We need to convert Swarajya in to Surajya by empowering women, youth, poor and by making Agriculture viable and sustainable: Vice President addresses second anniversary celebrations of Chennai International Centre

Chennai
July 7, 2018

Concerted efforts needed to bring the urban and rural divide;
There is a need to provide urban facilities in rural areas;

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we need to convert Swarajya in to Surajya by empowering women, youth, poor and by making Agriculture viable and sustainable. He was addressing the gathering at the second anniversary celebrations of Chennai International Centre, in Chennai today. The Minister for Fisheries, Tamil Nadu, Shri D. Jayakumar and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that the country is striving for inclusive development after 70 years of independence and continues to grapple with many challenges like poverty, illiteracy and urban-rural divide. He further said that even as India transits from a developing to a developed nation, one of the major challenges the country has to address and overcome is this urban-rural divide. This gap, if it is not bridged, can hamper the country’s progress, he added.

The Vice President called for tweaking of certain policies with a rural bias so that the benefits of development and growth reach all citizens and he also stressed on the need to create opportunities at rural areas to mitigate migration. He further said that lack of job opportunities, inadequate medical and educational facilities are among the main reasons for driving people from villages to urban areas. Erratic power supply, lack of potable drinking water and inadequate sanitation are the major challenges faced by people living in villages, he added.

Expressing concern over the state of agriculture, the Vice President said that non-remunerative farming and the availability of better educational facilities in urban areas are forcing the rural youth to move out of their villages. He further said that diversification of crops, value addition through food processing, better infrastructure and enabling a better marketing system are the need of the hour. There has to be concerted efforts from all stakeholders in this direction so that it will be a win-win situation for all, he added.

The Vice President said that we need to adopt multi-pronged strategy to address the concerns of farmers. He further said that the Government is doing its best and the recent hike in MSP is a welcome move. But more needs to be done to sustain agriculture. Farm loan waiver is not a permanent solution, he added.

The Vice President asked authorities to provide facilities available in the cities in rural areas. The potential for promoting cottage unit suitable to the respective areas has to be fully tapped, he added.

The Vice President suggested few measures to bridge the urban-rural divide. Promoting digital connectivity in rural areas, connecting villages to electricity grids, ensuring quality supply of power and potable drinking water are among them, he added.

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