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Play active role in village development: PM to panchayats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday pitched for strengthening democracy at the grassroot-level as he asked the gram panchayats to play active role in developmental activities, taking advantage of the immense resources and schemes of his government. On the ‘Panchayat Day’, he said the country’s progress depends hugely on the development of villages and emphasised the need for bridging the gulf between cities and rural areas by ensuring that all modern day facilities reach even the far off places. “We need to strengthen panchayats. The gram sabhas are as important as Parliament,” he said, addressing a programme on the culmination of 10-day ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday’ campaign here. “We have to work shoulder-to-shoulder to fulfill the dreams,” Modi said, underlining the need for cooperation between gram panchayats and the Central government. Pitching for the progress of villages, he asked the village heads to take a lead in undertaking developmental activities, including infrastructure development, construction of toilets to ensure end to open defecation, ensuring proper healthcare to prevent child birth mortality and provision of better education to ensure there is no school dropouts. “Earlier there was shortage of funds. Now there are a lot of finances available...There is no dearth of funds. There is no dearth of schemes. But there is a need for dedication by those who work at the grassroot-level,” Modi said.
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