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Diwedi calls for extensive awareness about Back to Village Program

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Holds consultative meeting with stakeholders from print, electronic media

SRINAGAR, JUNE 15: With an aim to reach out to people at grassroots  level  under a vital program -- ‘Back to the Village-- Governance at the doorsteps’, Commissioner Secretary, Information, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi on Saturday held an extensive consultative meeting with the officials and the stakeholders from the print and electronic media.

Speaking on the occasion, sought suggestions and feedback from the stakeholders on starting a media plan on the programme--urging them to work for successful launch of the programme. He said that government was working on the objectives of the programme.

The Secretary said that the role of mass media including several media technologies is envisioned to influence large viewers. He urged the stakeholders to be part of the program as it was aimed to benefit the people at the grassroots.

Dwivedi said that a comprehensive media campaign would be launched for the successful implementation of the BTVP. He urged the stakeholders to provide their creative inputs and help the Government to reach out to the people--in order to mitigate their sufferings and address their grievances.

Pertinently, in a first of its kind, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has embarked on an ambitious initiative of reaching out to people at grassroots level through a program named as ‘Back to the Village’.

The program is being organized from June 20 to June 27across all Panchayats of the state.

Divulging details about the objective of the programme , Dwivedi said that ‘Back to the Village’ program will focus on four main goals, namely energizing Panchayats, collecting feedback on delivery of government schemes/programs, capturing specific economic potential and undertaking assessment of needs of the villages, besides affording an opportunity to Gazetted officers to visit the villages.

He said as per the directions of the Chief Secretary, the program will involve the people of the state and government officials in a joint effort to deliver the mission of equitable development across all our rural areas. The program is primarily aimed at energizing the over 7000 villages, 4483 Panchayats and directing development efforts in rural areas through community participation and to create in the rural masses an earnest desire for decent standard of living.

As part of this program, Dwivedi observed that each gazetted officer will be assigned a Gram Panchayat, where he/she will stay for at least two days including a night halt in the village to interact and obtain feedback from the Panchayat representatives, elders and other local people about their concerns, developmental needs and economic potential of the area.

The feedback so obtained will help the government in needs assessment and subsequently to tailor the various central and state government schemes/programs in improving delivery of village-specific services and making the village life better in terms improved amenities and economic upliftment.

The ‘Back to the Village’ program has been conceived with the notion that developmental initiatives that are built on the feedback and cooperation of the people are more result oriented and have greater probability to succeed than those which are top down. The program revolves around the concept that while the official machinery has to guide and assist, the primary responsibility to improve local conditions rests with the people themselves. Therefore, people must be encouraged to own the program so that benefits are maximized for them.

The officers have undergone familiarization training at the divisional level and subsequently training will be organized at the district level.

He urged the stakeholders to approach at the village level, therefore, has to be a coordinated one, touching all aspects of village life. "Media can be of vital help in order to make this program successful at the grassroots level." He said that the essence of the ‘Back to the Village’ program is to emphasize the importance of ensuring, right from the beginning, people’s participation, not merely as an agent in the execution of the development works but as owners of the entire program.

The meeting was attended by officials of Department of Information and Public relations and representatives from print and electronic media.

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