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Success of welfare schemes possible with community leadership
"Success of welfare programmes of the government depends on public awareness and participation which is possible through community leadership," opined Additional Collector Suratha Chandra Mallik while inaugurating the Loka Sanghathan Utsav organized jointly by PACS, THREAD and ISS at Baripada on Thursday.
Mallik said that unlike the people of other states, people were not attending the Grama Sabhas in Odisha. "If people would involve themselves in these welfare programmes, they would derive maximum benefit because 'Knoweldge is power'," he stated while adding that it hurts when media reports as welfare schemes did not succed as per the expectations.

He also expressed his pleasure that about 31,000 persons had been identified and 3000 persons had already been provided pattas under Forest Rights Act.

State chief of PACS Sashikanta Malik said that PACS was working for the deprived class in as many as 3000 villages and they have 3750 organisations in 14 districts across the state. "We, with such a Loka Sanghathan Utsav, can find solutions for the problems of the deprived class and can fight for their rights."

About 700 community leaders attended the two-days Loka Sanghathan Utsav where they discussed on MGNREGS, Forest Rights Act and other issues concerning poor and deprived people. Community leaders like Burgimani Marandi and Puspa spoke on their success stories at the Gram Panchayat level and described how it was possible through community involvement.

Community leaders participated in the Loka Mancha, various communities exhibited their works through 'Aama Gaon-Aama Swapna', 'Aama Sanghathan, Aama Pragati' and Photo Exhibition, leaders discussed various issues in programme 'Lokamata' and 'Kholakatha'. Community leaders took out a public procession 'Shanti Shobhayatra' and participated in the cultural programme.

Notably, PACS has been working in as many as 14 tribal dominated districts through 33 volunteer organizations with a view to strengthen the communities to form district level forums in order to fight for the rights of the deprived and to bring the poor into mainstream of the society.

Loka Sanghathan Utsav at Baripada is the first as a part of five (Baripada, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Phulbani and Koraput) zonal level community leadership congregations - Loka Sanghathan Utsav.

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