Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
21-February-2016 18:55 IST
Excerpts of PM’s Address at the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission

My dear brothers and sisters, this morning I was in Naya Raipur. Whenever I come to Naya Raipur, I see many new things. It seems Naya Raipur increases more at night than during the day. Today, at Naya Raipur, I laid the foundation stone of housing plan for poor in cities and now I am here with you. The program is in the midst of my tribal brothers and sisters far away from Delhi. Rajnandgaon is a small place but the program is for a big cause and meant for entire India..

The previous Government was in the habit of doing everything from Delhi. 200-400 people would come to Vigyan Bhawan, lamps were lit and a friendly banter with media persons would be on air 24 hours on TV as if something major has been accomplished. I have pulled the government out of Delhi and brought it to people. Now we are closer to the people, among the tribes, among farmers, and brought it to village. The government officials have started going to villages and a new direction is there in terms of growth. Hence today at this small place, I'm surprised to find lakhs of people. Wherever I could see, there are people everywhere. I am looking at the hill on that side. It has become lively and I couldn’t find stones but only a sea of humanity. This indeed is a wonderful sight. My dear brothers and sisters, these blessings to the people of this country would take this country to new heights. My belief is reinforced every day. Every day new confidence is born. Your love and affection is a great source of strength for me and inspires me to work hard and sweat it out for you..

Today I got the opportunity to receive blessings of the 104-year-old mother Kunvarbai. Those who consider themselves young should decide if their thoughts are also young? I am saying this because the 104-year-old mother neither reads newspaper nor watches the TV, She is not educated and lives in remote village. However, when she came to know that the country's Prime Minister tells people to make toilets, she sold her goats and constructed the toilets. This is a harbinger of change in the mindset of India thanks to this 104-year-old lady. The country is changing and nothing can be a better proof than a 104 year old tribal mother is resolved to make toilet. She doesn’t stop here, but forced all the villagers to make toilets and ensured that no one in the village now will go to toilet in open. Nothing could be more inspirational for India than this story.

Today I tell my countrymen, I tell the media, if you don't show this speech it is OK but definitely let the nation know about the story of Kunvarbai to the country. These are the things which add to the strength of society. Today I had the opportunity to honor mother Kunvarbai.

I had the opportunity to honor the young mothers, sisters and brothers of two developing blocks. Ambagadh Chauki and Chhuria are the shining examples of how by raising social awareness, the proud citizens have made the two blocks open defecation free. Nobody goes to toilet in open in these two blocks and everyone has built toilet in his house. Cleanliness is not a small idea. We need to instill the values of cleanliness and hygiene among every citizen. Toilet, hygiene, and freedom from disease are the building blocks which will help us fulfill the dreams of a clean and healthy India.

I am honored to meet them. My congratulations to the villagers of AmbagadhChouki block. At times even the Prime Minister of this country is afraid of levying a tax. He worries about what would happen if he does so. But I salute the citizens of the AmbagdhChouki that they have laid down penalties for anybody going out to toilet in open. It is a matter of great courage. Even if the decision is harsh for the society; my tribal brother of AmbagadhChouki has shown us the way how to do it. They have liberated us from the ages-old habit of going in open for defecation. When you stop open defecation, at first it is an act of honoring mothers and sisters. Today they are forced to go in open, in forest for toilet. If we liberate our mothers and sisters of this problem then the blessings of these millions of mothers-sisters shall make India a great and powerful nation. Our tribal brothers-sisters, 104 years old mother has done it and shown the way out to us. What else could be the way to a greater success? I bow and salute all of them.

Today, another plan has been launched here - 'Jan Aushadhi Bhandar'. Just think of someone borne in a poor family, he works hard to survive, thinks what he will do this after 5 years, do that after 10 years. Sometimes thinks of buying a bicycle, sometimes thinks of bringing good cloths for children. However if anyone in the family falls ill, the whole plan goes in for a toss. It becomes a financial burden and the family goes in debt. In order to provide affordable medicine to poor, so that the poor do not die for want of medicine, 'Jan AushadhiBhandar' campaign is running in entire country. I congratulate Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and his entire team today to open 'Jan AushadhiBhandar' and I am thankful to them for providing me the opportunity to do this.

Today, we're introducing the'Rurban Mission'. Some people say if there is Smart City why not Smart Village? This 'Rurban Mission' is the Smart Village. Our Chaudhry Sahib, our minister of that department had just explained in details. It is true that movement towards cities is growing very fast. People are sending their sons to cities, old parents live in the village, young people are going to cities, they have to lead a good life, a quality life where there is good education, good hospitals, electricity and internet are there; this all is in his mind and he starts migrating towards cities. But , we are a witness to the situation how the number of slums is increasing in the cities.

For many years people kept coming in the city adding to its population. The people living in the city or the people running the government never thought where these people will live, how they will get water, how they will get electricity, what will happen to the drainage, what will happen to their daily life activities, nobody thought of it. The population will increase from one lakh to two lakh then three lakh but the system will remain the same. The water tank will remain the same which was for one lakh people. Now how it will supply water to five lakh people. Anticipating from the data for past years, now development plan was that if city increases we will increase in this direction, if new houses are to be made, we will make them this side. And if it was thought then at lesser number of place and this made the life of people going to cities miserable. What's the solution? Should these people be left to their fate? Should they be compelled to live in slums? No. We thought there must be a solution and the government came out with the idea of Rurban Mission.

