Need to bridge rich-poor gap, overcome social ills to progress at faster pace: Gadkari

  • | Thursday | 29th September, 2022

Nagpur, Sep 29 (PTI) Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said even as India has emerged as the world"s fifth largest economy and although the country is rich, its population is poor, facing issues like starvation, unemployment, casteism, untouchability and inflation.The gap between the rich and the poor has widened in the country, which needs to be bridged, he said.He was addressing a programme organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-inspired organisation."We are the fastest-growing economy in the world and are the fifth largest economy. We are a rich nation with a poor population. Our country is rich, but the population is poor facing starvation, unemployment, poverty, inflation, casteism, untouchability and other factors that are not good for the progress of the society," he said."There is a need to establish social and economic equality in the society. The gap between these two sections of the society has widened. Economic disparity has also increased like social disparity," the Minister for Road Transport and Highways noted.Gadkari emphasised the need to work in the fields of education, health and services to bridge the rich-poor gap.Meanwhile, the Union minister, in a statement issued after the event, said his comment at the programme about the problems being faced by the country has been taken out of context and maintained talk about development should consider the social ills that are obstacles in achieving the desired goals."I am pained to know and see that once again my statement about the problems before our society and the nation has been flashed out of context and some unscrupulous elements are deriving joy out of it. This is only meant to create misunderstanding and nothing else," Gadkari said in the statement.The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said his statement should be seen in the context of process of development."My speech today, during a programme at Nagpur, that `we are a rich nation with poor people’ and the reference to the problems and issues before us, should have been considered positively in the context of process of development rather than clipping out a part of it to create misunderstanding," he said."I appeal all the fellow citizens of this country to understand the real intention of these references that, whenever we talk about development, we should consider the social ills that are obstacles in the process to achieve the goals. My entire speech echoes the same sentiment that, we will have to overcome these social problems to progress at a faster pace and there is nothing wrong in it," the Union minister said.Earlier, speaking at the programme, Gadkari said the biggest challenge is how to work in various sectors with social responsibility."The purpose of the Bharat Vikas Parishad is very clear, but the biggest challenge before us is how to work in various sectors with social responsibility and social consciousness to bring about a change in the society. However, we are still very far from our objective and need to speed up our efforts to achieve it," he said.The Union minister called for working in a united way to develop 124 aspirational districts in the country."These 124 aspirational districts in the country are lagging behind socially and in terms of education and health. The urban regions have witnessed a lot of development, but a huge population has migrated to cities due to lack of facilities and opportunities," he said while appealing to the Bharat Vikas Parishad to work on empowering rural areas."Swami Vivekananda said that the 21st century belongs to India, and therefore everyone should contribute in their own way towards the progress of the nation," he said.Gadkari gave an example of his own initiatives being carried out in the tribal regions since the last 23 years, under which 1,200 Ekal Vidyalays are being run in the Vidarbha, where 18,000 students are getting education. PTI CLS NP VT RSY RSY

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