Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s speech during his visit to RSS Pracharak Nanaji Deshmukh’s Gram Vikas Project at ChitrakootDate posted: July 27, 2015 | Short URL: https://samvada.org/?p=26765 | Share:
On November 1, 2006 the then President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had visited Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, where he met RSS Pracharak and social reformer Nanaji Deshmukh. Dr Kalam praised the efforts of Nanaji Deshmukh and RSS inspired initiatives for the comprehensive rural development. Below given is the text of speech by Dr Kalam at Chitrakoot.
What I will be remembered for?: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
Recently I visited Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, where I met Shri Nana Deshmukhji (Age 90)
and his team members belonging to Deendayal Research Institute (DRI). DRI is a unique
institution developing and implementing a village development model which is most suited for
India. DRI understand that people’s power is more potent, stable and enduring than political
power. By become one with the oppressed and depressed, one gains the acumen of
administration and governance. Social advancement and prosperity are possible only by
injecting the spirit of self-reliance and excellence in the younger generation. Using this principal,
DRI has planned to develop one hundred clusters of village having approximately five village
each around Chitrakoot. They have already developed 80 villages in 16 clusters consisting of
about 50,000 people. I witnessed one of the villages called Patni where the institute has
promoted sustainable development based on indigenous and traditional technology, field
studies facilitates the development of replicable and tangible model for achieving self-reliance in
villages. The programme aims at income generation through value addition, innovative
agricultural practices, inculcating scientific temper among the villagers, improvement of health
and hygiene, striving towards 100% literacy. Apart from all these development activities, the
institute is facilitating a cohesive conflict free society. As a result of this I understand that the
eighty villages around Chitrakoot are almost litigation free. The villagers have unanimously
decided that no dispute will find its way to court. The reason given by Nana Deshmikh Ji is that
if the people fight among each other they have no time for development. They can neither
develop themselves nor the community. This message has been understood by the society and
they have decided not to embark on any fighting. All these have been accomplished through
DRIs ‘Samaj Shilpi Dampati’ ( a graduate married couple) a new concept of counseling and
intervention promoted by DRI. Friends, you will see more heroes in nanaji’s villages and more
smiles. Is it not a rich place for cinema story writer or cinema poet or a cinema director? This is
the place where, you will find more heroes, more heroines, more happiness and less tragedy.
EXCERPTS FROM THE president’s ADDRESS AT THE 52ND NATIONAL FILM AWARDS
CEREMONY, VIGYAN BHAWAN, NEW DELHI on October 21, 2005.
PURA in Action in Chitrakoot
6 October 2005: DRI Chitrakoot
I am delighted to be here in Deendayal research Institute (DRI) located in the beautiful
surroundings of Chitrakoot, My greetings to Shri Nana Deshmukh Ji, members of the managing
committee, faculty members and students. DRI is a unique institution developing a village
development model which is most suited for India and is also implementing. Your vast
experience is very important for the nation.
DRI understands that people’s power is more potent, stable and enduring than political power.
By becoming one with the oppressed and depressed, one gains the acumen of administration
and governance. Social advancement and prosperity are possible only by injecting the sprit of
self-reliance and excellence in the younger generation. Using this principle DRI has plans to
develop one hundred clusters of villages having approximately five villages each around
Chitrakoot, based on the experience of 80 villages in 16 clusters.
Our National Mission? Challenges
Our nation is going through a major challenge of uplifting of 260 million people who are below
the poverty line. They need habitat, they need food, they need health care and they need
education and employment finally resulting in a good life. Our GDP is growing at more than 7%
per annum. Whereas, the economists suggest that to uplift the people below poverty line, our
economy has to grow at the rate of 10% per annum consistently, for over a decade.
Integrated Action for Development
To meet the needs of one billion people whose number will further increase, we have a mission
of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has
core competencies for integrated action:
1. Agriculture and food processing.
2. Reliable and quality Electric power, surface transport and Infrastructure for all parts of
3. Education and Healthcare.
4. information and Communication Technology
5. Strategic sectors.
These five areas are closely inter-related and when effectively addressed, would lead to
food, economic, energy and national security.
Engines for Growth
Emphasis should be on full utilization of natural and human resources of the region to meet
the demands of the modern society. We should also remember that about 50% of our
population is young people, with aspirations for a better life. Value addition to agriculture,
Manufacturing and service sectors of the economy, building on the regions core
competencies and technologies, will lead to high income growth rate and employment
potential. The engines for growth will be launching of the five national missions viz. water,
energy, education and skills, infrastructure and employment generation, which will enable
achievement of 10% GDP growth rate per annum, sustainable for a minimum period of ten
Participation of educational institutions in rural Development
For India to be a developed nation, it is essential that there is a massive scheme for
development of the rural areas, as 70% of our population lives in villages. Hence the
Government has announced the introduction of a scheme called PURA i.e. Providing Urban
Amenities in Rural Areas. PURA model envisages habitat design to improve the quality of
life in rural areas and also removes urban congestion. It is essentially total rural prosperity.
