Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed District Collectors across the country via video-conference on the theme of “New India – Manthan”.
The first-of-its-kind interaction with district collectors marked the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, and is aimed at catalysing “New India – Manthan” at the grassroots level.
The Prime Minister explained that the date of August 9 is intrinsically linked with the mantra of “Sankalp se Siddhi” – “Achievement through Resolve.” He said the date symbolizes the willpower and ambition of the youth.
Modi recalled how the senior leaders of the freedom movement were arrested at the beginning of the Quit India Movement, and youth across the country successfully carried the movement forward.
The Prime Minister said that when youth assumes a leadership role, goals are sure to be achieved. He described the collectors, as not just representatives of their districts, but also of the youth of that region. He said collectors are fortunate, because they have been given the opportunity to dedicate themselves to the nation.
Modi said that the Government is asking each individual, each family, each organization to aim for certain goals which they should accomplish by 2022. He said that as representatives of their districts, collectors now have to decide where they want to see their districts in 2022, what deficiencies must be overcome, and what services must be ensured.
The Prime Minister noted that some districts have always lagged in basic services such as electricity, water, education and health. He said that when the socio-economic conditions improve in the 100 most backward districts, it would give a big boost to the overall development parameters of the country. This puts an onus on the collectors of these districts to work in a mission mode.
Modi encouraged replication and scaling up of best practices from districts where good results are being achieved in a particular field or scheme.
He asked the Collectors to seek help from colleagues, intellectuals of the district, and students of schools and colleges, to prepare a vision document, or resolution document for their district before the 15th of August. This Resolution Document, should include those 10 or 15 objectives which they feel should be achieved by 2022.
The Prime Minister informed the Collectors of the website www.newindia.in, which contains information and activities related to the ‘Sankalp Se Sidhhi’ movement. He said that just as he is doing this ‘Manthan’ with the collectors, they can do the same in the districts.
The Prime Minister mentioned the important features about the New India website, such as an online quiz on the freedom struggle, and a comprehensive calendar on various events being held as a part of the Sankalp Se Sidhhi’ movement.
The Prime Minister compared the development work in a district to a relay race. He said that just as the baton is passed on from one athlete to the next in a relay race, with the ultimate objective of winning the race, similarly, the development baton passes on successively from one collector to the next.
Modi said that many times, schemes fail to have the desired impact, just because people are not aware about them. He said collectors must make people aware about the benefit of initiatives such as LED bulbs, BHIM App etc. Similarly, the Prime Minister said that the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is dependent upon a responsive administration, and awareness among people. He said real change in this regard can only come through public participation.
The Prime Minister urged collectors to move beyond files, and go to the field, to understand ground realities, such as the condition of health services in remote parts of the district. He said that the more a collector visits the field, the more active he will be on file. On GST, the Prime Minister asked collectors to explain to traders in their district, how it is a “Good and Simple Tax.” He asked them to ensure that each trader is registered under GST. He also asked them to avail of Government e-marketplace for all procurement in their district. The Prime Minister recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s message that the ultimate goal of governance should be to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor. He urged the collectors to ask themselves every day whether they had done something to bring change in the lives of the poor. He asked collectors to listen carefully to the poor, who approach them with their grievances.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister said that the District Collectors are young and capable and could make resolutions for New India of 2022, in respect of their district. He expressed confidence that their resolutions would be achieved, and in the process, the country too, would reach new heights of achievement.