“Mantra (ways, means and solutions), Tantra (technology), Disha (direction) and Gati (speed) are the wheels of planned development apart from participatory and community-led planning and implementation”, stated Mr. Girish G. Sohani, President and Managing Trustee, BAIF Development Research Foundation. “Adoption of these elements for ecosystem and economic well-being, thrust on decentralised employment and enterprise development and considering the village as the unit of development, can further strengthen the rural economy”, Mr. Sohani added.
Mr. Sohani was speaking at the virtual forum of the 2nd Rashtriya Sarpanch Sansad (National Village Heads’ Parliament) organised by the MIT Institute of Governance, Pune, on December 2, 2020. He further emphasised the role of every Sarpanch in consolidating the Seven Pillars of Development namely, Youth Power, Resilience, Sustainability, Green Economy, Enterprise Promotion along with Goal setting and clearly defined Milestones. There is a need to catalyse the process of development, so as to tackle climate change effects, ensure optimum use of renewable resources and promotion of new age enterprises based on renewable energy, ICT, and appropriate technologies such as polyhouses and small holder farm mechanisation. “Development should focus on new age ‘green enterprises’ in rural areas and creation of jobs around such enterprises for rural youth who may be reluctant to engage only in farming”, he further added.
He also highlighted the important role of Sarpanch/Village Heads during these challenging times of COVID and Climate Change-related disruptions and shared the Best Practices demonstrated by BAIF in the form of a cadre of over 5000 self-employed youth and community functionaries such as e-Dosts, rural technicians and service providers. He also assured handholding support from BAIF while planning for village development.
He announced the launch of Samruddha Gram Abhiyan, an ambitious participatory programme with the active involvement of local youth as the vehicle for grassroots development and invited the Sarpanch and Village level catalysts from various villages across the country, to register for this novel programme at https://manibhaiunnatgram.baif.org.in/ “This programme will be based on the learnings of BAIF’s rural livelihood programme and various successful development projects implemented by BAIF and will be implemented through Gram Panchayats, Farmer Producer Organisations and Watershed Development Committees to showcase various interventions which can be introduced with BAIF support at the village level”, he concluded.