Make villages progressive units, improve welfare delivery: Patil (Lead)

July 5th, 2010 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil Hyderabad, July 5 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Monday said India has a huge amount of social welfare schemes, but delivery systems needed to be more effective and non-corrupt for their benefits to reach all segments of society.
Inaugurating the 500th year of the coronation of Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishnadevaraya here, she said modern day rulers and policymakers could draw many lessons from the legacy of one of the great monarchs of India.

“We can draw inspiration from illustrious personalities in our history who have shown exemplary dedication and commitment while working for the welfare of people. Sri Krishnadevaraya was one of the great monarchs of India and his epoch has many lessons for modern day leaders and policymakers.

“An understanding of his achievements enthuses us to work with greater vigour and dynamism,” she said.

“Today India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world and is counted among major global players. Our endeavour is that progress reaches all segments of society, in particular the marginalised and disadvantaged,” she said.

“We have huge amounts of social welfare and other schemes for inclusive growth. Our delivery system must be geared up and made more effective and non-corrupt so that the benefits of welfare programmes reach them,” she said.

She called for imparting skills to the marginalised and disadvantaged so that they become empowered citizens participating in various nation-building activities.

The president also called for developing villages into progressive economic units.

“Seventy percent of our population still lives in rural areas. We must focus on undertaking rural development in a manner that villages become progressive economic units and agricultural productivity is increased,” she said.

“Agro-industries and other productive activities should be undertaken in the rural areas. This can create linkages between the agricultural and industrial sectors which has manifold advantages. The difficulties faced by farmers in dry-land areas need to be addressed in a multi-pronged manner by putting in place effective water utilisation practices.”

Patil also underscored the need to promote commerce and industry. “In a globalised world, trade and ICT are becoming increasingly important. Knowledge and innovation are keys for the future. India has proved its leadership in the ICT sector and with skilled manpower it must persist with efforts to sustain it.”

She said growing urbanisation required adopting management techniques to ensure that cities are liveable and have the necessary civic amenities, including proper management of waste.

“We must be proud of our cultural heritage and take all steps to preserve our monuments, art and literature as also our age-old values of harmony and tolerance,” she said.

The president unveiled a statue of Sri Krishnadevaraya. Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and his cabinet colleagues were present.

Minister for tourism J. Geeta Reddy said the month-long celebrations would conclude in Penukonda in Anantapur district, where a national museum of Sri Krishnadevaraya would also come up.

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