Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Jayapur village has adopted me, says Modi
ALL IN A DAY Modi makes strong appeal to check female foeticide, says country’s top bureaucrats have been asked to establish a rural connect, asserts that tall talk over the years has led to nothing and issues subtle warning to middlemen
Five months after this holy city overwhelmingly voted him as their MP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the key eastern UP constituency with an ‘acche din’ promise for weavers besides launching the adarsh gram yojana from ‘toiletless’ Jayapur village which he has adopted.
At the village, he also revealed his government’s rural focus by declaring that top bureaucrats have been asked to establish regular village-connect.
“I have asked country’s top bureaucrats to establish a rural connect through regular visits especially in those villages where they initially served. That way, the bureaucrats, who are virtually inaccessible to the common man, would also know that while they have advanced in life, the villages have continued to wallow in neglect,” the PM said in this village soon after landing here in a fleet of three MI 17 IAF helicopters barely half-an-hour after inaugurating the trade facilitation centre for weavers at Lalpur.
Showcasing his earthy side, the PM, who landed in Varanasi describing himself as a ‘sevak’, got up to adjust the mike when Jayapur’s village head Durgawati Devi was delivering her welcome address.
The gesture was appreciated by the largely rural audience. Perhaps answering the criticism that an MP’s focus on just one village would lead to the rest being neglected, he said: “The model village will become a model for others to emulate. When one is ready, the rest will follow.”
He began his speech with the emotional line – “I have not adopted Jayapur; rather it’s Jayapur that has adopted me.” The PM, who arrived to a warm, rather frenzied welcome, chose to quickly serve what appeared to be a subtle warning to middlemen.
He said there was a sudden rush to get villages selected under the ‘model village scheme’ under the “misplaced” belief that “money” is going to flow into such villages.
“That’s not going to happen for this is a self-driven scheme, which doesn’t have any financial provision. The government will do its bit but please remember that you don’t have to depend on the government for everything,” the PM said while offering a bouquet of ‘choti choti baatein’ to the people of his adopted village.
The bouquet included an appeal to villagers to ensure that their children wash their hands before a meal.
He also made a rather strong appeal to check female foeticide and to celebrate the birth of girl child.
“Female foeticide is so shocking. If left unchecked, it would play havoc with society. Supposing the male-female ratio is 1000:800, it means that 200 males won’t have a girl to marry. Can you imagine what this may ultimately lead to? Let’s begin a new chapter; let’s celebrate the birth of girl child,” he said.
He followed it up with a typical Modi-punch. “You may well think what kind of a PM is this who talks of public participation in solving local issues, about taking our children to polio booths, ensuring cleanliness and the need to honour our elders. That’s the problem. So far tall talk has led to nothing. I want to do big things by getting things done the right way,” he said.