Physical connectivity enables high mobility to villagers so that they can interact and use
common infrastructure such as school, health centers and markets. The electronic
connectivity with telephones and internet facilities bring them together and interact with
anyone anywhere in the world knowledge connectivity will transform the rural area in
education, healthcare, application of science for crop, water and forest and management,
environment protection and cooperative product marketing. The combination of all these
three connectivity provides the economic connectivity with small-scale industries, agro and
food processing, warehouses, micro power plants, renewable energy farms and banks. The
four connectivities will bring prosperity to the villagers and improve quality of life. For our
country, around 7000 PURA are planned for Madhya Pradesh alone will have around 400
PURAs. I would like to talk to you on the two PURAs, apart from Chitrakoot experience.
Last year I had visited Periyar Maniammai collage of Technology for Women and inaugurated a
PURA complex. I thought of sharing with you the developmental concept of a cluster of over 65
villages near Vallam, Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu which involves a population of 3 lakhs.
This PURA complex has all the three connectivities-physical, electronic and knowledge- leading
to economic connectivity. The centre of activity emanates from the women engineering collage
that provides the electronic and knowledge connectivity. I understand that now five of the
Periyar PURA has health care centres, primary to post graduate level education and vocational
training centres. This has resulted in large scale employment generation and creation of a
number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 850 self-help groups. Two hundred acres of
waste land has been developed into cultivable land with innovative water management schemes
such as contour ponds and watersheds for storing and irrigating the fields. All the villagers are
busy in cultivation planting Jatropha, herbal and Medicinal plants, power generation using biomass,
food processing and above all running market centres. This model has emanated
independent of any government initiative. The committed leadership has been provided by the
Engineering institution. This gives me the confidence that PURA is a realizable proposition and
this movement can be multiplied by thousands of entrepreneurs, educational administrators and
philanthropic institutions with the support of the government agencies.
BAIF (Bharat Agro Industries foundation, Pune) has organized a tribal rehabilitation programme
for sustainable livelihood. The tribal population in Vansda (Navsari district) and Dharampur
(Valsad district) blocks of Gujrat were migrating to nearby cities with their families in search of
wages as their land holdings were very small and the crop productivity was low. Migration
deprived the children of educational and health facilities, while both men and women took to
drinking alcohol. These families were motivated to stay back on their own lands and take up
cultivation of fruits bearing trees as a measure of generating gainful employment. BAIF provided
wages to the families in the formative stages for working on their own lands, as they had no
other source of income. They were enabled to grow good quality grafted plants of mango and
cashew and also provided with manure and fertilizers. In return, BAIF took a commitment from
the families that they would work hard and abstain from alcohol and other addictions.
Simultaneously, the men and women were organized into small Self Help Groups to meet every
week and discuss various actions to be initiated under this programme. Watershed development
programme was introduced to harvest the rainwater near the fruit gardens (known as Wadi in
Gujarat) for providing support irrigation. As sophisticated drip irrigation system was not
manageable due to lack of electricity and high cost, pitcher irrigation was promoted. After
establishing the fruit trees started yielding after 3-4 years, other income generation activities
such as establishment of fruit nursery, cultivation of vegetables and herbal medicines,
sericulture, mushroom production, masonry and carpentry were promoted to generate additional
income. Thus, they attained food security right from the first year while the trees started growing
and bearing fruits from the third or fourth year, generating a surplus of Rs. 20,000-25,000 per
It is the tribal women who were more interested in attending to the field activities and nurturing
the orchards. Drudgery reduction and health care were also promoted and the women were
able to utilize the time saved for productive work. Today, they have formulated their own
cooperatives for processing and marketing of their cashew and mango products and for this
advance facility centers have been established for each zone. This programme has been
benefited over 50,000 tribal families in Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka and Rajasthan. As the
orchard is able to give them substantial income, they have stopped migrating to the cities.
These tribals who have established fruit orchards on their degraded lands have not only come
out of poverty, but also protected the neighboring forest area and demonstrated how poverty
eradication can be linked with eco-system improvement. Today, this programme has emerged
as a unique tribal development model in the country.
BAIF is also engaged in livestock development for promoting animal husbandry on a massive
scale covering over 20,000 villages in 9 states. Over the last 35 years, they have helped over 7-
8 lakh families to come out of poverty. Under this programme, BAIF provides breeding and
advisory services to produce superior quality cattle. A family maintaining 2-3 crossbred cows,
earns Rs. 18,000-20,000 per year. This is the result of use of appropriate technologies and
ambient management methods.
