Aishwarya Sharma on October 9, 2018 in Women Empowerment
India has played an important role in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Therefore, it is no surprise that the country’s national development goals are mirrored in the SDGs. As such, India has been effectively committed to achieving the SDGs even before they were fully crystallised.
The expression “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” which translates as “Collective Effort, Inclusive Growth” and has been popularized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, forms the cornerstone of India’s national development agenda. To fast track this agenda, the Government of India has just released a draft Three-Year Action Agenda covering years 2017-18 to 2019-20. In parallel, work is in advance stages on a 15-Year Vision, which will also include a 7-year Strategy. Reflecting the country’s long-standing federal tradition, these documents are being prepared with active participation of the States (sub-national Governments).
Reflecting the country’s commitment to the SDG agenda at the highest levels of Government, the Indian Parliament organized several forums including the South Asian Speakers’ Summit in February 2017. These forums have focused on the elimination of poverty, gender equality, climate change and resource mobilization for SDGs. Additionally, the Speaker’s Research Initiative has been launched for providing SDG-related insights to Members of Parliament.
For implementing the SDG agenda, the Government of India has launched several ambitious programmes, some of which are highlighted below. A noteworthy example of a crosscutting initiative is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) which is the world’s largest financial inclusion programme. By leveraging PMJDY, Aadhaar (biometric identity system) and mobile telephony, the Government has disbursed a cumulative amount of INR 1.62 trillion (USD 25 billion) to 329 million beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfers.1 This has helped to significantly enhance the efficiency of Government programmes.
Further, special efforts have been made to invigorate the federal governance structure of the country through cooperative and competitive federalism. State Governments are playing a prominent role in advancing the national development agenda. The recommendations made by three sub-groups of Chief Ministers of States on various themes including the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) and skill development have contributed towards shaping relevant policy decisions at the national-level.
Beyond the major steps taken by the government, change can’t occur in a single night or with the dedication of a single being or a community. It needs effort of all of us. Hence, with keeping this vision in mind Vidyaranya, a non-profit making and secular development organisation established in the year 1991 by like-minded people. They strongly believes that “Community based sustainable development can only take place in the context of an organised, committed group of society.”
Their mission statement is “To work with marginalised sections of the society towards their empowerment and enable them to evolve a vision of an alternative society including alternate models of social and economic relations and alternate development paradigm.” They believe that all women, men and children should have the basic right to dignity and self-determination and that all people should have the opportunity and choice of enhancing their own potential and wellbeing. Vidyaranya Education and Development Society’s Focus is to work with the most marginalised groups in society. The approach is holistic and integrated one to empower the participant beneficiaries in all sphere of their lives.
They organise various skill development programmes and charity events to create awareness on many important topics of society and to help needy ones. Hats off to their team for doing this noble work to make sustainable changes which will lead India to a better tomorrow.