On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Diwas today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an interaction with sarpanches across the country, via video conferencing.
Interacting with sarpanch Priyanka Ramdas Medankar of Medankarwadi, District Pune, the Prime Minister enquired about the well-being of the village residents and the arrangements being made to follow lockdown guidelines.
Sarpanch Medankar informed the Prime Minister that her Gram Panchayat had taken various proactive measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. On the second day of the lockdown itself, i.e. on 26th March, an extensive sanitization drive of the entire village was carried out, using sodium hypochlorite. The Gram Panchayat has also build two sanitization tunnels. Soaps and soap bars have been distributed to all households. The sarpanch informed that more than 5,000 masks were made in-house by Women's Self-Help Groups trained under Skill India program, and were distributed to people of the villages.
She also informed that in order to reduce crowding, odd-even policy has been implemented for ration / grocery shops and vegetable stalls, making them function on alternate days. Further, the vegetables were delivered at the homes of people employing volunteers for the purpose. Every woman in the village has been given sanitary napkins, for their health and safety. Home quarantine facilities too were set up.
Expressing his satisfaction over the measures taken by Medankarwadi Gram Panchayat, the PM remarked that the Famer Producers Organizations (FPOs) have been functioning well in Maharashtra, thereby bringing immense benefits to farmers.
He asked the Sarpanch to utilize modern technology such as e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) – the pan-India electronic trading portal to help farmers get better prices for their produce. PM also prodded the Sarpanch to explore the possibility of selling the products made by Women Self Help Groups (Mahila Bachat Gats) directly to Government of India through the GeM (Government e-Marketplace).