji, just remember about two yards; the mantra of two yards distance will save us. Well I am glad that the villagers are satisfied. Because when there is trust between the government and the public, then we can overcome many big crises. And confidence is the reason that we are winning the battle this time. The biggest strength is trust. We believe in ourselves; we also believe in systems and we have to come out of the crisis.

Let’s go to Punjab. Sister Pallavi Thakur, Sarpanch of Hada, Gram Panchayat of Pathankot, Punjab, is present with us. Pallavi ji Namaskar.

Pallavi ji- Namaskar, Sir. Hearty greetings to you on behalf of me and my entire Panchayat. I am from Sarpanch Gram Panchayat Hada, which is a backward area and a border area. So Sir, amid the Corona virus crisis, our villagers and the youth of our village are the biggest support. They are following the message given by you – stay at home. So sir, we have made very good arrangements in the village for the same. There are blockades at both the entrances of my village, which is also being monitored by me and the other heads of my village and the youth of the village are also guarding the entrances so that no one can go out of the village or come inside without any purpose. And, we have gone to every household and have sensitized people about it. By the way sir, when the lockdown was announced on 22nd, our Punjab Government had announced it till 31st on the same day, and many people had started following it from the same day by staying at home. And we and the entire Panchayat have sensitized the people – stay at home and even at your house you must maintain a distance, wash hands from time to time and don’t touch your eyes and face again and again.

So Sir, as the crop harvest season is going on in Punjab too, so the Punjab Government has issued some rules, and the people have been asked to follow these rules. For example, while harvesting the crops they have to maintain a distance of two yards. If you are cutting the crops, then you must wash your hands frequently. Sir too, some of his more special and special arrangements have also been made. As crops come, how to take them to the market. Sir, moreover, the way in which the crops are to be carried to the markets is also being told. For example, four and five villages have been merged to form a single market and the farmers have to carry a hologram slip first, only then they can go to the market. We have also told them that the farmers can carry only 50 quintals at once on their tractors to the market. And there will be only one driver on the tractor and an associate with him. And they have to maintain social distancing between them.

Prime Minister – Pallaviji, you have told us everything so well. I congratulate you for handling the situation in your village in such a beautiful way during this crisis and the villagers also listen to you. You are right-it is very important for the farmers to be healthy and safe. Because they are the provider of food grains and fills the stomach of the whole nation with a selfless spirit. It is the farmers and the herders who have not let the country face any scarcity of the necessary grains, milk, fruits, amid the complete lockdown. I deeply admire their courage. Yes, besides the compliments, I also have a request to all of you. Pallaviji, when I used to work in Gurdaspur, I used to get in touch with the mothers and sisters of many villages. They would always tell me to protect our youth from drugs and so on. They used to be a lot concerned. Similarly, in order to save our mother earth, and for a brighter future of farmers, for the good health of the citizens of our country, and for our future generations, we must convince the village farmers to reduce the usage of urea. Urea is causing huge problems. Urea has a very adverse effect on our soil and our water.

So Pallaviji, heads like you must explain to the villagers that if 10 bags of urea used to come to the village, now only 5 bags would come; if 100 bags used to come, then 50 bags would come now. We will halve the quantity. You see, money will also be saved and our mother earth will also be saved.

Talking to the farmers of Punjab and a Pradhan like Pallavi, I am sure that you will do the needful and my best wishes to you all.

Let us go to Maharashtra. Sister Priyankaji, Pradhan of Medan Karwadi Gram Panchayat, is with us. Namaskar Priyankaji!

Priyank –Namaskar Sir.

Prime Minister – tell me, Priyankaji.

Priyanka- since the lockdown was announced, from the 26th onwards, we have sanitized the whole village with sodium hypochlorite. After that, we installed the Sanitizer Tunnel at two places where there is more movement of people. Then, we distributed soaps in every household. After that, the women of our village who were trained for sewing work under ‘Skill India’ were given the task of making masks. We have given the work to the SHGs in such a way that they make 5000 masks of one type and so on. And we are distributing them in the entire village. Then there is a semi-urban area with more industries nearby. People come out for a walk; for this we have set a time and we keep the street lights off. It has proved to be much beneficial and an effective way to maintain social distancing.

We have marked circles in front of the Shops to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Besides the grocery shops and vegetable shops will remain open on alternate days; e.g. three days ration shops will be open whereas the vegetable shops will be open for the other three days. It helped in limiting the movement of people.

Besides, by coordinating between the housing societies and the farmers, vegetables and grains were being sold to the housing societies by placing volunteers through a PMC. This benefited the farmers a lot. Moreover, we distributed seven thousand sanitary napkins in our village through ASHA workers for ensuring women’s safety and women’s health. We gave napkins to each and every woman. And, we also started the home quarantine facility in case some suspects are found here. And we have benefited a lot!

