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Orientation Programme For Newly Appointed Jrdos Held In Shillong

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HT Bureau
SHILLONG, Oct 18: 
In what may be termed as an historic moment for the government of Meghalaya’s Community & Rural Development department, the inaugural session of the first phase of the orientation programme of the newly recruited junior rural development officers (JRDOs) began on October 17, 2022, at Yojana Bhawan, Main Secretariat, Shillong.

It may be mentioned that this is the first time that the JRDO position has been created within this state department with an aim to bridge the divide between the communities and the government, and to take the services to the last mile of the population. This will enhance collaboration and inter departmental convergence activities in the interest of community and rural development in the state.

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The inaugural session began with a welcome address by T. Lyngwa, IAS, secretary to the government of Meghalaya, C&RD department. Addressing the newly recruited JRDOs, he said that this is a major milestone, not only for Meghalaya’s C&RD department, but even for the state as a whole.

The chief guest of the inaugural session was chief secretary to the government of Meghalaya, D.P Wahlang, IAS. While congratulating the newly appointed JRDOs, he called upon them to make this profession a mission for the development of the state. He expressed his hope that the appointment of the officers will make the system more robust and effective.

Emphasising on the importance of the JRDOs, he added, “Interaction with Self Help Groups and with people in the last mile is a must. There is a need to communicate in a language that our communities understand and the role of JRDOs is crucial in this regard”.
The chief secretary added that whatever strategies are implemented in the rural areas will have a direct bearing on the state’s GSDP, and will impact the last denominator in the development chain, and therefore, the JRDOs will play a crucial role in impacting the state’s development.
In his keynote address, Sampath Kumar, IAS, principal secretary to the government of Meghalaya, C&RD department congratulated the newly recruited JRDOs and spoke about the aim and focus of JRDOs for strengthening and institutionalising a dedicated system for the cause of rural and community development. The JRDOs will play an important role in strengthening the connection between the communities and the government, while bringing a collaborative approach among the functionaries and departments working at the block level. They will focus on realising and achieving the purpose of development as ideators, strategists and implementers, and not just mere implementers of the scheme or programme. Their work will contribute to building the overall social and economic mobility. He also said that Meghalaya is one of the few states in India that has a dedicated ‘Community & Rural Development department’, as opposed to a mere ‘Rural Development department’ present in other states. He added that although the concept of the JRDO was announced in 2020 but the process was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlighting the various systemic reforms undertaken by the state in the past few months for improving developmental indicators, the principal secretary stated that Meghalaya, through the active role of the VECs has been able to significantly increase the MGNREGA uptake from just Rs 270 crore annual budget to Rs 1600 crore as of present.
Further, he highlighted the steps taken by the state to mobilise a massive pool of social capital through the women led Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Currently, there are about more than 41000 women led SHGs and about 5000 village organisations (VOs). The state has also come out with a first of its kind policy for promoting gender equality through the policy of 50 percent reservation for women in VECs as office bearers.
On this, he added, “A few years back, the state had just 250 women office bearers but now, there are about 3000 of them. This also helps to create awareness in terms of inculcating a positive health seeking behaviour among communities and reducing maternal and infant deaths by addressing the cyclical relationship between health, poverty and gender roles.”

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He also added that to ensure effective natural resource management and sustainable development practices, the Natural Resource Management Committees (NRMCs) which are sub committees of the VECs have been formed.
The launch of JRDO cadre is a significant step towards realising the goal of Rural Development 3.0 initiative or RD 3.0, which is aimed at reducing multidimensional poverty, and is slated for a formal launch soon. The JRDOs will take care of all activities dedicated to the community and rural development, spanning from community mobilisation, field visits and community interactions, inter departmental and stakeholder convergence, weekly check ins, collection of reviews and feedbacks, enhancing connectivity and effective communication between the government and the communities which will all contribute to not only improving development indicators, but more so, in reducing poverty.

It may be mentioned that the orientation programme aims to orient and equip the JRDOs with a comprehensive knowledge of the structure and functioning of the Community & Rural Development department and its efforts in coordinating with relevant key partners of the state, contributing to rural development. The first phase of the orientation will last for two weeks, after which the JRDOs will have an attachment period in the block offices.
The inaugural session concluded with a vote of thanks by S.C Sadhu, IAS, secretary to the government of Meghalaya, C&RD department.
Thereafter, the JRDOS proceeded for their training session, which will span for about two weeks.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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