Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people and the authorities to work for the development of villages in the country. Speaking at the launch of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on National Panchayati Raj Day in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla, Modi recalled the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to draw home his point that Bapu always highlighted the importance of villages.

“Bapu always highlighted the importance of villages and spoke about ‘Gram Swaraj’. Panchayati Raj Day is an opportunity to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream,” said Modi at the event which was also attended by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Modi reminded the officials at the gathering that the people’s representatives are not here to serve the government but to serve the public.

“Representatives of all Panchayats should vow that not a single child in our villages should be bereft of education and everyone should take a vow to do something fruitful for the villages,” the PM said at Ramnagar, where the event was held.

He appealed to public representatives to focus on Jan Dhan, Van Dhan, Gobar Dhan – the three schemes launched by the Centre for the uplift of the poor in the villages.

“I appeal to them to ensure that people have Jan Dhan accounts and insurance coverage under the Government schemes,” he said.

While stating that the budget of the country is for the welfare of all, Modi also stressed on the proper and transparent utilisation of funds allocated for a project.

He also assured that the NDA government at the Centre will fulfil the aspirations and dreams of the entire population.

“I want to assure the Panchayati Raj that the Central government will always help you in your contributions for the development of villages,” he said.

“We should learn to respect our daughters in our families, improve their importance and also teach our sons to understand their responsibility. For this, all of us will have to start a societal revolution,” said Modi while pointing out that the government is serious about tackling rising case of crimes against women.

He added that in keeping with the demands of the people, his government approved the death penalty for rapists of children aged 12 and below.

At the occasion, Modi and Chouhan released a roadmap for overall development of tribals in the next five years.

At the occasion, Modi felicitated village heads with 100 per cent smokeless kitchens, 100 per cent vaccination under Mission Indradhanush and total electrification under the Saubhagya Scheme.

Early today, the PM reached Jabalpur’s Dumna Airport from where he took a helicopter to reach Mandla. He will leave for New Delhi at 2.55 pm.