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Bhimavaram, Jan. 9

Rural India can be transformed by taking technology to the villages and the basic objective should be to trigger growth by creating urban amenities in villages, the President, Mr A.P.J Abdul Kalam, has said.

He was speaking at the `Vikasa Sadassu' (development forum) organised by the Byrraju Foundation here on Monday.

He inaugurated the 108th emergency care service in the two Godavari districts on the occasion. The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, and the Chairman of the foundation and Satyam Computers, Mr B. Ramalinga Raju, participated in the function.

The President said, "We should strive to double our present foodgrain production, from 200 million tonnes to 400 million tonnes, to feed our growing population. It is a daunting task, but it can be achieved."

He complimented the Byrraju Foundation for its activities in 150 villages in five districts of the State, and wanted the foundation to extend its activities to other areas. "I want the Telangana and Rayalaseema regions in the State as developed as the Godavari districts," he said.

He said the National Disaster Management Authority had been passed by the Parliament and approved by him.

"It is a step in the right direction. It will enable us to tackle disasters in a better way and organisation such as the Byrraju Foundation should take greater part in the endeavour," he said.

Mr B. Ramalinga Raju gave a report on the foundation's activities and the Chief Minister complimented the foundation's efforts.

Later, the President had a live interaction with the engineering and medical students, children of Sri Vishnu Educational Society, and cancer patients at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical Trust at Peda Amiram before leaving for Hyderabad.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 10, 2006)
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