Kanchan Banerjee, P Bhandari and Pramit Makooday with the PM
Kanchan Banerjee, P Bhandari and Pramit Makooday with the PM

Prakash M Swamy

BOSTON, MA:  On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, as per direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on building self-reliant Bharat through building self-reliant villages, an unique ‘70@70’ program was formally launched by Union Minister for Agriculture  and Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar from New Delhi via video conference

This was in partnership with ekisaan foundation, GIBV Boston, Jaipur Foot USA, Computer Society of India, Edufront, Friends of MP, India Global, and ATREE to adopt 70 villages to make them self-reliant villages. 

These 70 villages are adopted to commemorate Modi’s 70th Birthday. These villages will follow the comprehensive WHEELS framework – W – Water for all, H – Health for all, E – Education for all, E- Clean Energy for all, L – Land (Agri) and Housing, and S- Skills development and Employment generation, said PramitMakooday organizer of the event.

He said under the Wheels framework in the first phase the focus would be on smart education, smart health, smart agriculture, clean energy and skill development, with a special emphasis on making them accessible, affordable and scalable. The objective of this program is to educate, engage, and empower our farmers, along with implementing programs in PPP mode.

This program “70@70” was virtually launched by Union Cabinet Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar. Tomar  mentioned that India is a country of villages and in order to have Aatma-Nirbhar (Self-reliant) Bharat, it’s essential that our villages become Aatma-Nirbhar (Self-reliant).  This program would also inspire neighboring villages to move towards becoming Self-reliant.  He commended the team on taking this program to make a difference at the grass root level, and this would also inspire others.

Initiatives like this build stronger bonds with the Indian diaspora and villages in India.  He said recent agriculture reforms would help empower farmers and would help people in the villages to take advantage of technology and processes.

Core team for this ‘70@70’ program include PramitMaakoday, Kanchan Bannerjee, Jyoti Bhowraskar, Sanjeev Tripathi, SrikantaBhaskara and Manoj Sisodia.

P Bhandari President of Jaipur Foot USA said all the deserving disabled persons in these villages will get the artificial limbs. Satish Jha Principal Advisor for the education initiatives explained the importance of education for all. Computer Society of India President Prof. RK Vyas pledged the support of hundreds of volunteers for 70@70. Senior IAS officer AjitKesari Principal Secretary Agriculture mentioned how useful these programs for farmers welfare and agriculture ecosystem.

Not only in India but few of the villages will be developed with the comprehensive wheels framework outside of India in Nepal and West Africa. The program was conducted by Kanchan Banerjee and SrikantaBhaskara proposed a vote of thanks.