Making Villages ‘Model Gaon’

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Model Gaon

With the vision of holistic development of villages, Dr Heera Lal, Additional Mission Director, National Health Mission Uttar Pradesh, has pioneered an ambitious programme ‘Model Gaon’. Model Gaon is a mission to set the agenda of village development through village manifesto and changemakers for all-round development of the rural areas in India, writes Adarsh Som of Elets News Network (ENN).

“The soul of India resides in its villages and if villages perish India will perish”, said Mahatama Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. Supporting the ideology of strengthening villages in India, Dr Heera Lal, a 1996-Batch PCS officer promoted to IAS in 2010, has pioneered an ambitious mission named Model Gaon.

It aims to the all-round development of villages by adopting a three-pronged approach:

  • Village Manifesto
  • Changemakers
  • Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)/ Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs)

Setting Agenda with Village Manifesto

Village Manifesto is a means to set the agenda for villages. The manifesto will be a detailed document that will guide the villagers on ways and means to bring in development in themselves and their villages. As it will be issued with an aim to set the agenda for the village, the manifesto will turn out to be an essential tool to develop consensus on village development issues. With rural population understanding not only the importance of development but also what means can be leveraged to bring in developmental changes, the manifesto will play a crucial role in accelerating work and growth in the village.

Also Read: Model Gaon: Enriching Lives & Providing Livelihood in Villages

As per the Team led by Dr Heera Lal for developing a Model Gaon, the village manifesto should focus primarily on these 25 issues:

1. Cleanliness & Sanitation
2. Education
3. Health (including Yoga)
4. Income Generation (increase in income)
5. Electricity (solarised)
6. Water (drinking, irrigation and conservation)
7. Employment (agriculture business)
8. Marketing of Local Products
9. Communication Mechanism
10. Organic Produce

11. Self-Reliance

12. Dispute-free Village

13. Proper Documentation of Village Records

14. Village’s Profile

15. Technology Adoption in Villages and e-village

16. FPOs/FPCs

17. Non-Residential Villager connect

18. Malnutrition reduction

19. Afforestation

20. Sports/Art/Cultural Development (reconnecting with traditions)

21. Women empowerment

22. Local Talent identification and development

23. Identification of village problems and resolving them

24. Implementation of Government of India’s and Government of Uttar Pradesh’s programmes in villages

25. Village Foundation Day (one-day celebration)

Considering the roadmap for implementation of manifesto for villages, the team will prepare a database at first. Further, modes like missed call campaign, social media outreach, introductory call explainer videos, etc. ill be used for spreading awareness among the locals.

The work on manifesto is already ongoing and the team has released sample copies for the same as well. Village manifesto will pose an excellent solution for spreading awareness and making villagers work for their own and their village’s development.

Role of Changemakers

As per the Model Gaon programme, the changemaker will be a person who intends to find creative solutions social development and progress with public participation. With this, the changemakers will be pivotal in bridging the knowledge gap and devising innovative solutions for holistic growth of villages as well as the rural population.

The changemakers will play a significant role in setting the local agenda for development in a village. Also, these people will work towards accelerating development work with acquired knowledge, learnings and ideas. Moreover, these changemakers will advise locals on their problems and issues and will provide innovative yet simple solutions. With this, the changemakers will get recognised and pose as social leaders.

Significance of FPOs/FPCs

Firstly, FPO is a group formed by farm producers and is a registered body. The producer members are the shareholders of the organisation. These FPOs work for business activities with regard to farm produce to aid farmers in gaining benefits and better prices for their produce.

Creating FPOs is beneficial for farmers in various ways. As an FPO member, farmers are able to negotiate better and this helps them in gaining better prices in mandis for their farm produce. Also, when a farmer deals in bulk selling of produce, the storage cost drops that again benefits the farmer. Besides this, transporting cost, marketing cost and other miscellaneous costs also reduce as expenses are less and get divided further. Apart from monetary benefits to farmers, FPOs can also allow these producers to venture into grading, packaging, etc. that will directly have an enhancing impact on the valuation of the farm produce. Thus, FPOs will strengthen farmers in many ways and will open new doors to agri-businesses for the farmers.

As far as implementation of the FPOs is concerned, initially, a database of FPOs and bulk purchasers will be created with the help of domain experts and consultants. Further, orientation workshops will be organised to impart knowledge about the programme and the role of FPOs. Aspirants will be mapped with the help of consultants and existing FPOs will be mapped the help of experts. Besides this, regular monitoring and evaluation will be conducted. Clusters will be formed for providing market assistance to the farmers and help them get better prices for their produce.

The Model Gaon is another exemplary step marking the recurring efforts of Dr Heera Lal towards the development of rural India.

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