When I look at the activities of DRI, I find that this institute is aiming at a unique economic and
social empowerment model for the development of rural areas. The institute is working towards
the evolution of sustainable development based on indigenous and traditional technology,
knowledge systems and local talents. The research work by the institute through field studies
facilitates the development of replicable and tangible model for achieving self-reliance in
villages. The programme aims at income generation through value addition, innovative
agriculture practices, inculcating scientific temper among the villagers, improvement of health
and hygiene, striving towards 100% literacy. Apart from all these development activities the
institute is facilitating a cohesive conflict free society. As a result of this, I understand that the
eighty villages around Chitrakoot are almost litigation free. The villagers have unanimously
decided that no dispute will find its way to court. The differences will be sorted out amicably in
the village itself. All these have been accomplished through DRIs Samaj Shilpi Dampati a new
concept of counseling and intervention promoted by DRI. I Congratulate DRI and people of 80
villages. When I hear this, I am reminded of my childhood experience in Rameshwaram which I
would like to share with you.
Dispute resolution Through Human Touch
During 1940’s, every day after the evening namaz, my father used to come back and sit outside
(thinnai) our home at Rameshwaram. Each day about 10to 20 families or at times individuals
would come to my father and tell their problems on land and house disputes, marriage conflicts
and issues involving forsaking of elderly parents. They will get a solution from my father within
two or three days. In a similar way, my mother used to meet may womenfolk on Fridays. They
seek here advice. My elder brother himself was Panchayat Court President. The court had five
good human beings from various walks of life and with one State Government representative. In
those days, caste system was not visible at all. I used to see may disputes of human life being
settled in our own rural environment. Only if the disputes are not settled at these two levels they
used to resort to higher courts. After 1970s, all these systems with human touch vanished and
most of these disputes are going to courts. I feel, since to Panchayat environment is emerging
in rural areas, the judicial system at the Panchayat level also can take shape with the same type
of human touch. Litigation free 80 villages in Chitrakoot is a good example to be followed by
many districts. This will substantially reduce the load in our courts.
I see that Chitrakoot project is an integrated model for the development of rural India. It aims at
creating a society based on family bonding, pride in India culture, modern education wedded to
Indian wisdom, easing of social tensions, economic empowerment of all especially the women
folk, health for all, cleanliness, concern for environment, equitable distribution of wealth among
all the constituents of the society. This concept fully tallies with my view that developed India
means not only economic development but also integrated development in art, literature,
humanism, nobility in thinking and above all preservation of over five thousand years of our rich
The per capita income of Chitrakoot village has to further increase. This is possible only through
the three connectivities which I have discussed earlier and the provision of large employment
potential with good markets. Rashtrapati Bhavan will be in a position to help DRI in development
of Herbal Gardens, Spiritual Gardens, Jatropha Plantation and conversion of products and also
electronic and knowledge connectivity.
I congratulate Shri. Nana Deshmukhji, founder of DRI, and the Deendayal Research Institute for
achieving self-reliant sustained development of eighty village and my best wishes for your next
target of realizing the development of total five hundred villages much before 2009.
May god bless you.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
TOWARDS A CONFLICT FREE SOCIETY
Eighty Litigation free villages in Chitrakoot is a good example to be followed by many districts.
This will substantially reduce the load in our courts. Recently, I visited Deendayal research
Institute in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh. There I found that the institute is facilitating a cohesive
conflict free society. As a result of this, I understand that the eighty villages around Chitrakoot
are almost litigation free. The villagers have unanimously decided that no dispute will find its
way to the courts. The differences will be sorted out amicably in the village itself. This happened
because of the inspirational leadership at Chitrakoot. This movement has to be encourage in the
rural areas by different State governments.
EXCERPTS FROM THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
LEGAL EMPOWERMENT ON THE OCCASION OF NATIONAL LEGEL LITERACY DAY,
VIGYAN BHAVAN, NEW DELHI ON NOVEMBER 11, 2005
President’s Address in Village Patni
Friends, Tamil are my mother tongue. Should I speak in Tamil, or try to speak in Hindi? As you
Say…… OK, I will speak in Hindi. I am really delighted to be among the villagers of Patni. I
understand that the denizens of this village want to ameliorate their condition by their hard work.
With your collective efforts, you have broken the shackles of poverty. This is what the country
needs to emulate. I am happy that you have been blessed with such an inspiring leadership.
It takes scores of pearls to make a garland. You made a beautiful garland. If pearls of electronic
connectivity and knowledge are also added, it will make an even more beautiful garland. And
that garland will be the symbol of our prosperity. That will give you the satisfaction of selfaccomplishment.
You will then touch new heights. For building a strong nation, such a
conviction and brotherhood are essential. Your achievements instill in me a sense of confidence
that a country of one billion can also achieve this.
Now I request you to take a pledge, “I will spread the achievements of Patni to other village to
also to make every village of my India self-reliant and prosperous”.
Will you help the country replicate this model? You have taught us a lesson that only Selfreliance
can make one strong and prosperous. We should be self-reliant individually and
collectively. I congratulate you on this special achievement of bringing prosperity to the rural
It is matter of satisfaction that you are getting guidance from a leader like Nanaji Deshmukh.
God will always smile on you. Always think big. Like Nanaji thinks big. Always cherish ideals
and dreams, same as Nanaji has done for you.
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
President of India
(English translation of President’s speech )