Press Trust of India

Gandhi advocated panchayati raj, decentralised form of govt: Lt Guv

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Srinagar: Commencing of the third phase of the ‘Back to Village’ programme across Jammu and Kashmir is a perfect way to honour Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on the occasion on Friday.
An apostle of peace and social service, Gandhi’s contributions to the freedom struggle, and promoting the rights and welfare of the oppressed sections of the society have unending imprints on the world history and would continue to inspire the generations to come, Sinha said.
Everyone must follow the path of non-violence, social justice, equality, upliftment of the underprivileged sections of the society, secular traditions and brotherhood shown by the father of the nation for bringing an era of peace and development in the world, he said.
Mahatma Gandhi advocated panchayati raj, a decentralised form of government, the lieutenant governor said.
Following the Gandhian ideas of ‘gram swaraj’ and panchayati raj system, the administration is making “untiring efforts to reach out to the people and including all the stakeholders in the process of decision-making and public policy formulation to bring a positive social and political change in J&K,” he added.
Back to Village is a unique and ambitious exercise by the administration to reach the doorsteps of the people with responsive, accountable and equitable governance is in its own way promoting values, ideology and philosophy of Gandhi, according to Sinha.
The programme, which started on Friday, is also seen as a unique effort to strengthen the newly-constituted panchayats, the Lt governor said. “This practice is the first such attempt at a concentrated and determined developmental push.”
Sinha said the endeavour was as challenging as ambitious — it involved the visit of over 4,000 gazetted officers of the Union territory to each and every panchayat so that they can be well-versed with the local issues and developmental needs.
It also aims at ensuring that beneficiary-oriented schemes actually reach the last person in the queue, he added.
“It is my advice to every single officer on the ground to work as a changemaker to ensure benefits of governance reach the last man in the queue, so that the desired results, which we are aiming at i.e. development of villages and strengthening of panchayats must be achieved,” Sinha said.
‘Back to village’ is a novel initiative launched in Jammu and Kashmir to take the governance to grassroots level.
The senior officials are deputed to village level for a few days where they get first-hand account of development needs of these areas so that projects and plans can be formulated for easing the hardships of the people. (PTI)


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