Jammu & Kashmir

‘Back to Village’ programme wraps up on encouraging note in Jammu division

With ‘Back to Village’ programme wrapping up on an encouraging note across the Jammu division, a credible mechanism of involving rural population in participatory democracy and decision making emerged as a punch line at the end of 8-day along activities.

open view news desk

JAMMU, JUNE 27: With ‘Back to Village’ programme wrapping up on an encouraging note across the Jammu division, a credible mechanism of involving rural population in participatory democracy and decision making emerged as a punch line at the end of 8-day along activities.

The outreach programme activities included discussions and deliberations at the Panchayati Raj Institutions level, awareness campaigns on various schemes for marginalized segments of society, inaugurations of utility services and solicitation of feedback and suggestions for improving the efficacy of numerous programmes and their implementation.

The idea behind the programme was primarily to take the administration at their doorsteps of people besides bridging the gap between government and the rural communities. The entire exercise was actually prelude to empowerment of people through local self-government that will take call on developmental needs of the villages and functioning of various administrative units.

The concluding day marked with holding of Gram Sabhas, reading of PMs letter to PRIs, inspections of public utilities and government institutions, besides conduct of public grievances camps, distribution of sports kits, awareness on government schemes, inaugurations, cleanliness and plantation drives. 

In SAMBA, a slew of initiatives and events in all 35 panchayats of three blocks of the district marked the culmination of ‘Back to Village’ programme in the district drawing an overwhelming response from the people.

Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Navin Kumar Choudhary, convened Gram Sabha in Panchayat Chajjwal, as visiting officer, taking a record of issues and concerns of rural populace besides assessing their development needs and economic potential of the area.

During the Gram Sabha, letter of Prime Minister addressed to Sarpanch on water conservation and cleanliness issues was readout besides Social Audit Committees under MGNREGA were also constituted.

Principal Secretary, while elaborating on contours of ‘Back to Village’ initiative, appealed the villagers especially Panchayat members to ensure their participatory role contributes towards rural emancipation in true sense. He exhorted Social Audit Committee to ensure regular inspection of ongoing works.

Navin, interacting with the PRIs, locals and government functionaries during the Gram Sabha, said that powers have been devolved to the Panchayats for ensuring efficient and effective implementation of development programmes in rural parts. He exhorted the concerned to hold Gram Sabhas once a month to discuss local governance and development status and formulate need based plans in every Panchayat.

In a significant move, 100 percent Aadhaar enrollment of 0-5years children and older-age groups, girl child coverage under Ladli Beti scheme, distribution of baby kits and health cards, was accomplished during Principal Secretary’s stay in the Panchayat. Besides, the 68 left out beneficiaries were also included in the PMAY scheme and a plantation drive was carried out in which 1000 saplings were planted across the Panchayat.

The Principal Secretary distributed school bags and uniforms among the students of all the schools in the Panchayats besides giving away sports Kits to the Ward members of the panchayat.

Numerous issues were raised including construction of culverts, bifurcation of ration cards, irrigation facilities, healthcare centre, adequate drinking water facilities, up-gradation of high School, inclusion of left out beneficiaries in old age, widow pension and PMAY schemes, shed for Shamshan ghat, up-gradation of electric transmission lines, up-gradation of lanes and drains. They also raised issues of border residents, labours and farmer community.

Earlier, public of the Panchayat participated and joined Swachhata Shramdaan in large number along with their family and friends and contributed Shramdaan by cleaning their surroundings.

Principal Secretary also inspected various stalls installed by different Government Departments and organizations especially Agriculture, Horticulture, Social Welfare and Handicrafts, Banks, Khadi Village Industries to aware the people regarding various centre and state sponsored schemes during a mega camp organised at Panchayat Chajjwal.

Meanwhile, other parts of the district including Purmandal, Vijaypur and Samba blocks witnessed mega Gram Sabhas as part of the programme.

In Jammu, Commissioner Secretary Department of School Education, Sarita Chauhan, on her visit to Panchayat Mathwar under ‘Back to Village’ programme, convened a mega Gram Sabha holding extensive interactions with all the stakeholders regarding the issues and concerns of the area.

During the Gram Sabha, Chauhan interacted with the locals, PRIs and frontline government functionaries and assessed development needs and potential s well of the area.

SDM Jammu North, Satish Sharma, Block Development Officer, Shalini Raina and other officers and officials participated in the Gram sabha.

She laid stress on building public confidence by devising the policies and programmes as per demands and aspirations of people which will help in transforming the rural landscape.

During her stay in the Panchayat, the people projected their demands and problems which inter alia included augmentation of water bodies, up gradation of power infrastructure, water supply schemes, Rural Connectivity, sanctioning of old age pensions, plantation under Horticulture, Kissan Credit Cards, PDD infrastructure, Anganwari centres, PMAY(G) houses, Ayushman Bharat, Repair of Link roads besides benefits under other welfare schemes being implemented at grassroots level.

