Hyderabad: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) in Hyderabad is training Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) on critical issues such as climate change issues and disaster management in the rural ecosystem.
More than 56 MLAs and MLCs from 15 States, including the Speaker of Haryana Legislative Assembly, took part in this program. It also dealt with leveraging various technologies for sustainable rural development with focus on GIS and appropriate house building technologies.
The Four-Day Training and Workshop on ‘New Strategies in Rural Development and Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals’ began on 18th December 2018 with a presentation on 70 years of the rural development journey, and went on to a discussion on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Act, Convergence and SDGs, followed by a visit to Rural Technology park and concluded today with all the MLAs exchanging their views on Rural Development from their own constituencies, and experiences from the field work in Ibrahimpur in Siddipet and ways to overcome the challenges faced in achieving development.
Speaking about the about the significance of this workshop, Dr. WR Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR said, “This programme is the training of leaders – MLAs and MLCs – from 15 States. Their sensitisation on various flagship programmes, problems of rural areas and various successful strategies and innovations will help them in building rural areas.”
Dr. Reddy added, “This training enabled them to appreciate the need for strengthening Panchayati Raj system and what they can do for strengthening local governments. The field visits helped them understand how a village can be made an ‘Adarsh Gram’.”
The primary objectives of the workshop were for MLAs/MLCs to:
Ø Get sensitized about role of local governments in sustainable development & how Panchayats can be leveraged to develop constituencies,
Ø Get sensitized on evidence-based development approach through Mission Antyodaya parameters.
Ø Get sensitized on decentralized planning process as a tool for sustainable development with special reference to Human Development
Ø Get exposed to ways and means of converging Rural Development and Panchayat Raj programmes and local resources and linking them to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Another major outcome of this program was for the People’s representative to get sensitized on skilling as means of creating full employment in rural areas and engaging in peer learning from the best practices from among the states. It also aimed at creating brand ambassadors out of these participants for promoting the activities of NIRDPR.
The workshop deliberated on key issues including gender gaps in rural India, reviving the rivers to provide new life to agriculture, protecting farmers from suicides, changing the attitudes in rural sanitation, equity and social development and climate change and adoption strategies.
On its second day, the workshop began with a presentation on MGNREGA and convergence strategies, remote sensing and GIS applications in rural development, followed by a session by Dr. WR Reddy on local governance and decentralized people’s planning. The other session of the day was on ‘Climate Change issues – Mitigation strategies and Disaster Management’, following by visits to the Rural Technology Park and Golconda.
Talking about the experience of workshop, Dr. Sapam Ranjan Singh, an MLA from Manipur said “This workshop was one of the best I have ever attended. Belonging to the rural area, I am sure that the knowledge I gained from here would help me in developing my region a lot. Thanks a trillion”.
Mrs. Amita Bhushan, an MLC from Bihar said, “This workshop has brought several dimensions of rural development in my view and the brainstorming sessions have equipped me to help my state to get developed in right way.”
The training and workshop included a field visit for the participants to Ibrahimpur, a model village in Siddipet district of Telangana; and presentations on ‘Child and Adolescent Friendly Governance’, ‘Mission Antyodaya – An evidence-based Approach, Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Rural Development’, and ‘National Rural Livelihood Mission – Creating Rural Women Entrepreneurs’.
In view of the role that MLAs and MLCs play in the development of their constituencies, this programme aimed to equip them with knowledge about the crucial rural development schemes, enabling them to reach the eligible people, selecting the backward areas and monitoring the schemes for their proper implementation.
It focused on the creation of model assembly constituencies through the knowledge of ‘new initiatives’ in rural development, defining the role of MLAs and MLCs in transforming rural India.