Press Trust of india

Need three ‘Es’ to stop migration of people from villages: Naidu

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New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said three Es — education, employment and entertainment — are needed in rural areas to stop the flight of people from villages to urban areas.

Inaugurating the National Stakeholders Conference on Localisation of Sustainable Development Goals, Naidu also took an apparent dig at Pakistan over its political turmoil.

“Of course, the next big country is our neighbour.But there is no democracy. We don’t know what is happening there. I don’t know whether they also know it or not. I don’t want to comment on that. But it is a reality, we are a democracy at all levels,” he said.

While referring to 2.78 lakh local bodies in rural areas, Naidu said no other country in the world will have so many democratic institutions at different levels.

The vice president also hit out at people who claim that giving equal rights, and empowering women is against Indian traditions.

He also noted that all big rivers are named after women.

“Important portfolios were given to women that time also…Education Minister was Saraswati Devi, Defence Minister — Durga Devi, Finance Minister — Lakshmi Devi … Now we are hesitating to give power,” he said.

He said women should get adequate representation in Parliament and state legislatures.

Naidu was of the view that devolution of funds, functions and functionaries through urban and rural local bodies was designed to give more power to people.

Recalling the words on Mahatma Gandhi that ‘Ram Rajya’ is incomplete without gram rajya, he said political will and administrative skills are required to give actual power to local bodies. He political will and administrative skills and not merely bill (legislation) is needed for the purpose.

Referring to the three Es, he said we should see that better education, employment opportunities and entertainment are available in rural areas.

He said entertainment is part of life and it too is required.

The event was organised by the Panchayati Raj Ministry.

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