Under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), Congress leader and Jalandhar MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary picked Ganna, a village notorious for drug peddling and criminals in Doaba region, on Monday. Meanwhile, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral chose Dheena village of Jalandhar west block,
Ganna, which falls under the Phillaur sub-division, is about 8km from Phillaur and has a population of about 3,200 people.
Riddled with drug abuse, most villagers from here find mention in police records under drug trafficking, theft, snatching, and illegal distillation of liquor.
Notably, the women folk of the village are also infamously involved such offences.
The police said the villagers are forced to indulge in criminal activities in the absence of a livelihood. This, they said, had been happening for many decades now, they said.
The village's notoriety has reached such highs that when new entrants in the police force are trained, they are also taught about Ganna.
Village sarpanch Gulzari Lal (70) rued that the village suffered from shortage of toilets. People are forced to defaecate in the open, he said. He pointed out that the village had just one middle school, no hospitals and about 500 kuchha houses.
An official, on condition of anonymity, said that November 11 was the deadline for all MPs to send in the name of the village they adopt under the SAGY. On Monday, Ganna and Dheena villages were uploaded on the website of the union ministry of rural development, he said.
Deputy commissioner KK Yadav confirmed this and said that estimates for the developmental works would soon be prepared.
The official said the emphasis will be on empowering poor families to alleviate poverty. The plan for this will be prepared by the village development committee under the district administration officials' supervision.
In converting the village into a model village as per SAGY, which launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, smart schools with IT-enabled classrooms, e-libraries and web-based teaching will be set up, he said. Each student will have access to education facilities up to Class 10. Focus will also be on all-round infrastructure development along with emphasis on gender equality, women's empowerment, social justice, and cleanliness among other areas.
Other benefits to be provided are piped drinking water, connectivity to the main road, electricity supply to all households, telecom and broadband connectivity including CCTVs in public areas.
The official said insurance schemes such as Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, access to public distribution system to eligible families for social security, old-age, and disability and widow pensions, will also be brought in.
He said that funds will be available from the programmes of the Centre and states, aided by constituency development funds (MPLADS) of the MPs.