“The picture of our villages has been different if we would have followed the path of Mahatma Gandhi. That is why Gandhiji advocated the need to start development from villages. But no government after Independence paid attention to the villages, resulting in this much underdeveloped picture of villages today. We need to change ourselves for development,? said Nanaji Deshmukh. He was addressing a gathering of villagers during the Gram Swaraj Padyatra. The first phase of the Yatra began on November 15 and after covering 550 km distances it culminated on December 12.
It is to be noted that Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) has been conducting a swavlamban drive in 500 villages around Chitrakoot in order to eradicate poverty, ensure healthy life and make the village free from all kinds of disputes. 250 of these villages are in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh and rest are in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. The 27 days yatra covered 94 village panchayats and 296 villages and educated the villagers about health, education and on other issues. The next phase of the yatra would begin on January 6, 2009 and would culminate on January 26 covering the villages of Madhya Pradesh.
The presence of Nanaji Deshmukh in the Yatra inspired both the workers and the villagers. During his night stay at Narayanpur village he educated the villagers how to fight for their rights. He said the Constitution has provided every citizen unlimited rights but the officers sitting in the administration do not let them take benefit of those rights. The people in the power fear if the people became aware, it would be difficult for them to stay in the power. He appealed to the villagers to be aware of their rights. ?We should resolve all the disputes for which we fight against each other in our villages. If we think that the person with whom we are fighting is not an outsider but is one among ourselves, there would be no need to go to the court. As the united Indians forced the British government to leave the country, today also we can unitedly eradicate all evils from the country,? Nanaji added.