The simple meaning of Rurban is Rural and Urban put together. Rurban means a development which has the soul of the village and the facilities of the city. If we see among 5-7 villages, there is a village where people go to buy something. This village surrounded by 5-7 villages is slowly becoming a city. People are coming there to study, business or for a job. The population that was 10 thousand has increased to 20000 then 25000 and is rapidly increasing. The government came out with the idea to focus on such villages and with cluster approach create a facility for the population of 25-40 thousand population to implement this 'Rurban Mission'. We have begun the work to set up 300 'Rurban Clusters. This year it is proposed to set up 100 such Rurban Clusters. It would be taken in to account that the city which is going to be developed must keep alive the spirit of village inside its heart. Such a creation would be linked to the nature and spirit of India.

Secondly, India's economic development cannot be based on 5-50 big cities. A nation of 125 million people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari from Kutch to Kamrup; if we have to make economic progress, provide employment to people then we need to take the development to grass root levels. The idea of Rurban mission has been conceived to make them the centers of growth.. It will make them the nerve center of economic growth. There will be small markets, trade will run for 5-10 nearby villages and slowly they will become Rurban. Had we done this for the tribal belt, they would have been developed as 'Growth Centres' for economic development of each block. So many years would not have passed and there would have been education, facilities, modern living and economic activities. Rurban mission has kept this aspect in mind. Today, doctors do not go to small village, teachers do not go there but if Rurban is there, people will go there. If they have to go to 5-10 kilometers for education or medicine they will go comfortably and this will change the quality of life of neighboring villages.

With this vision, work begins today at four places in Chhattisgarh today. I congratulate Chhattisgarh government for planning an important work and make a beginning among the tribal people that will benefit every corner of India. Soon the load on cities would ease out. A good place for those moving out of the villages will be available, new cities will be built. These new cities will be organized and connected with economic activities. With this imagination we are starting this Rurban program today. I believe when this plan will run together in the country millions of people are going to benefit from it.

Brothers, sisters, my farmer brothers and sisters are present here in very large numbers. Two days ago I was reading a feature written by some journalist. He has written that after so many years for the first time such a scheme has come that will create a new confidence in farmers. This is the 'Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme'. In our country agriculture largely depends on God. If it rains it is fine else it is famine, if it rains more the flood comes. If nature is upset, the first loss is to the farmers. In such a situation protection for farmers is important. Keeping this in mind we are bringing 'Pradhan Mantri fasal bema yojana' which is different from all the previous schemes. Earlier, the farmer was not ready to take insurance. He felt , if I would pay this much in premium, from where will I buy seeds, fertilizers, how will i feed my cattle and bring water for irrigation. Even he pays the premium he would not receive the insurance money for two years. Sometimes he has taken the insurance of Rs. 30,000 but would get only Rs. 6000. And insurance was given to person who has taken loan from the Bank. So that money went directly to the Bank and nothing was left with the farmers. We have put an end to all these concerns. We have brought a new Crop Insurance with minimal premium. The premium would be only 1.5%-2%. In some areas the premium had gone up to 52%. 8,10,14,15 percent was routine. We had fixed so that it cannot be more than 1.5-2%. Now the farmers need not pay more.

Second, the crop was ready in the field. There were good rains, good crops grown and the harvested crop was lying in the field. A tractor was awaited to carry it Meanwhile the rain came and whole crop got spoilt. The poor fellow did not get a penny. This Government decided that if the crop is stacked in the field after harvesting and any problem comes within 14 days of the loss, the crop insurance will be given.

It was a big decision. Initially if there were rains, it was calculated on a very large area. Due to this if there was good rain in 5 villages and neighboring 10 villages were dry they would get no compensation. We have said that even if the loss is to smaller unit, they will be compensated, they will get crop insurance. Not only this, they do not need to wait for two years. Technology is being used to arrange immediate delivery of money to them. Sometimes the farmer decides that it will rain in June at that time the sowing will be done. He keeps everything ready but there is no rain in June. He keeps on waiting for the rain, June passed, July passed, August passed but there is no rain. What would the farmer do in such situation? He could not get a chance to sow the crop. The government has said that under the crop insurance scheme even if he could not sow the crop and it caused loss, then 25% money would be given immediately to him to feed him for the year.

Brothers, sisters for the first time in the history of India if such a safety net has been given for farmers it is because of this government which you have placed in Delhi. Brothers &sisters, this government is for the poor. This government is for Dalits. This government is for tribal people. This government is for the underprivileged. This government is committed for the welfare of the people sitting at the last mile of development. Hence, whether it is housing scheme, 'Jan AushadhiBhandar', 'Rurban Mission', cleanliness mission all these are for the poor and to bring about changes in the lives of the poor.

Brothers & sisters, these are the things that will bring results in the coming days. When the 104-year-old mother gives blessings, my belief increases a million times. This is for the welfare of the nation and we have started treading on this path. Once again I thank you very much and salute you all. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.