Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani has said that the ranking of Wayanad district under the Aspirational District programme of the Central government should be improved in a time-bound manner.
The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme aims at expeditiously improving the socio-economic status of 117 districts across 28 States. Wayanad is the lone district selected from the State for the programme.
Lack of coordination
Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday after a review meeting on the progress of the project, Ms. Irani said that the ranking of the district under the programme was 111 owing to lack of proper coordination among various departments.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani interacts with children during her visit to Ponnada Anganwadi Centre at Kalpetta in Wayanad on Tuesday.
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Ms. Irani said she had visited Fathepur district in Uttar Pradesh a few days ago and the rank of the rural district under the programme was 11. The Minister said she had directed the officials concerned to improve the ranking in 10 months, for which coordination among various departments should be ensured.
“The programme focuses on five main themes — health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development, and basic infrastructure — which have a direct bearing on the quality of life and economic productivity of citizens,” Ms. Irani said, adding that she had visited two tribal hamlets in the district and these issues of the members of settlements were yet to be addressed properly.
Ms. Irani said she had directed the officials concerned to adopt measures to improve the standard of living of the farmers and street vendors under the project and the Central government projects for the purpose should be expanded in the sector. The coordination of various departments should be ensured for addressing the issues of tribal people such as land-related issues under the Forest Rights Act, malnutrition among newborns, and sickle cell anaemia.
The Minister also visited two anganwadis and the ‘Sakhi’ one-stop centre here.