The power of the press arises from its ability of appealing to the minds of the people and being
capable of moving their hearts. Despite the fast growth of the electronic media, the printed word
continues to play a crucial role in disseminating information and mobilizing people. However, it has been noticed that the Press have not evinced the requisite interest in developmental communication. In order to correct the imbalance noticed in the media coverage of Rural Development Programmes and to ensure that these Programmes are portrayed in proper perspective, several steps were taken during the year to sensitize the media about issues relating to rural development.
The interaction of the Ministry with the Press is mainly through the Press Information Bureau.
During the year under review, press conferences, press tours and workshops were organized
through PIB, with the financial assistance from the Ministry, so as to sensitize press persons about Rural Development Programmes. An Editor’s Conference on Social Sector Issues was also
organized (through PIB) during the year. For the purpose of creating awareness in
respect of rural development programmes among the general public and opinion makers and for
disseminating information about new initiatives, the Ministry issued advertisements at regular intervals in National and Regional Press through the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity. To enable people in rural areas to access information on Rural Development Programmes, a booklet ‘Gram Vikas – Programmes at a Glance’ was brought out in simple language in Hindi, English and Regional languages. In order to ensure easy accessibility of the booklet 10 million copies were printed and distributed in rural areas through DRDAs. The leaflets on the Programmes of the Ministry in Hindi, English and Regional languages
were also printed and distributed upto Panchayat level across the country.
The Ministry prepared a Wall Calendar for the year 2002 with each sheet depicting its major
schemes, for distribution upto the Panchayat level all over the country. Desk Calendars were also brought out during the year and efforts were made to improve the quality of communication through ‘Kurukshetra’ a monthly journal devoted to rural development issues, which is brought out on behalf of the Ministry by the Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In addition to serving as a forum of free, frank and serious discussion on problems related with rural development (with focus on rural uplift), the journal projects the programmes and policies of the Ministry.