As many as 18 Cabinet ministers are yet to adopt a village in the second phase of ‘Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)’, a scheme initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The scheme, which was announced by Modi in his first independence day speech, has now entered its second phase and the last date for selection of the village was January 31 this year. As per the official data, besides Modi, only 8 ministers have adopted a village in the second phase. Sushma Swaraj, Ramvilas Paswan, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Birender Singh, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Smriti Irani and Prakash Javadekar are the ministers who have adopted a village. The remaining 18 Cabinet ministers are yet to adopt a village, according to Rural Development Ministry’s data.
Under the SAGY, MPS from all political parties need to adopt villages with an aim to transform them into model villages and take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in these areas. All 795 MPs, including 543 from Lok Sabha and 252 from Rajya Sabha, are to develop 3 villages each by 2019. In the first phase, out of 795 MPs, 701 had adopted villages, while in second phase the response was poor with merely 102 MPs having selected a village for adoption. MPs have complained about lack of separate funding for the scheme. There is no separate budgetary allocation under SAGY, but MPs have been suggested to channelise money to their chosen villages through the convergence of 21 ongoing developmental schemes like Indira Awaas Yojana for rural housing, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
The objective of the SAGY is to substantially improve the standard of living and quality of life of all sections of the population in the selected villages. Besides infrastructure development, the scheme aims at inculcating values in the villagers so they become models for others to follow.