Workshop for Effective Implementation of Machineries to Empower North Bengal
Darjeeling Province: 21 February:“People’s participation, proper rules and regulations, decentralized power, unanimous decisions, transparency, awareness among the public, prompt action, resource mobilization and responsibility are among the essential factors for good governance”, said Mr Mathias Lepcha, the Joint Block Development Officer, who spoke on the occasion. He informed and explained Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS), Scheduled Tribe Old Age Pension Scheme (STOAPS), Swarna jeyanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Right to Information (RTI) Act. These schemes and tools by the government, he said, can be availed through Program Implementation Agencies (PIA) with the help of NGOs and SHGs.
Fr. Savarimuthu S.J., Director of Adivasi Legal Education, Research and Training (ALERT), Namkum, Ranchi was another distinguished speaker at the workshop organised by the North Bengal Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace at Loyola Pastoral Centre, Matigara. Talking about Community Development he said that development is a changing process and should be able to satisfy the needs and desire of the people as a whole with focus on social, economic, environmental, viable, equitable, sustainable and bearable factors. People should understand that they “FORM the government” and “THEY are the GOVERNMENT”. Discussing the causes and steps to eradicate poverty, he spoke extensively on possible avenues of development, who should be responsible for development, safety arrangements for the development of farmers, role of a facilitator and the preparation of the people for change.
The workshop attended by 80 participants evoked a mixed reaction. While some of them wanted the workshop to last for at least two days, others wanted inclusion of issues concerning land and minority rights.
Sr. Sabrina and Fr. Victor
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