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Address and interaction with the participants of SBI Youth for India
PUNE, Mar 18 2011
Updated on Mar 18 2011
Published bywww.abdulkalam.com
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What I will be remembered for?

"PURA envisages capacity
building for rural citizens"

I am delighted to participate in the "SBI Youth for India" programme organized by State Bank of India in partnership with BAIF and other voluntary organisations. My greetings to SBI; BAIF, Pune; Seva mandir, Jaipur and MSSRF, Chennai and other participating NGO's. I am happy to know that this programme provides a challenging opportunity to urban professionals to associate with rural communities and work towards the integrated development of the rural sector. Devoting a year by the professional youth to rural development is an important national mission. I congratulate SBI for selecting 50 professionals and providing fellowship to them for working in rural areas with an aim to empower the rural citizens with managerial skills and knowledge of modern technologies. My greetings to all of you.

Dear friends, when all of you are going to dedicate your one year for rural development, I was thinking what I can discuss with you. Today, more than 700 million people in India are living in 600,000 villages. The mission towards upliftment of these 700 million people will require an integrated plan of rural development like PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). I would think that the fellows of this programme should be facilitated to concentrate in planning and development of PURA complexes in different parts of the country. India would need over 7000 PURA complexes. Hence, I would like to share my views, on the topic "What I will be remembered for?".

Let me discuss briefly the model of a typical PURA.

PURA: connectivities which lead to it

PURA essentially requires four levels of connectivity which have to be customized according to local competencies and needs. It means that:

1. The villages must be connected with in themselves and with main towns and metros through by good roads and wherever needed by railway lines. They must have other infrastructure like schools, colleges, hospitals and amenities for the local population and the visitors. This is physical connectivity.

2. In the emerging knowledge era, the native knowledge has to be preserved and enhanced with latest tools of technology, training and research. The villages have to have access to good education from best teachers wherever they are, must have the benefit of good medical treatment, and must have latest information on their pursuits like agriculture, fishery, horticulture and food processing. That means they have to have electronic connectivity.

3. Once the Physical and Electronic connectivity are enabled, the knowledge connectivity is enabled. That can facilitate the ability increase the productivity, the utilization of spare time, awareness of health welfare, ensuring a market for products, increasing quality conscience, interacting with partners, getting the best equipment, increasing transparency and so in general knowledge connectivity, that progresses core competence of the rural environment with additional to technology. Hence, these three connectivities integrated way lead to economic connectivity.

4. Once the three connectivities viz Physical, Electronic and knowledge connectivity are ensured, they facilitate earning capacity leading to economic connectivity. When we Provide Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), we can lead to upliftment of rural areas, we can attract investors, we can introduce effectively useful systems like Rural BPOs, Micro Finance.

As I told you earlier, the country will need 7000 PURA complexes with all the above connectivities. There are number operational PURA in our country initiated by many educational, healthcare institutions, industry and other institutions. Government of India is already moving ahead with the implementation of PURA on the national scale across several districts of India.

Let us now visualize what transformation the PURA will bring to the selected rural complex.

Visualization for the PURA Mission

Each PURA complex has to transform the selected rural complex into economically developed complexes with focus on employment generation for all the families of PURA cluster with physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity leading to economic connectivity. The PURA complex will have its umbilical connectivity with the nearest university. Let me present the visualization for typical PURA cluster based on the already available operational PURA:

1. Provide dwelling units to all the village citizens with clean water supply and sanitation facilities,

2. The village complex will have 100 percent literacy ,

3. Apart from upgrading existing schools, the complex will have a few colleges, world class vocational training institutions in construction, carpentry, welding, natural art; computer maintenance and services, IT Enabled Services, BPO and a Call Center. The "Sakshat" programme - a one stop education portal will be used through internet for capacity building in this region,

4. People in the PURA complex will be able to get quality healthcare through tele-medicine and also through mobile clinics via Primary Health Centres. They will be brought under a corporate medical healthcare scheme,

