Currently, the rural part of Odisha is facing multiple social, economic and environmental challenges.
The Art of Living partnered with the Panchayati Raj Department of the government to develop selected 50 Gram Panchayat in 11 districts of Odisha through its Integrated Community Development (ICD) initative. Through the ICD, we aim to support the Odissa government in its “Ama Gaon, Ama yojana” (Our Village – Our Plan) project to foster holistic economic, social, cultural and personal growth in rural Odisha.
We strive to make development a community-led and community-owned process. It aims at optimum utilization of resources and convergence of various partners and stakeholders like village committee and government organizations for social change.
Creating holistic and self-sustainable model villages
The Integrated Community Development project focuses on creating activities to enhance the economic status of villagers by providing them training in agriculture, vocational skills and education. The project aims to create sustainable and holistic model villages that provide local villagers various provisions to ensure their growth and well-being in all aspects of life.
For good health, ICD community leaders provide hygiene education, sanitation provisions , medical facilities as well as food and lifestyle guidance. Moreover, the ICD plan ensures that villagers are provided with the basic amenities of electricity and water. For local culture and heritage preservation, the learning of local art and culture is promoted. Local women also are encouraged to sell their arts and crafts products to earn viable incomes.
Intensive efforts are being made through this project for convergence based implementation of various government schemes and programmes through community mobilization with the objective of making them model Gram Panchayat.
The core component of ICD is people. Our team works in capacity building training for community-led ownership and work to enhancing local people’s participation in the programs implemented at the Gram Panchayat level. We also work for women and child empowerment by providing them opportunities to represent their issues and concerns to the GP level. Moreover, special programs are designed for youth empowerment, mentoring and skill building.
Community Capability Building – Inside Out
Through a process of emotional, spiritual and economic transformation, the primary focus of The Art of Living is on creating extraordinary leaders out of ordinary people, who would ultimately become ambassador of community change.
The success of our model depends on our methodology of collective endeavour. Our campaigns, Nav Chetna Shivir and Bal Chetna Shivir are primary outreach program. They are instrumental in bringing people together and in inspiring them to serve and participate in the development of their communities. The workshops brings a renewed and increased mental clarity, confidence and focus to find creative and innovative solutions for challenges faced in the rural areas – be it substance abuse, infrastructural problems or lack of basic amenities.
The following diagram depicts the working philosophy behind Integrated Community Development model: