Antyodaya – Uplifting of the weakest person

By Deeya Rathore

A philosopher, statesman, intellectual and organiser par excellence, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya has been an inspiration for millions. Antyodaya, the lasting legacy of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya is the philosophy of Integral Humanism, which means “uplifting up to the last person” or ” the rise of the last person”. It is the means to rid the nation of extreme poverty and to ensure a minimum standard of living of all individuals. September 25 every year is now celebrated as Antyodaya Diwas to mark the Birth Anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. He propounded the philosophy that in human being, the individual and society are not competing identities, but indeed the human being himself is the society and the progress of one is the progress of all. This he called “Ekatm Manavtavad” or ” Integral Humanism”.
Antyodaya is the basic principle of the political and economic philosophy of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. Not forgetting about nature, fulfillment of necessities of human life including health care for individual, educating individual, work for all and capital formation were some of the morals defined under the concept of Integral Humanism by Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. He always believed that the goal of an individual is not merely to conserve culture, but to give it momentum for its revitalization as a dynamic and capable entity. His ideology propounded that there is a need to develop community leaders who in return can address development issues at the community level.
The philosophy of Antyodaya, aims at the progress and happiness of “Man”, the “Integral Man”. This means ensuring that the last person in the ladder or the chain gets the benefit of growth and development. He believed that the economic schemes and progress can be measured by the person situated at the lowest level and not at the highest level of society and one who has risen above the economic ladder. Unless the weakest of humans progresses, the society cannot progress!
Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, was one of the founding leaders of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and has been a source of ideologic guidance for the Bharatiya Janata Party since its inception. In recent years since 2014, “Antodaya” has been one of the guiding principles of the BJP Government at the Centre and the States. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has said that guided by the ideals and philosophy of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, we are continuously striving to improve the quality of life of the downtrodden. Be it toilets, electricity, bank accounts, gas, education or health care, we have focused on providing basic amenities to the poor, disadvantaged and underprivileged sections of society.
Mission Antyodaya is a convergence and accountability framework aiming to bring optimum use and management of resources allocated by various Ministries and Departments of the Government of India under various programmes. It is envisaged as a State-led initiative with Gram Panchayats as focal point of convergence efforts. The BJP led NDA Government has launched a series of social welfare programmes and schemes in Upadhyaya’s name. In India, deprived and poor households require targeted interventions under Government’s various schemes and programmes in areas such as health, nutrition and livelihood. Mission Antyodaya seeks to converge government interventions with our governing units at the grassroots level by pooling resources, both human and financial to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Self Help Groups are enablers to this approach based on convergence, partnership, accountability and measurable outcomes to ensure that resources are effectively managed in providing sustainable livelihood for every deprived household.
On September 25, 2014, Pandit Deendayal’s first birth anniversary under the present Government at the Centre, it launched the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana ( DAY), integrating the National Urban Livelihood Mission ( NULM) and National Rural Livelihood Mission ( NRLM) for alleviating poverty in urban and rural areas by enhancing livelihood opportunities through skill development and enhancing the sustainable livelihood opportunities. On the same day, the Rural Development Ministry announced the Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana ( DDU- GKY) Antyodaya Diwas, to diversify the incomes of rural poor families and to cater to the career aspirations of rural youth. The guiding principle behind DAY- NRLM Mission is that the poor have a strong desire to come out of poverty, and they possess the innate capabilities for it. Ownership and key role of the poor and their institutions in all stages of planning, implementation and monitoring are values on which the Mission is based. The Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the poor, enabling them to increase household incomes through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial resources on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions for the poor through accountability, convergence and partnership. This scheme also aims at providing shelters equipped with essential services to the urban homeless and addresses the livelihood concerns of marginalised sections like urban street vendors by facilitating access to them of institutional credit, suitable spaces, skills for accessing market opportunities and social security.
India has a unique position in the world. It’s troubles as well as it’s opportunities cannot be compared to any other nation’s challenges or progress and may not be properly addressed by blindly following models of other countries. That India’s solutions have to come from within was clearly understood by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. Time has proven that India’s solution comes from within and India’s society progresses with the progress of each of its components and to which progress everyone must contribute. As remarked by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, if each person marches one step forward, the nation would March 130 crore steps forward.
From taking education to the streets, to utilising innovations for better agricultural output; providing livelihoods to aloof tribes; to reviving the long lost traditional arts of India; from striving to provide medical conveniences to the underserved; to transforming the villages into sustainable green village there is no end to the stories of such heroic efforts. Many of these stories have not been heard though their impact has been immense. These Antyodaya workers are not working for popularity or recognition, as their basic aim is to contribute to society and upliftment of their brethren.
According to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya India should be able to develop an indigenous development model that has human beings as its core focus. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya stressed, “Man the highest creation of God is losing his own identity. We must re-establish him in his rightful position, bring him the realisation of his greatness, reawaken his abilities and encourage him to attain the divine heights of his latest personalities. This is possible only through a decentralised economy.”
Ekatm Manavtavad necessitates the upliftment of the weakest, the last person in the society – “Antyodaya” – for the upliftment of the nation.

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