5. Each PURA village complex will be free from diseases like polio, TB, leprosy and malaria and other waterborne diseases. The infant mortality rate will be less than 10,

6. The PURA complex will promote horticulture and floriculture products, apart from agriculture in collaboration with nearby agricultural universities and research institutions,

7. There will be agro-processing industries in each PURA complex for value addition to horticulture produce,

8. Creation of dairy and fish farms in each PURA complex for providing additional non-farm revenue to farmers. They can also produce other dairy products,

9. Revival of all existing water bodies in the PURA cluster,

10. Provision of employment to all employable people of the village through additional jobs in dairy, agro-processing, construction, handicraft and tourism enterprises,

11. There may be a many villages with importance of tourism. It is essential to promote training in tourism for the manager and operators and enriching tourist part with accommodation private enterprise partnership.

12. Overall, per capita income of the PURA cluster should increase by three times and people living below the poverty line should come down to zero in six years.

Of course to achieve the above performance, a dynamic, empowered PURA management board structure is very vital. This has to be evolved with the active participation of State Governments, district authorities, societal transformers, educational institutions, small scale industries or an enterprise in association with the Panchayat. Finally, it will be managed as a viable and sustainable business proposition through the local entrepreneurship.

Now let me give certain examples of operational PURA complexes in different regions in the country. I would like to talk about Warana PURA in Maharashtra and Meenakshi Mission PURA in Tamilnadu.

Warana PURA: Farmer cooperative in action

Friends, in March 2010 I was in the Warana valley of Kolhapur district where I inaugurated a PURA center at the Tatyasaheb Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The Warana PURA mission began as a sugar cooperative movement, as a vision of a great social leader called Sah-kaar-shri Tatyasaheb Kore in 1950s to transform the Warana region which was a backward area infested with unlawful activities.

The Warana PURA programme has succeeded in creating income generation through value addition to sugar and dairy products, innovative agricultural practices and entrepreneurship, striving towards literacy and healthcare for all. The Warana cooperative sugar factory with about 20,000 farmers as its members, has also taken area development as one of its missions and has helped construction of schools, medi-care institutions and libraries.

For the welfare of landless villagers, Tatyasaheb Kore envisioned and pioneered the creation of the Warana Poultry and Warana Dairy. Warana Cooperative Dairy with more than 16000 milk producers spread over 60 villages, collects and processes more than 500,000 liters of milk every day from it 1753 collection centers. With advanced technologies for value addition and maintaining highest quality standards, the Warana Dairy manufactures and exports many value added products of milk to middle east.

Warana cooperative has provided to its youth a wide spectrum of education to empower themselves and take the vision of the Warana development further. Similarly, the health for the citizen?s is supported by initiatives such as the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital and the Dental College. To inculcate a spirit of saving the Warana PURA complex also started the Warana Cooperative Bank in 1966, which has now more than 18,000 cooperative members and has 24 branches across the Warana valley. Today, Warana is remarkable region which, by following a socio-economic objective in mind has transformed into a rural region with almost none living below poverty line. I am sure, many of the professionals assembled here will create such PURA complexes in their region and become partners in the national development mission.

Let me now discuss about a PURA which was recently started from a small scale and is rapidly expanding through partnerships of multiple institutions.

Meenakshi Mission PURA

Recently on 19 May 2010, I visited a remote village called Thonugal in Virudhunagar District of Tamilnadu and inaugurated the Meenakshi Mission PURA pioneered by the Super Specialty Hospital and an IT institution from Madurai. The uniqueness of this PURA is that where multiple institutions came together with the people?s participation focusing on health, education, employment generation and water. They have established Tele-medicine centre with adequate medical modalities (so far 450 patients are treated, 4 Free medical camps are conducted and more than 1000 people are benefited), Mahasemam ? a Micro finance company providing micro finance for creating entrepreneurs in 256 small and micro enterprises (so far 300 women?s Self Help Group members are identified and are given small and micro loans for enhancing their livelihood and create employment potential), IT company iGrandee has setup Rural e-BPO for providing services to the BPO industry (unemployed youth in that regions are selected and are undergoing training to do tele-marketing the organic food items in USA and people are under training to digitize the Medical Records), e-Learning centre for school students (for the primary and secondary school students) and RO water purification plant for providing clean drinking water for school students and village people which provides safe drinking water to the tune of 250 liters per hour on a daily basis was provided by Lions Club.

