The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, will be celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar under the theme, “Gram Uday se Bharat Uday.” The MRD will be organising a 10-day programme across the country from 14 to 24 April, which would conclude with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from a rally in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. A senior official of the MRD, who did not wish to be named, said, “This programme is being organised to develop and empower the long neglected rural population of the country. It is a start towards participatory democracy.” The MRD has written to every state and their panchayats to organise gram sabhas at the village level. The Central government will depute Central observers in 300 districts in various states, while the state governments will depute observers in 350 districts for successfully conducting this event. However, the five election-bound states like West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Assam have been kept out of any compulsion by the Central government, keeping in mind the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct that is in place.
“This event will take place with the help of the local people, the Panchayati Raj institutions, self help groups and community organisations. The basic objective is that by the end of the event, i.e, 24 April, every village should have in place a proper village development plan for 2016, taking into consideration all opinions from the several gram sabhas organised during the period,” the senior MRD official said.