In the conversation we talked about how the journey of SmartGaon started three years ago and what were some of the driving factors that led Mr Rajnish to get going. He was inspired by one of the speeches given by PM Narendra Modi in US. The speech was to motivate people to give back to India in whatever capacity they can even if they are settled outside.
SmartGoan initiative was also endorsed by the PM in “Mann Ki Baat” (Indian radio programme hosted by the PM in which he addresses people about nation building) for the work that is being done.
Mr. Rajnish talks about what the mission of SmartGaon is and what smart villages are. He shares his advice on how people can come together and make India a better place. We also discussed the role of SmartGaon in Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Today in a technology driven world people who want to give back and are far away from India can contribute meaningfully in their own capacities for the development of India.
Lastly, we touched upon the upcoming partnership of SmartGaon and REACHA!
Some of the key takeaways from this dialogue are as follows:
- Rajnish Ji touches upon one of the speeches given by Narendra Singh Modi in USA, which eventually became the driving factor that led him to create SmartGaon in India. He shares how the speech really moved him and instilled a constant thought in him, a thought on how to give back to the society. Since the Indian population continues to be concentrated in villages, Rajnish Ji thought he would like to contribute towards making these villages smart (technology enabled), which can help people to become self sufficient. He shares that the speech made him realize that it was time to wake up, and start giving back to where he came from. This led to the beginning of SmartGaon's journey which is led by Rajnish Ji and Yogesh Ji.
- He shares that just like how our body is made up of five basic elements, a Smart village is also made up of five elements: Swach (Clean), Sunadar (Beautiful), Sakshar (Literate), Swast (Healthy), and Saulabhya.
- The abbreviation SMART stands for: Sanitized, Modern-urban amenities, Adoption and awareness, self Reliant, Technology enabled. These are the five focus areas that are considered while working on a village.
- The role of Sarpanch in the transformation of a village is very important. If the leaders are passionate and energetic, then the society will also develop fast. Another objective of SmartGaon is to spread awareness about Government schemes around the villages so that these can reach to the people in need (this is done through the SmartGaon mobile app)
- People in smart villages can use the mobile app to post any complains/suggestions that they might have regarding the situation of the village. The app has made it easy for people in villages to communicate with the leaders of the villages (sarpanch) by saving them time which they would have otherwise spent on trying to meet them in person. Once someone drops a message on the app, it automatically reaches to the concerned authority. The app also has a notification center for notifications about events happening around the neighborhood. It also consist of a news section, self education section, marketplace, doctor consultation etc. which helps people to stay connected.
- Rajnish Ji mentions that there is no right time for when one should start thinking of giving back, we should not wait and should come forward today. Once this movement starts, the like minded people will come forward, get aligned and can together multiply the positive effect.
- At the end it is not government or anyone else, it is people who need to come forward together and take an initiative proactively to make a change. It is our responsibility to take care of the society around us.
Excellent work Mr. Rajnish Bajpai, thank you Mudit for bringing such people on this blog, they inspire us all. I did not know about his great work until this interview.