Work on Gandhi’s vision of self-reliant village started only after 2014, says Cooperation Minister

Ahmedabad, June 12

India’s dream of achieving a $5 trillion economy in five years can well be realised if the economic contribution from the country’s villages increases, for which Atmanirbhar Bharat is the way forward, said Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah while delivering the convocation address at Institute of Rural Management-Anand (IRMA) on Sunday.

“India’s progress isn’t possible without the progress of its villages. Even today, about 70 per cent of India’s population lives in villages. These are the people who require development the most. Unless our villages contribute to India’s economy, our economy can’t get on the fast lane. If these 70 per cent population is roped-in for economic growth, then, the dream of a $5-trillion economy can well be realised in five years,” said Shah.

Remembering Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of making a self-reliant India, Shah stated that the work in that direction could start only after 2014.

‘Gandhi — a visionary’

“There can’t be a match to a visionary like Gandhiji. He rightly said, ‘if you want the country to prosper, make villages prosper. If you want to make country self-reliant, make villages self-reliant.’ A beginning in this direction started happening only after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014,” Shah said adding that the Prime Minister has given the concept of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).

“A dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat can only be realised if we have more number of Atmanirbhar villages. In order to make villages Atmanirbhar, it is imperative to deploy rural development measures on thr ground at the grassroots level,” he said addressing a gathering of about 250 graduating students, parents and faculty members at the IRMA campus in Anand.

At the 41st convocation of IRMA, 251 students received the post-graduate diploma in management (Rural Management), while the prestigious Kuchibhotla Vasanthi Memorial Gold Medal was awarded to PGDM-RM graduate Avineesh Arora for academic excellence.

Dilip Rath, Chairman of the Board of Governors at IRMA, in his address appealed to the Union Minister for Cooperation to treat all farmer producer organisations at par with the cooperatives.

‘Suitable guidelines’

“For efficient management of rural resources, and giving producers better returns, the government may consider issuing suitable guidelines to all state governments and financial institutions to extent identical patronage to all farmers producer institutions,” he said.

Rath also appealed to the Centre to consider establishing IRMA as the Central University for Cooperatives. “A proposal for this has already been submitted. IRMA is best positioned in all respects including its infrastructure and its track record to become a central university of cooperative management,” he said.

To the graduating batch, Shah appealed to keep their soul attached to the rural development, even while working at any organisation — be it private, multinational, etc. “Spare some time for those who have a good life as a distant dream. You may work anywhere but keep the well-being of others in your mind,” said Shah.

Published on June 12, 2022