We have sanitized the village again for the second time when the lockdown was extended. So with all these measures and social distancing, we have benefited a lot.

Prime Minister – Priyankaji, now the villagers must be tired. People must be angry that Modiji has closed down everything for so many days!

Priyanka ji – They are not used to living at home, so the villagers are tired, but they know that what the Prime Minister of our country is doing; he is doing for our health and safety; he is doing for our country. So the people understand.

Prime Minister – What is the population of your village, Priyanka ji?

Priyanka – 50,000

Prime Minister – I think that more the work of farm production which the Government of India is also supporting is boosted, the more will the farmers of your village be empowered.

Similarly, e-NAM: Through e-nam technology, our farmers can get a good market in every corner of the country. And now the confidence of the farmers is increasing. And if there are educated heads like you, then I firmly believe that you can bring modern systems to your village.

In the same way, the government e-market place, GeM – I want the women Self-Help Groups and the small entrepreneurs of your village to sell their products directly to the Government of India through GeM portal. There is no need for tenders. No commission, nothing, just sell directly on the GeM portal. Educated heads like you, then, can form a good team, and through the technology, the sisters of your village will be able to get a market for their products. All the facilities are available.

Yes, I think Priyanka ji was saying something.

Priyanka ji – Sir, e-NAM which is the national level market, and we are working on it by coordinating with the Panchayat operators to help the farmers.

Prime Minister – well, I wish you the very best!

Priyanka ji – No sir, I would like to say something for you.

Prime Minister- Please tell me.

Priyanka ji – I would like to say a few lines for you as you are showing the way to the entire country and the whole world, about dealing with the Coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister – Please tell.

Priyanka ji-

कोशिश जारी है और हिम्‍मत बरकरार है,

सिर है इस दुनिया पर छाने का फितूर।

मुझे किसी पर भरोसा नहीं, मुझे मेहनत पर भरोसा है,

एक न एक दिन ये हालात बदलेंगे जरूर।

Prime Minister – Great! We have faith in your words as well; it is a reflection of the spirit of the country. My best wishes to you!

Let us move towards the East, to Assam. The Pradhan of Gram Panchayat Chota-Dudhpatil of Kachar district of Assam, Shri Ranjit Sarkar is with us. Namaskar Ranjit ji.

Ranjit-Namaskar sir. Sir, first of all, on behalf of the state of Assam I want to say that we stand by your decision of declaring lockdown.

Prime Minister – I think the people of Assam must be angry because they have such a big festival Bihu and Modi has announced the lockdown. This time, due to the corona pandemic, Bihu could only be celebrated on a limited level. This restrain and discipline of the people of Assam amid the country’s fight against Corona virus is commendable. In Assam, I see that the sisters of our village are engaged in making masks with gamcha. What is your Panchayat doing to help the health workers who are coming to do check-ups?

Ranjit Sarkar – The decision of the Lockdown made by you is really good, sir. Sir, it is to protect the country. Our Panchayat is putting all efforts to keep our village absolutely safe from Corona. Those coming from outside, are being monitored. Here, ASHA workers and other healthcare workers come for the survey. Full assistance is being provided by our Panchayat team to help these healthcare friends to reach every household and in gathering the necessary information. On behalf of the entire Panchayat, I want to express my gratitude for the new law that you have made for the protection of doctors and other healthcare workers. It was very much needed. Our Panchayat is also helping those who do not have work during these times. Whatever help is being provided by the central and the state government, is being rapidly delivered to the people.

Prime Minister: Ranjit ji, you have said very well. I congratulate you and also congratulate all the residents. Thank you very much!

This is a very good thing, Ranjit ji.

You and your team still have a lot of work to do. As far as you talked about the new law on the protection of healthcare workers, I would wish that there is no need to use that law.
We have to allow our Corona warriors to work and we must honour them, because they are in the field, not for themselves but us.

Friends,

Not only me, but all the citizens of the country are listening to you today and all the countrymen must have been satisfied with this meaningful conversation with you all. A new confidence must have arisen in them by learning how our people have handled the country in our remote villages and how they are working so well for the country’s brighter future. And probably if time permitted, I would have been able to hear everyone. It would have been a great pleasure; we would have got to know about new things. I am in front of lakhs of Panch-sarpanch connected through this technology. Even though I have not been able to listen to all of you, some of the Pradhans who have narrated their experiences have also expressed your feelings in a way. But I know that you too have made some special efforts and have done experiments to save your village; if you could write and send me, I would love it!

All of you are taking leadership and responsibility in making life safe and easy in villages even amid this difficult situation. We all have been listening since childhood, the one thing that Mahatma Gandhi used to say time and again. Mahatma Gandhi used to say – “The Swaraj of my dreams is Gram Swaraj”.

