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Be a partner in rural development, Kalam tells journalists

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Describing the ambience of people living in India's rural areas as ''A Scene of Sweat'', President APJ Abdul Kalam today called upon the media to devise out-of-the box solutions and be a partner in national missions such as Developed India, 2020, PURA and the recently launched ''Bharat Nirman'' programme.

Inauguarting the Grassroots Summit, organised by the Press Institute of India, here, Dr Kalam said these missions, together with the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, covering 200 districts, had the potential to transform the rural face of the country and ''bring smiles to the faces of out billion people''.

''...I recall my experiences of visiting all the states and UTs, and witnessing the unique ambience of the seven hundred million people living in 600,000 villages equivalent to 200,000 Panchayats.

What is that ambience? I call the ambience as ''A Scene of Sweat'', he said.

Making an impassioned plea to grassroots journalists, Dr Kalam said they should take up the theme of a ''Developed India 2020'' as their primary mission.

''To achieve this, the journalists must become partners in the programme of PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) and energy independence mission, celebrate every aspect of success in the nation, particularly in rural areas, work towards promotion of a corruption-free society, help in the creation of enlightened citizens and promote harmony in the nation.'' Pointing out that ''small aim is a crime'', he said grassroots journalists should have a big aim of the concern of a billion people. ''The job of a journalist is not just to report, but to do some research work on the subject being reported,'' said Dr Kalam.

He said newspaper organisations should also encourage their journalists to devote some time to research while reorting about an issue.

Dr Kalam advised grassroots mediapersons to study the ten missions he had developed based on the input from the planning Commission and consultation with state ministries and experts in rural development.

He said he had so far addressed ten state legislatures and will be shortly addressing the legislatures of Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh in which his central message would be how the state can be economically developed with high human development index, and how to increase the per capita income. The mediapersons have to be partner in this develpment, he added.

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