Empowering Aspirational Blocks: PM Modi Launches ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ Programme
On 1st October 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated a transformative programme, ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ at Bharat Mandapam. This initiative is aimed at bolstering the development of aspirational blocks across India.
This week-long initiative is designed to enhance governance at the grassroots level and elevate the quality of life for citizens residing in these areas.
Empowering Aspirational Districts: The Foundation
The ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ programme builds upon the success of the aspirational districts programme, which positively impacted the lives of over 25 crore people in 112 districts across India. The achievements of this pioneering initiative have laid the groundwork for the aspirational blocks programme, poised to further empower underdeveloped regions.
Key Message: Optimal Resource Utilization and Public Participation
During the launch event at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the critical importance of optimal resource utilization, convergence, and public participation in grassroots development. He shared insights from his extensive experience in governance, asserting that change can be achieved without additional funds if resources are used efficiently.
Alignment with Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP)
‘Sankalp Saptaah’ aligns closely with the nationwide Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), unveiled by PM Modi earlier this year in January. The ABP aims to enhance governance at the block level, ultimately improving citizens’ quality of life. This week-long initiative represents a significant step toward realizing the objectives of the ABP.
Chintan Shivirs: Thoughtful Deliberations
To ensure the successful implementation of the ABP and formulate robust block development strategies, ‘chintan shivirs’ (reflection workshops) were conducted at the village and block levels across the nation. ‘Sankalp Saptaah’ serves as the culmination of these thoughtful deliberations, bringing together stakeholders from all 500 aspirational blocks.
Themes and Objectives
‘Sankalp Saptaah’ spans from October 3 to October 9, with each day dedicated to a specific development theme. The themes include ‘Sampoorna Swasthya’ (Complete Health), ‘Suposhit Pariwaar’ (Nourished Families), ‘Swachhta’ (Cleanliness), ‘Krishi’ (Agriculture), ‘Shiksha’ (Education), and ‘Samridhi Diwas’ (Prosperity Day). Each theme represents a critical aspect of holistic development.
Celebrating Success: ‘Samavesh Samaroh’
The week-long programme will culminate in a celebratory event, ‘Sankalp Saptaah – Samavesh Samaroh,’ on October 9. This occasion will acknowledge the collective efforts and accomplishments achieved throughout the week.
Massive Participation at Sankalp Saptaah launch
The inaugural event at Bharat Mandapam witnessed the participation of approximately 3,000 panchayat and block-level people’s representatives and functionaries. Furthermore, about two lakh individuals, including block and panchayat level functionaries, farmers, and people from diverse backgrounds, joined virtually.
Identifying Aspirational Blocks
An Inter-Ministerial Committee, in consultation with States, meticulously identified 500 blocks across 27 states and four Union Territories for inclusion in the ABP. Notably, 160 of these blocks are derived from the 112 Aspirational Districts.
The ABP is backed by substantial financial support, with an allocation of Rs 100 crore earmarked for expenditure in the fiscal year 2023-24.
Key Pillars of the ABP Programme
The Aspirational Blocks Programme rests on three fundamental pillars:
- Convergence: This pillar emphasizes the synergy between central and state schemes, ensuring that resources and efforts are aligned for maximum impact.
- Collaboration: Effective collaboration is fostered among key stakeholders, including NITI Aayog, central ministries, state departments, as well as district and block administrations, to drive the ABP’s success.
- Competition: The spirit of competition among blocks is encouraged, inspiring a mass movement for development.
Themes of Focus
Each participating block focuses on monitoring key socio-economic indicators categorized under the following major themes:
- Health and Nutrition
- Agriculture and Allied Services
- Basic Infrastructure
- Social Development
Leaders of Change
The ABP identifies Block Officials as “Leaders of Change.” These officials are equipped with the requisite skills and competencies to spearhead and drive transformation within their respective blocks. They work collaboratively with the support and guidance of their state and district administrations to achieve their defined strategies and objectives.
‘Sankalp Saptaah’ represents a significant stride in India’s journey toward empowering its aspirational blocks. By focusing on key development themes and fostering public participation, this programme aspires to bring about meaningful change in underdeveloped regions. As Prime Minister Modi leads this transformative effort, it holds the promise of improving the lives of countless citizens at the grassroots level.