VDAP for a poverty free Sikkim

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Gangtok: Jan. 12, 2011
A day long Orientation Workshop was organized in Janta Bhawan today by Rural Management and Development Department jointly with SIRD for all the Gram Panchayats and the key villages, blocks and district level functionaries on preparation of the Village Development Action Plan (VDAP).

Zilla Adhyaksha East, Bimal Dawari, who was the chief guest of the programme, delivered his address on the importance of preparing need based, practical and livelihood based plans with special emphasis on the poorest of the poor. He said that the State Government has a goal to develop the State in a mission mode and the overall development can only be achieved if every village could be developed. The State Government has chosen Switzerland as its model.

Village Development Action Plan prepared by Professor, Bernard Dafflon of Friburg University, Switzerland would be used as a road map for the development of the villages which will further strengthen the decentralization and empowerment mission of the Government. Mr. Dawari concluded by appealing everyone to be dedicated and self-determined to achieve the target set forth by the State Government.

The Village Development Action Plan (VDAP) is an innovative initiative of the Government of Sikkim to usher in democratic decentralization, need based planning and empowerment of the Panchayati Raj Institutions with Swiss expertise in mission mode. The VDAP process will help to evolve a need based planning mechanism from a demand based one. It will prioritize inclusive growth due to its focus on the development of the poorest of the poor and will thus help in realizing the Mission of a Poverty Free Sikkim.

In the initial phase, Professor Bernard Dafflon along with the Indo Swiss Project Sikkim provided support to prepare the plan for Aritar Gram Panchayat, East Sikkim. Based on the expertise and experience gained from this, now the VDAP process is being upscaled to the other Gram Panchayats of the State starting from East District.

Dhiren Gurung, Panchayat President of Aritar GPU sharing his experiences of VDAP preparation in his Gram Panchayat unit in 2010 told about how VDAP preparation has helped him in becoming more sensitive towards the need of the poor and the destitute. Sandeep Tambe, Special Secretary, RM and DD and other resource persons from the MGNREGA cell and SIRD provided details on the PRA tools to be used for preparing VDAP. He informed that the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools will be used to analyze the current situation, potential and problems and their causes, figure out possible solutions and identify relevant activities for different developmental sectors.

Detailed orientation on the PRA tools and the VDAP process (Operational Guidelines) will be provided to the participants. The draft VDAP Operational Guidelines which had been prepared earlier by RM and DD were also discussed during the session. The VDAP will be prepared at the Gram Panchayat level and it comprises of 12 chapters covering the sectors of land use, farming, livestock, forestry, marketing, poverty, institutions, housing and basic amenities, education, health, infrastructure, women and climate change and many more.

During the workshop, it was also informed that a hands on 3 days training has been planned at Ranka Block for all the Supervisors next week. This capacity building will aid in the preparation of quality VDAPs at the Gram Panchayat level which will become the foundation for a pro-poor and Poverty Free Sikkim.

(Courtesy: Sikkim Mail)



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