Therefore, Gram Panchayats are the centre of the united power of our democracy. This is one of the most powerful centres of our democratic solidarity. And it is said in our scriptures, ”संघमूलम् महाबलम्”. That is, the centre of the greatest power lies in unity or solidarity.

And so in these times, the beginning of taking the country forward and making the country self-reliant, will be possible only with the collective power of the village; it will be possible only with your solidarity.

Amidst these efforts, we have to remember that the negligence of a single person can endanger the entire village. Therefore, there is no scope for laxity.

There should be a sanitization campaign in the village, to make quarantine centres for people coming from cities in a very short time. We have to think about the food and needs of every person, and to make the people aware; we have to do this work continuously without stopping, without laxity.

And as Iqbal ji from J&K has just said, ‘Respect and Suspect’. I believe that the elderly, the disabled and the sick in the village should have the first access. If they have any difficulty, they will come to you first. So the first solution should also be available with the village Panch and Pradhan.

We have to keep in mind the mantra of ‘do gaz doori’ or social distancing. We must not forget to maintain distance between the Villages, houses, streets as well as to cover our faces, not necessarily with expensive masks and also repeated cleaning of hands. But these measures must continuously go on. This is the best way for us to prevent this disease in the coming days; this is the only remedy.

We also have to place more emphasis upon protection and hygiene because the risk of many types of diseases also increases during the summer and rainy season. And monsoon is about to start here. Therefore, Corona virus has caused more concern for us. So we have to save our village by being very vigilant.

Friends,

Our past experience shows that due to the spread of misinformation about diseases and their treatment, we have had a lot of difficulty in preventing those diseases and a lot of time is wasted. This time we do not have to let this happen. We have to get people out of every kind of misunderstanding.

Correct information must reach every family – whether it is for prevention or for cure. And I heard many Sarpanches saying that they have made small groups in the villages and have mobilized people for different tasks and have speeded up the awareness campaign. There are ASHA workers, ANMs, Self-Help Groups with Anganwadi workers, its sisters, youth circles, ex-servicemen and many people from other organizations including religious, social and cultural organizations too. We must seel the help of everyone. Everyone should join in.

Friends,

I was watching on social media that there were myths surrounding different types of food. So, we have to be very cautious of such rumours. Whatever we eat, we should eat after washing and cooking well. We must tell this thing to every village. And yes, many good traditions exist in the villages too, which we have to encourage more.

Like, we have a tradition of consuming Ayurveda decoction; we use many types of spices. Besides, if we do yoga-pranayam regularly, then we will benefit for sure. They are not the cure for any disease, but it gives our body strength to fight the disease. Some guidelines related to this have also been issued by the Ministry of AYUSH. And I would like all the Pradhans to visit the website of Ministry of AYUSH. It has all the information. You must apply it in your village.

You also have to pay a lot of attention to one more thing, i.e. the Aarogya Setu Mobile App. I watched an artist on TV, and he has called the Aarogya Setu Mobile App a bodyguard. This mobile app is very useful for fighting Corona.

If this app is installed in your mobile, you will get to know if someone in front of you in your village has arrived from a Corona virus affected area. Download the Aarogya Setu app for your own safety, for the safety of your village, for the safety of those around you in your entire village. It will work as your bodyguard for a long time.

I would request all the Panchayat representatives of the country to get the Aarogya Setu App downloaded in the mobile phones of every person in your village. It is a bridge to our security in a way.

Friends,

The healthcare of brothers and sisters living in the rural areas of the country has been one of the biggest priorities of our government. The government is continuously working to fulfil your every need.

Earlier there were so many problems regarding vaccination. Our government not only increased the number of vaccines, but also took the vaccination campaign to far-flung areas. Previously, pregnant women and newborns had the issue of very high malnutrition. Through the PM Matru Vandana Yojana, we started transferring money directly to the bank accounts of women to help them fight against malnutrition.

You also know the condition of toilets before. You also know how many diseases were spread due to the lack of toilets. We are making serious efforts to ensure that the poor of the village get the best health care and efforts are being made for the same. The Ayushman Bharat Yojana has also emerged as a huge relief for the poor of the village, under which about one crore poor patients have received free treatment in the hospitals.

The scheme has also helped in the construction of hospitals in rural areas where there is a shortage of hospitals. The government is also in the process of setting up about 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres in villages across the country. In these centers, facilities are being provided to test many serious diseases.

These previously made efforts have prepared our villages to play an important role in the fight against Corona virus. I am sure that all of you will definitely defeat Corona with your collective efforts, solidarity and your determination.

With this belief, I once again wish all my friends the very best on this important occasion of Panchayati Raj day. I wish better health for you, your family, and the people of your village. And once again thank you very much for taking time out and telling me a lot of things. I received a lot of new information and also felt your confidence.

I once again thank you very much!

Namaskar!