On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Diwas on April 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with sarpanches from pan India, via video conferencing.
Interacting with sarpanch Priyanka Ramdas Medankar of Medankarwadi, District Pune, Modi asked about the well-being of the village residents and the arrangements being made to follow lockdown guidelines.
Sarpanch Medankar reassured the Prime Minister that her Gram Panchayat had taken many proactive steps to contain the spread of the pandemic. On the second day of the lockdown itself, i.e. on 26th March, an extensive sanitisation drive of the entire village was carried out, using sodium hypochlorite.
She also shared that in order to minimise the gathering of people, the odd-even policy has been implemented for ration/grocery shops and vegetable stalls, making them function on alternate days. Furthermore, the vegetables were delivered at the homes of people employing volunteers for the purpose. Every woman in the village has been given sanitary napkins, for their health and safety. Home quarantine facilities too were set up.
Expressing his satisfaction over the measures taken by Medankarwadi Gram Panchayat, the PM remarked that the Famer Producers Organizations (FPOs) have been functioning well in Maharashtra, thereby bringing immense benefits to farmers.
He asked the Sarpanch to use modern technology such as e-National Agriculture Market (eNAM) – the pan-India electronic trading portal to help farmers get better prices for their produce. PM also prodded the Sarpanch to explore the possibility of selling the products made by Women Self Help Groups (Mahila Bachat Gats) directly to Government of India through the GeM (Government e-Marketplace).