For long enough people belonging to Scheduled Castes in India have faced discrimination and have been denied equal opportunities. According to the 2011 census Scheduled Castes (SCs) make up for 16.6% of the population in India. Scheduled caste have historically suffered socially and academically due to a lack of equal opportunities. The Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) is a Government of India initiative to empower the deprived sections.
In order to bring equal opportunities for SC’s, there are provisions in the Constitution, and since independence, the Government has taken a number of initiatives that have resulted in narrowing the gap between SCs and the rest of the population.
Objective Of The Scheme
The main objective of the scheme is to make the villages a model village so that:
- The village has the requisite physical and social infrastructure for their socio-economic development and satisfies the guidelines mentioned in the vision of an Adarsh gram to the greatest extent possible.
- The imbalance between SC and non-SC population in terms of common socio-economic indicators that is literacy rate, the completion rate of elementary education, ownership of productive assets, and so on are eliminated. The indicators must be raised at least to the national average of:
a) All families, especially those belonging to SC’s which are also BPL, have the security of livelihood and food and are capable of crossing the poverty line and earning a decent livelihood.
b) All SC children should at least finish secondary education, and
c) The occurrence of malnutrition, especially among children and women, are eliminated.
- Discrimination, untouchability, segregation, and offensiveness against SCs are eliminated, and also other social evils like discrimination against women, alcoholism and substance (drugs) abuse, etc., and all sections of society live with equality and dignity, and in peace with others.
Vision of a Model Village
As per the scheme, there will be integrated development which will make the model village adequate in terms of physical and institutional infrastructure. This will make the village a conducive place for all residents to utilise their potential to the maximum. Such a village should have all the facilities required for dignified living and a place where everyone co-exists in harmony. It is a village that is progressive and dynamic.
These villages should fulfil the following norms for being a model village:
- The village must be connected to the nearest main road by an all-weather road. If the village has many hamlets, then all hamlets must also be connected to each other. And also have good internal roads with adequate street lighting.
- All houses should have electricity.
- There should be access to safe drinking water for all.
- There must be communication facilities in the village like the post office, telephones, internet and Bharat Nirman Common Service Centre that has been established by the Department of Telecommunications.
- There must be adequate banking facilities through regular branches in the village or close proximity through the Business Correspondent or Business Facilitator Model.
- There must be adequate housing for all residents.
- The village must have a good building for its Anganwadi, social health centre, panchayat and community hall.
Sanitation and Environment:
- The village must have good sanitation facilities like toilets, drains, and an effective waste disposal system. The “Nirmal Gram Pushkar” norms must be fulfilled by the village to the extent possible.
- The village must look after the environment by adopting measures like planting trees, water harvestation, maintenance of water bodies, use of renewable sources of energy like biogas, solar energy, wind energy, reduce pollution by using smokeless chullas.
Social Infrastructure, Human Development, and Social Harmony:
- Literacy – The village must have an Anganwadi centre and schools, all children of appropriate age must be enrolled in the schools and must attend schools regularly. There must be opportunities for sports and other physical activities. All adults must at least be functionally literate and must be given opportunities for continuous education.
- Healthcare – There must be access to the primary health care and Reproductive Child Health (RCH) facilities, and such facilities must have good prenatal and ante-natal facilities. There must be 100% institutional deliveries, full immunization of children, and a small family room availability.
- Social Welfare – The village must have an active Gram Panchayat and various groups for women, swarozgaris’, and youth. The village must take care of the women, children, especially girls, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities. There must not be any caste or race or colour or gender-based discrimination. The practices of untouchability must be eradicated, and there must be a sense of security and dignity. Public usage of intoxicating drinks and other substances must be discouraged, and all the residents must be aware of their constitutional and legal rights and also be aware of compliance with civic duties.
- The youth and adult of the village must be employed and must have opportunities for developing skill, and to the extent, possible must be in skilled employment
- In all economic activities like agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, progressive and efficient practices must be used especially the use of technology
- The residents must have adequate access to remunerative prices for agriculture and other produce of the village.
Implementation of the Scheme
To bring area-based development, the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana was launched in 2009-10. The scheme is targeted towards villages that have an SC population of 50% and aims at the integrated development of such villages.
The implementation of the scheme is as follows:
- Integrated development of SC majority villages fundamentally through the confluent implementation of the relevant Central and State Government Schemes
- To take up the identified activities that are not covered under State and Central schemes, through ‘Gap Filling’ funds to the extent of Rs.20 lakh per village.
For every new village selected the scheme provides a total fund of Rs.21 lakh, out of which 20 lakh is for the gap-filling, and 1 lakh is for administrative expenses at the Centre, State, District and Village ratio of 1:1:1:2. For the villages already funded earlier, a component of an additional round of funding of Rs. 10 lakh per village from the infrastructure head of the Scheme will be provided for continuous development.