Apart from this, what the unique think which I have witnessed is the first time is the Mobile Dialysis Van on call basis which reaches the doorsteps of the village people who got affected by the kidney disease and when they are immobile. For the last few months, mobile dialysis unit has treated more than 25 immobile dialysis patients in that rural area. Patient under dialysis treatment, when they are immobile can call Mobile Dialysis Van using the mobile number (96264-68927), the van will reach within 2 hours to the home of the patient. Through the Meenakshi Mission PURA, the Lions Club International (324 ? B3) has provided this facility; any kidney patient who needs dialysis will get dialysis service at Sastha Dialysis Unit managed by Dr Palanirajan at Madurai for Rs. 500 at a concession rate. On a daily basis, 25 patients are treated through this centre at Madurai. All these schemes are managed by the unified Meenakshi Mission PURA system and will be expanded to cover minimum 30 villages each in 3 southern districts of Tamilnadu in phases. Multiple institutions are brought together to realize this Meenakshi Mission PURA initiative because of the initiative taken by Mr. V. Ponraj, in his own native village Thonugal in Virudhunagar district of Tamilnadu and provided necessary facilities, one portion of his home, extended necessary help and provided leadership to make this happen and now working towards enlarging it into 3 southern districts of Tamilnadu.

Certainly, dear friends all the participants of "SBI Youth for india" can visit operational PURA complexes and firm up their minds in creating new PURA complexes in their region.

Conclusion: What I will be remembered for?

Friends, in conclusion, I would suggest all of you to ask a question, what would I like to be remembered for? You have to evolve yourself and shape your life. You should write it on a page. That page may be a very important page in the book of human history. And you will be remembered for creating that one page in the history of the nation ? whether that page is the page of invention, the page of innovation or the page of discovery or the page of fighting injustice or the page of contributing towards inclusive growth of the nation in a time bound manner through the development of integrated PURA complexes.

Let me give you friends, the possible missions in rural development through which you may have the privilege of being remembered.

a) Will you be remembered as a creative leader who has transformed ten clusters into dynamics PURA complexes with all the connectivities leading to economic connectivity?

b) Will you be remembered as a leader similar to those who have given new dimension to rural development through PURA at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Warana in Maharashtra and Meenakshi Mission in Tamilandu?

c) Will you be remembered as a leader for bringing in prosperity of village complexes using the core competence of that area within a years time?

d) Will you be remembered as a leader who has activated thousand water bodies by de-silting and providing inlet and outlet connectivity within a years time?

e) Will you be remembered as a leader for creating innovative value added diary product and its marketing?

Above all, in a years time, you should be known for promoting a sustainable development system in chosen rural complexes.

My best wishes to all the participants of this programme for success in their mission of promoting integrated rural development.

May God Bless you.


By, Dr. APJ Abdulkalam
www.abdulkalam.com

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3   moreshwarPosted OnMar 22 2011 10:56:18
moru77@yahoo.in
i have got lot of inspiration from this speech. This is very good speech for development of indian village area and for youth. when we will attention on village area then we will achive 2020 mission. mostly youth are not intersted to live in village are because in village area do not available aminity facility and securite.when youth will read this news then they will take interst in village development .this is speech is giving direction to youth.now


2   Ankit WaliaPosted OnMar 21 2011 13:44:34
ankitwalia4u@gmail.com
Thanku Sir


1   Dr.vinod potdarPosted OnMar 19 2011 09:00:48
vvpotdar@rediffmail.com
Dear Sir It nice to see you during the programme.Yours words touches our hearts.We are already working for rural livestock work but due to your speech we got inspiration.Needs to get your bleesing. thanks Vinod Potdar




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