Seminar Report of Bhopal
Lok Awaas Yatra
The seminar in Bhopal, the last leg of the Lok Awaas Yatra for the central region was quite a meaningful event to conclude with.
• Ms. Sybille Suter, country director Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation,
• Mr. M N Buch chairman NCHSE Bhopal,
• MR Binoy Aacharya-Founder, Director Unnati,
• Mrs. Veena joshi, Sr. advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and cooperation, were the eminent guests present in the seminar.
The objective of the seminar was to understand and identify the issues concerning rural development across India, and hence taking it to national level, through policy making.
Introduction to Lok Awaas Yatra, followed by an overview on what was seen and learnt throughout the entire journey for all the three trails were discussed in detail by Mona C Anand.
Various trails video clips and pictures were screened in between discussions.
There is a popular saying, Home sweet home; every human bring wants a home, but it’s a dream for those people who can’t afford it, said Sybille Suter, country director Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation. She talked about the various initiatives taken up by SDC in collaboration with DA. She highlighted the role of women in the process of planning, as they are the home makers. She stressed on how low cost materials can be developed with minimal effect on environment.
The Preamble says Equal opportunity, Equal rights for all! Should we forget that?
A motivating key note address by Mr M N Buch , chairman NCHSE Bhopal, raised a number of questions regarding the ineffective utilisation of the resources and malfunctioning of institutional mechanisms at various levels in India.
He enlightened everyone, by discussing the potential of one of the most eco-friendly, easily available material; wood, as an alternative material for construction.
The irony, there is still a never-ending search for eco friendly materials and alternatives. Use of tried and tested, traditional materials like lime + surkhi in place of cement, should be encouraged. India is blessed with sun, we are fortunate to have enough heat and energy from the sun, why can’t we utilise this energy in the production of materials?
If the ministers are given free electricity and water, why can’t villagers get the same? Was another point raised by him.
He concluded by saying, LAY brings together two sets of ignorance, (of the villagers about the new technologies and the traditional technologies by us) out of this we have to synthesize and evolve knowledge!
We don’t need the language, we need to read people, -said Mr Binoy Aacharya-Founder, Director Unnati, in his discussion which he concluded by highlighting an essential requirement in the entire process of rural development,
A Decentralised Delivery Mechanism through Panchayati Raj Institutions,
And the significant role that the PRIs have in this process.
Multi-stakeholder, multi options approach: Dr Veena Joshi, Sr. advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and cooperation, said that in order to solve such a large problem, everyone needs to contribute and we need to develop a large number of options that are accepted by the people and are environment friendly. Through this campaign we hope the housing movement in India is strengthened towards low carbon growth path. We therefore need to continue to be aware and analyse technologies that offer low-carbon solutions for habitat.
Sameer Kurvey, Director CSV Wardha described that Lok Awaas Yatra has initiated the thought process on how a house should be constructed with minimal use of energy. He also talked about low cost construction technology, and various techniques and materials being promoted by CSV (Centre of Science for Villages).
Hum honge kamyab ek din!
Ramakant Kulkarni, Managing Trustee Sahyog Nirmitee, essentially discussed about a Gandhian self reliant village. He also discussed about infrastructure and various aspects of water and sanitation services for villages. He discussed the importance of rural development in nation building.
Livelihoods, a presentation by Zeenat Niazi, Development Alternative group which focussed upon the interdependency of habitat and livelihood, co-habitat and eco-technologies being need for the future; arenas open up from the good practices and roles of various institutions in this entire process.
Technologies seen during the yatra were also showcased.
This seminar guides participants through a range of issues they should be aware of in engaging with rural communities and provides some techniques that may be useful in achieving this, said Zeenat.
In all, the seminar was a motivating and enlightening event for all the participants present and a milestone in the yatra for the central region.