She also took extensive tour of different wards of the Panchayat to assess problems being faced by general public.

Chauhan also inaugurated the first of its kind in the district-chilling plant of 500 litres capacity run by Cooperative Society Mathwar and also inaugurated 2 km PMGSY road, PMAY(G) houses and other works .

In Udhampur, visiting officers visited all 236 Panchayats in 17 blocks of the district under the Government-public interface programme spanning 8 days.

Officers including Financial Commissioner Revenue Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring Rohit Kansal, Commissioner/Secretary PHE, I&FC AK Sahu, Special Secretary Industries and Commerce Avtar Singh Chib, Director Rural Sanitation Leena Padha, Director Technical Education Dr Ravi Shankar Sharma, Registrar J&K Special Tribunal Nitu Gupta, Additional Commissioner Div Comm Office Jammu Manisha Sarin, Director Codes Shadi Lal Pandita, Director Horticulture Jammu Raj Kumar Katoch, Director Tourism Jammu OP Bhagat also visited the Panchayats and took note of people’s development issues.

During the week, Deputy Commissioner, Dr Piyush Singla also visited various Panchayats in the district to get first-hand appraisal of the implementation of this ambitious programme.

During the programme, people of these areas raised many developmental issues like macadamization of roads, construction of drains, electricity, drinking water, works under MGNREGA, reconstruction of culverts, repair of electric poles, development of health and educational infrastructure with the visiting officers.

The officers also discussed the specific economic potential of the villages, social issues and employment opportunities besides raising awareness among people about various schemes and programmes of the Government.

As part of a special campaign, focus was laid during the week by visiting officers on raising awareness about water conservation and perils of drug abuse.

In Kathua, the government`s innovative initiative of taking administration at the doorsteps of villagers to assess the developmental needs and concerns of rural populace concluded with Director Tribal Affairs, Mushtaq Ahmed, designated officer at Karroh Panchayat of Keerian Gandial block, holding a mega Gram Sabha to assess the issues and concerns of the people through exhaustive interaction and deliberation with the PRIs, locals and the frontline functionaries.

Letter of PM to Sarpanchs was read out in all panchayats during the concluding day programme.

Deputy Commissioner Vikas Kundal, ACD, Sukhpal Singh, BDO and several other officers also visited several Panchayats on the concluding day.

The eight-day programme which rolled out on 20 June witnessed massive participation of villagers who raised their demands pertaining to better educational infra, medical facilities, connectivity, drinking water, power, veterinary hospital, houses for poor, old age pension and benefits under various welfare schemes. 

Several senior officers visited these Panchayats totalling 257 spread over 19 blocks of the district.

Commissioner Secretary PDD, Hirdesh Kumar, Chairman J&K SSB, Rahul Sharma, Special Secretary Law & Justice, Jung Bhadur, CE, Satinder Rana and Director Tribal Affairs, Mushtaq Ahmed were among the officers who visited their allotted Panchayats of the district.

The designated officers informed the villagers about devolution of powers to panchayats, mid day meal scheme, welfare schemes, importance of Gram Sabha in taking collective decision and how various committees were constituted to make participatory planning a reality.

They also distributed MGNREGA job cards, sapling of citrus fruits and LPG connections under Ujjwala Yojana to the beneficiaries. They also conducted plantation and cleanliness drive in their respective Panchayats. Several newly created rural infrastructure were also inaugurated including dairy farm besides inspection of Schools, Health and Anganwari Centres. 

In Ramban, the final phase of week-long programme culminated with Deputy Commissioner Showkat Aijaz Bhat visiting various Panchayats of Khari and Banihal blocks of the district.

The programme witnessed massive participation of locals in Gram Sabhas, Women Gram Sabhas, public interactions, sports activities, plantation and sanitation drives, awareness campaigns and other related activities during successful conducted of the initiative in all 142 panchyats of 11 blocks of the district.

The heads of different Departments presented their Department wise profiles and deliberated on various state and centrally sponsored public welfare and development schemes during the event.

At Bankoot Panchayat Rakesh Dubey visited extensively and interacted with people.

People in all wards appraised their grievances as well as requirements of development needs to the visiting officer.

Rakesh Dubey also convened Mega Gram Sabha in which district Development Commissioner Mr Showkat Ajaz also interacted with the people. A volley ball match between Wani volleyball club bankoot Vs Tabattood volleyball club was also played.

On the occasion CEO Ramban, Chief Horticulture Officer, Xen PWD, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer Ramban.

In Rajouri, the concluding day of ambitious programme witnessed overwhelming public participation in 77 panchayats of the district.

