Guwahati, Jul 11, 2021, ENEWSTIME Desk
Volunteerism is the practice of providing time and skills for the benefit of all the needy people and causes rather than for financial benefit. National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, North Eastern Regional Centre, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Ministry of Culture, Government of India had jointly organized E-Conference on Rural Development through Volunteerism on July 10, 2021 under Azad ka Amrut Mahostav, a celebration of 75 years of Indian Independence.
In the beginning, Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, Associate Professor, NIDRPR-NERC,Assam, India briefed about the programme and expressed the need of volunteerism in action and spirit of Rural Development.
While welcoming the dignitaries and delegates Dr. Murugesan Ramasamy, Prof. &Director, NIRDPR-NERC, Guwahati, Assam, India emphasized the need for rejuvenating the volunteerism in India in general, more particularly for the north eastern region. He also recollected the effects of induction program on entitled “Swa Netritwa Se Bharat Nirman” conducted by him last year for the welfare of Youth in Assam at Khahikuchi Campus in Guwahati. Dr .Dipankar Shri Gyan, Director, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samati (GSDS), Ministry of Culture, Government of India made a brief introduction account about different activities of GSDS related to Gandhiji’s life and works integrating to encourage rural youth.
In the Presidential Address, Dr. G. Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of India emphasized that Gandhian concept of Gram Swaraj, Holistic approach of development and volunteerism are even more relevant in the context of current paradigm of rural development. He reminded that increase in economic growth is not sufficient to address rural problems like poverty, unemployment, etc. and therefore volunteerism, volunteers and voluntary organization is important to meet the gap in the performance of Government effort. With his personal experience in working in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, he acknowledges the voluntarism in the north eastern states. He further advocated for involvements voluntary organization in sanitation, poverty alleviation, etc.
The Secretary, Rural Development, Government of India, Shri. Nagendra Nath Sinha, IAS in his inaugural speech mentioned that the role of voluntary organization have changed a lot over the time. He was confident that people themselves can solve their own as well as community problems but only need is to harness the existing volunteerism among the people. Sinha categorically mentioned that at present Self Help groups, Cooperatives and Panchayati Raj Institutions are main vehicle of volunteerism in rural India. These intuitions are playing more significant role during the crisis across the country.
Various grassroots level volunteerism efforts across the Northeastern states were shared their experiences and successes during the conference.
The Pradhan of Sonapur Panchayat, Assam Nur Ahmed Laskar shared his experience on how his panchayat took various initiatives during pandemic situation and build confidence among the public.
Sadam Hanjabam, Ya-All (NGO) from Manipur presented their experience as their works were listed by United Nation as one of the top 10 global initiatives for an inclusive fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vishu Rita Krocha, Independent Journalist from Nagaland presented the case of how Naga communities came together to help each other during the pandemic. The contribution of Christ’s Naga Club was mentioned worthy during that period.
Adap Golo, SMM, Arunachal Pradesh State Livelihood Mission and Lishi Yania, Women President, CHUN Ajin Self Help Group presented their experience of volunteerism as the members of the group are involved at various social activities apart from their economic activities in the state.
Community Chief of Nongkseh locality, Shillong, Nathan Thangkhiew shared their experiences of volunteerism in their locality of Meghalaya.
Suren Mohra, Field Facilitator, State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Sikkim took arranged numbers of blood donation camps as volunteer and also contributed a lot during pandemic situation to help thousands of people in the state of Sikkim.
At the end, Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu, Programme Officer, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samitiput vote of thanks to all participants from throughout countries and abroad.