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Participatory Micro-planning and Development through Panchayats:
Making optimum use of its rare expertise and rich experience of participatory micro-planning and development, AVARD has integrated micro-planning in the activities of its relevant projects during the period. After imparting need-based training, a good number of micro-plans at the Gram Panchayat level and a few at the Kshettra (Block) Panchayat level through the respective Panchayats have been facilitated by AVARD during the period. Accordingly, the Five Year Plans of the Kshettra (Block) Panchayat and 27 Gram Panchayats in Naugarh project and similar Gram Panchayat plans in women’s empowerment project have been facilitated, all of them with gender-equity and social justice as well as down to earth. Benefits and advantages of micro-level participatory planning and development by Panchayats and people are too well known to be recapitulated here. These plans have been implemented with the resources available under various government schemes. Besides, these plans catalysed considerable development activities and schemes in the respective areas, especially in Naugarh Project.

Segment-level workshop, Naugarh (UP)
Women’s Empowerment through Panchayats:
Women’s empowerment through Panchayats has been a major activity/focus during the period under review. It was vital and essential, considering that there is one-third reservation for women in Panchayats along with sub-reservation within this reservation, and following the lead given by Bihar, about ten states have already provided 50% reservation for women along with sub-reservation in the three-tier Panchayats. Women in general and women of weaker sections in particular needed to be sensitised, trained and empowered for optimum use of this precious space and oportunity for themselves and society at large.

Accordingly, this is what has been done. In one of the projects, the vital themes covered included the first five MDGs directly and the sixth one indirectly as listed below:
  • Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty;
  • Achieve universal primary education;
  • Promote gender equality and empower women;
  • Reduce child mortality;
  • Improve maternal health; and
  • Ensure environmental stability.
Besides, themes such as government schemes for women and children, National Rural Livelihoods Mission, rural technologies for women in the areas of livelihoods and cooking, social audit and RTI were covered. Not the least, there has been planned regular follow up and facilitation at the field level in partnership with the local NGOs and Focal Agencies involved in the project.
Workshop in session (WB)
Workshop in session (Maha.)
Workshop in session (MP/CG)
Workshop in session (WB)
Moreover, in Naugarh project, 86 girls have been trained in computer applications, improved tailoring, Angawadi Workers’ job, ASHAs’ job, Ayurvedic medicines processing, improved poultry, snack making/hawking, etc. Side by side, 61 boys have also been trained in emerging vocations such as driving, plumbing, electrician, motor mechanic, salesboys and Durry and foot mat weaving. Subsequently, over a dozen girls in addition were trained as beauticians through the sister organisation, Manav Sewa Kendra.
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