The concluding day marked with inauguration of a mega Kissan Mela by District Development Commissioner in Panchayat Hanjana organised to raise awareness among the farmers community regarding Government’s schemes in the field of agriculture.

DDC also inspected number of development works besides taking stock of health centres and other government centres as part of the programme.

The designated officers interacted with the PRI members, public and frontline Government functionaries to discuss and deliberate upon the core problems being faced by the local people of the Panchayats.

The visiting officers organised Gram Sabhas and Women Gram Sabhas which recorded a multitude of issues projected by prominent citizens, retired Government employees, youth and rural women. The women villagers enthusiastically participated in the event reflecting their urge and concern for good of their community in particular and the society in general.

The visiting officers registered several public grievances including improvement in drinking water and power supply, upgradation of schools, improvement in condition of roads, education, medicare facilities etc.

The officers acquainted people with various developmental schemes during Melas organised in different Panchayats by different Departments. They also urged upon the public for use of toilets to make their Panchayats Open Defecation Free.

Meanwhile, the representatives from One Stop Centre conducted awareness programmes in various Panchayats for women and disseminated information related to objectives of these centres including curbing of social and domestic violence, sexual harassment, child abuse, child marriage, sex selective abortion etc.

In Reasi, the programme concluded in the district with a multitude of activities including inspection of vermicompost plant at Panchayat Garan and Anganwadi centre at Dhirti Panchayat of block Panthal, routine gram Panchayats, reading of Prime Minister’s letter, distribution of Job Cards at Panchayat Lamsora, block Bhomag, volleyball match at Sujandhar, block Bhomag and distribution of Soil Health Cards at Panchayat Bidda, block Arnas.

In Doda, the culmination of last phase of the programme was marked with the designated officers reaching out to masses in 237 Panchayats of the district.

Deputy Commissioner Dr Sagar D Doifode attended a women Garm Sabha at Sinu Gandoh and took stock of various issues regarding employment generation, payment of regular wages to ASHAs and Anganwadi workers.

He also inaugurated Mela at Beer Choo Sinu and executed work under Shramdan at Beer Choo water fall.

He also participated in a Gram Sabha during which various issues regarding PDD, education, PMGSY, tourism etc were raised.

The DDC gave on the spot directions to the concerned Departments to resolve the issues on priority. He also distributed solar lights among the beneficiaries during the programme.

The officers had exhaustive interactions with the PRIs and villagers regarding the development profile and needs besides economical potential of the area. They conducted various activities including visits to different Government offices like schools, Anganwadi Centres, health institutions, veterinary institutions, Social welfare centres, ration depots etc.

They interacted with officials of PHE, Food Civil supplies and Consumer Affairs, Agriculture, PWD, Patwaries, VLWs, GRSs and had a detailed review of implementation of schemes of their respective Departments.

The Officers inaugurated various public assets like Anganwadi centres, toilet complexes, pacca paths, parks, water springs, newly constructed PMAY houses etc. Besides, they also visited the Panchayats and performed the Shramdhan and other activities along with villagers and PRIs.

In Poonch, the last day of ‘Back to Village’ programme was marked with conducting Gram Sabahs in 58 Panchayats of the district.

During the Gram Sabahas, people raised several issues pertaining to their Panchayats including construction of flood control wall, water supply scheme in Panchayat Chandak B besides people of Panchayat Bedar in block Mandi demanded pensions for handicaps , widow and old-age people.

At Panchyat Chandak, a cultural programme was organised regarding the outreach initiative besides hearing aid equipment were also provided to the beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, S. Jatinder Singh, Director FCS&CA, Jammu visited Shiendra Lower Panchayat of Lassana Block in Tehsil Haveli, and had detailed interaction with the members of PRI and locals. He also held a Women Gram Sabha to take stock of issues of local women. Social Audit Committee was also constituted and announced in the Gram Sabha meeting.

A message from Prime Minister addressed to the Sarpanch regarding water conservation was also read out in the Gram Sabha.

Singh also dedicated newly constructed Panchayat Ghar to the people in presence of Sarpanch, Panches and other members of the Panchayat. He also laid foundation stones for bridal bath at Mohalla Khawaja Wali and playground at Mohalla Hill of the Panchayat.

A friendly Volley Ball match was organized in the Gram Sabha and prizes were distributed among the participating players followed by cleanliness drive in Higher Secondary School, Sheindra under Swatch Bharat Abhiyan. Besides, Kisan credit cards were distributed among the farmers of the Panchayat. A plantation drive was also conducted as a part of the programme.

Pertinently, under the Back to Village program a total of 230 Panchayats were visited in four phases by different visiting officers who held extensive interactions with the PRI members, locals and the Government functionaries to assess the status of basic amenities and development needs of their allotted Panchayats.


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