Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh today asserted that holistic and sustainable development of the nation is possible only if the rural areas are developed at grass root level. He said that the present government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very keen to develop rural areas by empowering regional and local institutions.The minister made these remarks at a function organised by Jammu Kashmir - Rural Livelihood Mission - UMEED at Singhpora Pattan of Baramulla district. The Minister paid his visit to the area as a part of the central government's special public outreach programme which aimed to get the first hand appraisal of public feedback at the ground level.Paying rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birth anniversaries, Shri Giriraj Singh recalled their contribution for rural development by means of Gram Swaraj and Gram development. He said that women have a leading role in socio-economic development and there is a need to provide them with appropriate platforms where they can showcase their talent.
Terming the PRIs as the real agents of rural development, the minister emphasized upon them to play a positive and productive role so as to ensure holistic and inclusive development at grass root levels. He assured that full support and cooperation will be provided to them by the Union Government adding that J&K UT is the first region where 73rd constitutional amendment has been effectively implemented. He also enlisted various initiatives taken to create viable and sustainable livelihood opportunities in rural areas and said that efforts are being taken to ensure financial inclusion at gram panchayat level.The Minister also interacted with several Self Help Groups (SHG’s) and assured that SHG products will be linked with India Expo for wider marketing and sales.Mission Director JKRLM - UMEED, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar presented a detailed overview of JKRLM and highlighted the progress cum performance achieved by means of different socio-economic interventions.Meanwhile, DDC Chairperson Baramulla Safeena Beigh extended gratitude to the central government for conducting the outreach programme so as to hear the common masses. She urged the higher authorities to redress the basic grievances so as to meet the aspirations of common people.Earlier, the Minister e-inaugurated several community assets worth Rs 664.72 lacs. These community assets have been developed by the Rural Development Department under MGNREGA and other sponsored programmes.District Development Commissioner Baramulla, Bhupinder Kumar; Director Rural Development Department Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Zargar; SSP Baramulla, Rayees Mohammad Bhat; DDC members, BDC Chairpersons, PRIs and other officers of the district administration were also present on the occasion.