Convergence of Efforts is must for Rural Transformation: CM Fadnavis

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The CM Rural development fellowship programme was launched in the city

Pune, 2nd April, 2017: Convergence of efforts from all the sections of the society is the foundation to transform the villages in Maharashtra expressed Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra. He was speaking at the inauguration programme at YASHADA of the CM Rural Development Fellow by the Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation.

Pankaja Munde, Rural Development Minister, Anna Hazare, Social Activist, Dadaji Bhuse, minister for state, Rural Development, Praveen Pardeshi, Additional Chief Secretary to CM, Chandrakant Patil, Revenue Minister, Maharashtra, Girish Bapat, Guardian Minister, Pune, Anand Limaye, CEO, YASHADA, Dilip Kamble, Minister of State for Social Justice, Maharashtra, Aseem Gupta, Secretary, Rural Development and were present for the occasion. Film actor Aamir Khan addressed the Fellows via Video Conferencing.

The Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Mission was launched in August 2016 with an aim to address the important challenges faced by the most backward villages of Maharashtra. Initially, 1000 villages that have the lowest Human Development Index score have been selected for the special programme. The first batch of 100 Fellows were selected after a rigorous screening process that saw over 3,500 applicants. Their training of the candidates has been initiated at YASHADA. The selected Fellows will be based in the villages itself and be responsible for working with the field administration and ensuring on-ground execution of the Foundation’s plans.

The fellows will receive a week of induction training from YASHADA and Tata Trust, following which they will visit model villages like Ralegan Siddhi and Hivre Bazar. In the following week, they would be collecting data in their allotted villages. It will be followed by thematic training by subject matter experts. After the training, they will join their duties at the respective villages.  

Fadnavis in his address mentioned that the government system is not as flexible as it should be and that is why they have decided to integrate the resources and efforts of corporate and a social sector with the guidelines of the state government. “We have brought all three important factors in the society to run this transformation programme. It will provide the right flexibility and easy access to government resources to villagers.” he said.

The Foundation is a partnership with India’s leading corporates such as Tata Trusts, Reliance Industries Ltd, Deutsche Bank, Axis Foundation, HDFC Foundation, JSW Group, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra, Swades Foundation, and Videocon. Each partner is contributing Rs. 10 crores of CSR funding to the Foundation.

The said funds will be used towards plugging developmental gaps in rural Maharashtra. While the activities are far ranging, key interventions include reducing the poverty rate from 28% currently to below 10%, doubling farm income by raising farm productivity and ensuring access to irrigation through water harvesting structures, improving learning outcomes to national best, and providing skilling and employment to youth.

While elaborating on the concept of the Fellowship programme, Fadnavis urged the selected candidates to begin their work with a holistic approach. “Every problem faced by villages are interconnected. Mostly, they are originated from poverty and lack of awareness about the governmental policies. You can change this picture with your holistic efforts,” he said.

The Fellows will undergo a rigorous month-long training that will involve thematic training and Model Village visits. The training will be conducted by YASHADA, Tata Trusts and other Foundation partners.

Munde while mentioning the success of Jalyukta Shivar Yojana (Water Conservation Scheme) said that this scheme for Rural Development will also be considered as the ideal scheme for development by the entire nation. “Rural Development is the root of the development of this country. If it is strengthened, then only we can achieve the dream of becoming a developed nation,” he said.   

While addressing the batch of fellows, Hazare, highlighted the five important values that should be followed by them while working for rural development, he said, “Values such as good behavior, transparent image, clean thoughts, sacrifice and humility are important for anyone to carry out successful rural development work.” He further added that social transformation can only happen if we become resilient to the opposition and try reduce the financial and social inequality in our society.

Ramnath Subramaniam, CEO, Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation, appealed to the corporates to support the mission. “The speech by the honorable CM was extremely motivating to all the participants. And the resolve and commitment of the state government to make the transformation happen has had other corporates also expressing their willingness to be associated with this foundation,” he said.

Khan in his address elaborated on Water Cup initiated by Paani Foundation. He further advised the fellows to become an intrinsic part of the village culture. “You will be going to village as outsiders, to make this mission successful, learn about the lifestyle, culture and political pressured faced by villagers. This will help you to help them,” he said.     

Lenovo has volunteered to give 1000 tablets for all the candidates of the foundation. These devices were presented by Rahul Agarwal, MD & CEO, Lenovo to the Chief Minister on this occasion.