"The people in villages have emerged as exemplars in fighting corona", Modi said, adding that their fortitude and discipline to ward off the epidemic is a lesson for the city folk, and a shining example for the world.
The government has allotted Rs 50,000 crore to the schemes under the campaign, which will run till mid-September, around when elections are also scheduled to be announced for the state.
Modi also paid homage to soldiers of the Bihar regiment who lost their lives at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
Launching the "Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan", Modi said there are some people who might not appreciate efforts of villagers in the fight against coronavirus but he applauds them for their efforts.
The scheme was launched weeks after lakhs of migrant workers returned to their home states following loss of employment in urban centres due to the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the launch of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan (GKRA) on Saturday. The amount will be spent on "building durable rural infrastructure".
The prime minister said he got the idea for the scheme from a group of migrant workers, trained in white washing, who repaired and painted a government school in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh as a thank you gesture. These include 27 "Aspirational Districts".
Villages across 116 districts in the six states will join this programme through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
The campaign will be implemented for 125 days with the possibility of its further extension. These districts are estimated to cover about two third of such migrant workers.
With the release of money to villages such as allocation to rural local bodies as recommended by the 15th finance commission, the Abhiyaan will provide work and enable asset creation in rural areas, powering rural development. Deputy Commissioners of all three Aspirational districts of the state have been instructed by Secretary of Rural Development Department Aradhana Patnaik to work as per the plan charted out for employment generation to the migrants. It will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide jobs and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country with a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore, the PMO office had said.