"The true India resides in its villages", Charan Singh, Prime Minister of India (1979-80).
As much as this statement held a lot of truth in that era, the face of Indian villages have been dynamic than ever before. With the effort to provide a respectable standard of living along with human dignity & capabilities for all, keeping in view the Sustainable Development Goals; the Government has introduced the concept of Model Villages.
A 21st Century model village in the Indian scenario has been attributed four major characteristics, namely: Sustainability, Community Involvement, Technology and Connectivity.
These four broad areas are inter-related & inter-connected.
In 2015, the Government of Andhra Pradesh launched the Smart Village- Smart Ward, towards Smart Andhra Scheme. Similarly, at the same time, the Government of Telangana launched the Grama Jyothi Scheme, aligned under the overarching Central Government's scheme of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
This program aims at bringing behavioural change in the community, towards building a vibrant and well informed society, in a community led process that ensures both sustainability & accountability. The scheme follows a bottom-up approach, encouraging the community to participate, lead the developmental activities, take decisions and solve issues that come up in the process. The scheme aims at achieving model infrastructure, efficient service delivery, active & responsive institutions and eco-friendly technology with the long term goal of converting villages into model villages.
The uniqueness of this program includes the important step of formulating a "Village Development Plan" by the Gram Panchayat along with a Village Development Committee comprising of elected representatives from the village. This Village Development Plan focuses on various facets of development; such as the provision of basic amenities like roads, street lights, drains, employment generation & skill development, environment protection, among other things. The Plan also focuses on improved service delivery in the sectors of health, nutrition, sanitation, women empowerment, education, agriculture and animal husbandry sectors. Apart from these, it will include improvement plans in the fields of livelihood, social security & inclusiveness of the marginalised.
For this integrated approach to be efficient, effective & speedy, the Government has appealed to various stakeholders such as the representatives of the public, celebrities, NRIs, Corporate Social Responsibilities, Public officials, NGOs and other volunteers, to come forward & provide support under this scheme.
Mahila Abhivruddhi Society has been working on the development of three villages in both AP & Telangana, since the inception of the year 2016. Our main strategy is ushering in the wind of change with the community on the forefront, to reach the end goal of transforming these three villages into Model Villages.
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