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Website on poverty alleviation inaugurated

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DQW Bureau
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A website and a newsletter of the World Bank funded Indira Gandhi Garibi Hatao Yojana, a poverty alleviation program, were released recently.

The scheme, launched at the beginning of this fiscal year in the state, identifies the poorest of the poor target beneficiaries through Gram Sabhas and not the poverty line.

The villages are selected on the basis of the human development report of the State Government, a spokesman said.


The World Bank has pledged Rs 500-crore for the scheme over a period of five years, while the community and the State

Government would contribute an additional Rs 100-crore, the spokesperson added.

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Public participation and implementation of schemes according to the requirements of the target groups were the key to the approach to welfare schemes in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Digvijay Singh said while releasing the website and the newsletter.

Digvijay Singh said that the benefits of the scheme had started to trickle down to the target groups, especially rural women.

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The people often remained oblivious to poverty eradication initiatives. Even if awareness prevailed, they were unable to start works on their own. Now, groups with common interest get funds to improve their economic status. The approach had yielded encouraging results.

Citing the Bangladesh example, he said that women's active role in the functioning of cooperative banks had given better results because of their savings habits. Women can form credit societies and banks in rural areas.

He said that total literacy of women, educating each one of them and immunization and cleanliness of villages were some of the top priorities of the Madhya Pradesh Government. A sanitation program will soon be launched by the State Government, he added.

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Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Ajay Singh, stressed the need to extend the scheme to other districts highlighting flexibility as a distinct feature of the project. Villagers are able to decide the course of action to strike at the roots of poverty.

He said that target groups must be monitored closely and a constant dialogue established between such groups and project administration.

Chief Secretary, PK Mehrotra, said that the association of rural population with the project and their faith in the project was indicative of a prosperous future.

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Gauri Singh, Project Coordinator said that the project was running in 2001 villages of 47 blocks of 14 districts, benefiting 181 common interest groups.

She said that the groups had been provided a grant of Rs. 1.26 crore, out of which Rs 23 lakh had been contributed by the groups themselves.

(CNS)

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