President calls for affordable health services for all in villages

NEW DELHI: For villages to improve, the structure of the economy needs to improve, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday while laying the foundation stone of a secondary school and driving training institute at Dhaula in Haryana. The village is part of the ‘Smart Gram’ initiative launched by the President in July last year .

Stating that 68% of the people in India still lived in villages, Mukherjee said the country would develop only when the villages did. “Our villages not only have the capacity to develop but are also eager for development. If we keep moving ahead in this manner, the day is not far when our youth would not need to leave villages for cities in search of better avenues. It would also be possible to complete education of daughters in nearby villages,” said the President.

According to Mukherjee, the formula for this development was “good and affordable health services” available for all and the youth getting training and employment in the vicinity of villages.

The President also inaugurated three new Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras(PMKKs) at Mahendragarh, Ambala and Palwal.

Talking about the Smart Gram initiative, Mukherjee said when the programme was started on July 2, 2016, he was sure that the work which was done to make the President’s Estate a ‘smart township’ could be replicated in villages as well.

“With the help of Haryana government, Rashtrapati Bhavan selected five villages and many initiatives were taken for their development. Keeping in view the success achieved in the five villages, the programme has now been extended to 100 villages,” Mukherjee said. Success in Smart Gram initiative would be possible only when the government, private sector, academic institutions, NGOs and people in the villages come together for the development of villages, he added.

Source: Times of India

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