Centre asks states to hold prog for rural dev on Oct 2

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New Delhi, Sep 22 (UNI) Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has asked State Governments to organise rural development specific programmes to mark the 138th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2.

In a letter addressed to the Rural Development Ministers of all the States/ UTs, Dr Singh urged them to observe the day by organising functions, at least at one place in the district, for distribution of house sites to the homeless under the Indira Awaas Yojana(IAY) and raise awareness by reading the names of all the beneficiaries. Also, states should ensure that the selection of beneficiaries for the year 2007-08 under IAY should be completed by then.

He has also directed Rural Ministers to convene Gram Sabhas on the day in all Panchayats for social auditing of National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (NREGS) where the details of employment provided under NREGS during the financial year must be spelled out.

The day should also be observed as 'Cleanliness Day' to give impetus to the Total Sanitation Campaign. In this regard, construction of sanitary latrines has to be started in uncovered villages along with the appraisal of progress under the TSC.

An action plan is also to be worked out for construction of individual households latrines, school toilets, anganwadi toilets and community toilets.

A pledge to follow the 8-point programme for sanitation, as advised by former President of India A P J Abdul Kalam during the award giving ceremony of Nirmal Gram Puraskar held in May 2007, is to be undertaken in the Gram Sabha to mark the ocassion.

In addition, all the Self-Help Groups formed so far should be requested to convene a meeting to hold discussions on implementing various rural development programmes.

This year, Gandhi Jayanti is being observed as National Day of Dedication' following the United Nations Declaration of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary as International Day of Non-Violence.' UNI

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