It was not easy to preserve and carry forward the glorious legacy of leader of the masses Rajarambapu Patil’s social work. But Jayantrao Patil kept the lamp of Bapu’s great work burning. He maintained and expanded the cooperative institutions built by Bapu and put them on fast track of progress by introducing latest technology. He made the institutions more public-oriented to subserve the purpose for which they were built in the first place.
At a difficult moment, he was saddled with the responsibility of leading the home department. Just around the time, his birthday fell. Being a man of social commitment, Jayant Patil decided to celebrate his birthday in a unique way. When he realized that even the comparatively more prosperous taluka of Walve in Sangli district had 15500 out of 75000 families living below poverty line, he became restless and decided to do something substantial for them. He launched Jayant Poverty Eradication Campaign to improve their overall social, economic and educational status on the occasion of his birthday. Since then, the campaign is being implemented successfully in Walve taluka, lifting people above the poverty line by helping the poor in every way.
This campaign has resulted in the socio-economic revival of the poor and downtrodden. Sensitive as Jayant Patil is to the plight of the weaker sections of society, he felt that the best celebration of his birthday lay in removal of poverty from the taluka. He is a large-hearted and broad-minded man who considers all families in his constituency as his own. So how could he remain unmoved by their plight? When he found that the backwardness of a section of society was due to the lack of education and opportunities, he made up his mind to launch the programmes aimed at their educational, economic and social upliftment. The Jayant poverty eradication campaign has now tuned into a movement that has been ameliorating the lot of the poor without pause.
Jayant Patil launched the ‘Jayant poverty eradication campaign’ from the platform of Rajarambapu Dnyan Prabodhini and started implementing the same in a methodical manner. This campaign was launched not to get cheap publicity or to derive political mileage. It was launched because this sensitive leader had vicariously experienced the sufferings of the poor and he wanted to deliver them from the pangs of hunger and misery. He launched the campaign in a systematic manner. First he embarked upon an awareness drive. As a part of that campaign he went from village to village and town to town and addressed the public meetings to convince the people of the importance of the eradication of poverty. He also underlined the participation of people in this campaign and told them how valuable their contribution to the movement will be. After this awareness campaign, he directly met the families living below the poverty line. He did the home work on what needed to be done to improve their condition in view of their daily needs. He prepared a computerized data base of the below poverty line families.
After studying the problem of poverty in the region, he acutely felt the need for providing the basic needs like health, education, housing, employment and self-employment among other facilities. He identified and categorized such families and then began the field work to ameliorate their lot. There are several schemes at the state and central levels for the benefit of the people below poverty line (BPL). But there is always doubt about how many people directly benefit from such schemes. But Jayant Patil left no stone unturned to ensure that these schemes reached the identified BPL families. He secured the benefits of Indira Awaas Yojna and Rajiv Gandhi Housing Scheme to as many as 958 families. He also secured benefits of Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojna and national old age scheme along with Shravanbal scheme, besides Apang Vyakti Sahayya Yojna for handicapped and Kalakar Pension scheme for actors to as many as 1200 families. Besides he enabled 600 families to avail of accident insurance scheme, other national family benefit schemes and the schemes that provided electricity connections, tri-cycles, sewing machines, farming implements to the BPL families.
Firmly believing in the basic mantra of Fule-Shahu-Ambedkar that there is no alternative if the standard of living of BPL families is to be improved, Jayant Patil integrated more than 13000 students of BPL families into the national mainstream. It will not be wrong to say that this is one of the greatest praiseworthy projects undertaken by Jayant Patil. If progress of neglected sections of society is to be achieved, they should also get opportunities for economic independence along with education. Bearing this fact in mind, Jayant Patil secured jobs for members of 713 families in government, semi-government and private sectors, besides industries and businesses. He disbursed funds worth more than Rs 3 crore to 703 for self-employment. He also distributed seeds, fertilizers and insecticide spray machines to 1225 farmers.
In his campaign to eradicate the scourge of poverty, Jayant Patil also gave priority to the health issues facing the below poverty line families. He made provision for their medical treatment. He not only provided them ambulance service but also provided them economic assistance for medical treatment. He extended financial help to the tune of more than Rs 3 crore to 2000-plus families for cancer surgeries and heart operations through this campaign. He has often launched health awareness drives to make people care for their health. He organised and implemented health camps, blood donation camps, health diagnostic and check-up camps as a part of health awareness campaign.
In addition to all this, Jayant Patil has helped the BPL families secure various government certificates, documents related to various schemes and provided other information to the needy through this campaign.
His campaign has greatly succeeded in eradicating poverty in the taluka. But the success of Jayant Poverty eradication campaign is not confined just to the removal of poverty. Due to the implementation of various schemes through this campaign, it has helped spread awareness among all people regarding their rights, privileges and even duties. In true sense, the awareness thus generated is taking the poverty eradication campaign in the right direction.
Against the background of growing tendency in the society to gobble up all the benefits meant for poverty eradication, the campaign has been carried out by Jayant Patil in a transparent manner which has blazed a new trail at the national level. If every public representative emulated his example and implemented poverty eradication scheme out of feeling of affinity in their respective areas and constituencies, scourge of poverty will be eradicated in the truest sense and India will become rich and prosperous.