Global meltdown has affected Indian poor badly, says government

January 31st, 2009 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Admitting that the global economic slowdown has hit the poor sections of the society, the government Saturday said two major challenges it faces now are poverty and climate change.”Two major challenges before the government is poverty eradication and climate change. The global meltdown has also affected the vulnerable poor of this country,” Rural Development Secretary Rita Sharma said here at the annual conference of the project directors of the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs).

The DRDA is a district-level body that manages and oversees the implementation of different anti-poverty programmes of the ministry of rural development.

Urging the DRDAs to be “vigilant, sensitive and responsive” to the plight of the poor, Sharma said the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was a crucial link to combat rural poverty.

“It’s also a potential instrument to deal with climate change,” she told over 600 DRDA project directors from across the country.

“The National Livelihood Mission is looking at poverty eradication by 2015 in a holistic manner by concentrating on job employment, self employment and social security, for which massive investments have been planned in capacity building and training,” said the official.

Addressing the function, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the government was “committed in addressing the issues of food, clothing, housing, health and education in a time-bound manner through family-centred programmes”.

“The effort has to be supplemented by the DRDAs at grassroot level,” the minister said.

The two-day meeting discussed in detail the rural development programmes and schemes and the problems in their implementation.

“The modalities to address these constraints have also been worked out,” Singh said.

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