Pakyong, June 28 (IPR): ADC Pakyong- Ms. Anupa Tamling attends “Citizen’s Foundation” -“Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) Sikkim Review Learning and Planning Workshop” at “State Level Sustainable Opportunities for Uplifting Livelihood in Sikkim” (SOULS) at Pakyong Community Hall, Pakyong today.
The programme was supported by HDFC Bank Parivartan through a (CSR) initiative. The SOULS Citizen Foundation is a non-profit trust formed by a group of like-minded people focusing on creating awareness and motivating all age groups of the Indian population on Healthcare and the Environment. It is committed to nurturing the growing youth capital of India and is devoted to creating a credible knowledge base and an empowered resource centre for addressing key environmental and sustainability issues.
The NGO which initiated its project in Pakyong in July 2020 as HRDP has the objective to train beneficiaries towards sustainable development and sustainable livelihood in two GPUs- Amba and Thekbong Parakha (covering 10 villages) falling under the Pakyong district. The Foundation provides training in various disciplines such as health & hygiene, education sector, ICDS renovation work, digital learning (smart class), sustainable agriculture farming (organic farming), clean energy, tailoring training, rural tourism, food packaging unit, bee farming, fish culture and floriculture for beneficiaries of 10 villages under Amba and Thekabong Parakha GPU. The beneficiary is also eligible for a one-time grant through the HDFC Bank Parivartan unit.
Project Manager, SOULS Citizen Foundation- Mrs. Sangeeta Dahal gave brief information on the “SOULS Citizen Foundation project” in the Pakyong district. She gave a project review of 2 years through a PowerPoint presentation. She talked about the project’s objective, project intervention map and HRDP SOULS focus areas. She highlighted activities of SOULS in Pakyong such as health camps, installation of water storage tanks, up-gradation of Anganwadi centres, up-gradation of Govt schools, formation and strengthening of Farmer’s Producer Group, vet camps, promotion of poultry, model integrated farm, formalising, enterprise as spice processing centre, tailoring training and mushroom production unit. She also highlighted the completed activities of SOULS Citizen Foundation such as solar light installation in public places, observation of International Women’s day, observation of world water day and strengthening of community.
BDO Parakha- Mr. Pradeep Gurung, talked about the introduction of smart classes in various schools in Amba and appreciated the work committed by the Foundation. He also thanked the HRDP project for various developments taking place in various GPUs in the Pakyong district.
Mr. Tshering Norgyal Theengh- SDM Pakyong, highlighted the activities of the HRDP project. He said that the ten villages which were chosen for the project are lucky. Further, he requested the HRDP project to recognize the poorest of the poor and include them in sustainable livelihood programmes and focus on marketing.
ADC Pakyong in her address said that implementation is a big work and for this role, VDC and Panchayat members play a bigger role. She stressed the importance of involving a productive age group (17-40) in sustainable livelihood programmes, due to the rise of suicide rates in the district. She requested Panchayats and VDC to attract the “productive age group” for the livelihood programmes and to assess their mental health as they are vulnerable to suicidal tendencies. Further, she assured the stakeholders that the DAC and line departments will leave no stone turned to assist the Citizens Foundation in its endeavour to bring sustainable development to rural areas. She also cautioned the gathering to respect and sustain the development which has taken place so far.
She requested the Foundation to sensitize the new trainees about the marketing potential and to continue their work. Furthermore, she directed the Panchayats to gather data which will be a measuring tool for the development so far. In the end, she thanked the Citizens Foundation SOULS and the HDFC bank for recent developments in the two GPUs.
Mr. Kamal Kafle, Retired Special Secretary-Home Department (Government of Sikkim) during his speech said that we have abandoned the ways of our ancestors by giving up on agriculture and cattle rearing activities. He thanked the Citizens Foundation for bringing back this tradition. He apprised everyone about the potential of farming in Sikkim as most of the land is unused. Giving an example of local products like churpee, he encouraged the farmers to find innovative ways to sell their products. In addition, he said that we as a State can only be self-reliant if we boost our agricultural products. Reiterating the words of ADC, he once again thanked the Citizens Foundation and HDFC Parivartan for this initiative. In the end, he hoped that such programmes will continue to be conducted in the near future.
During the programme, Mamring and Linkey Ward were felicitated with letters of Appreciation in recognition for their contribution and support towards the successful implementation of SOULS activities in their respective wards.
Various producer groups and school representatives shared their experience and thanked the HDFC Parivartan Unit and Citizen Foundation SOULS for providing revenue, training and equipment to them which will lead to sustainable livelihood/development in the GPUs.
Also present in the programme were concerned Govt officials, Panchayat members, representatives from the Village Development Committee, representatives of SOULS Citizen Foundation, representatives from HDFC Bank, various SHGs, representatives from schools, and beneficiaries and the general public.