Bridge the gaps between authority and community for village prosperity

HYDERABAD:Feb 15, 2022: Increasing urbanization has not only grabbed fertile agricultural lands with flourishing rose gardens and fruit orchards, but also destroyed traditional sources of livelihoods of rural people of Hyderabad district.
It was the collective voice by the community activists, hailing from different villages, who suggested a dire need to bridge the gap by providing skill enhancement opportunities so they may have alternative sources of income to live safe.
The activists were speaking at the inspection workshop under the project ‘Building Resilience through improved delivery, governance and empowerment program’, organised by the Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) in collaboration with Germany-based Welthungerhilfe—WHH held on Tuesday in Qasimabad.
The event brought together vocal persons of local civil society organizations (CSOs) and representatives of the government’s various departments like social welfare, education, taluka, and district administration. Deputy Commissioner was the chief guest on the occasion.
The purpose of the event was to strengthen coordination within stakeholders and minimize socio-economic vulnerabilities of communities, especially youth, women, the disabled and other segments of the society.
Dr. Allahnawaz Samoon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at TRDP in his welcome address said civic engagement, connecting the civil society organizations and government, is the only way out to bring change at a time when traditional sources of income are fast depleting.
He advocated the rights of citizens ensured in the country constitutions, like water, health, education, and other basic facilities.
“We believe that it is not the responsibility of only government and politicians but all citizens themselves have to play a role to build the collaboration for securing their rights,” he said.
Dr Samoon pointed out that Hyderabad despite being the second largest city of the province has slums and deprived suburbs where the majority of people are dealing with complications due to increasing urbanizations, which seems to be drag land under their feet. He asked CSOs members to come forward and mobilize the people to bring change through adopting alternative sources of income, especially village entrepreneurship.
He said there are around 20 registered CSOs in the targeted area, engaged for the cause, so far, but we have to form more organizations to help vulnerable people in the areas.
He emphasized the need of promoting entrepreneurship opportunities in rural areas through providing skill development initiatives. Village women and youth have the potential to adopt skills to revive the activism at a time when natural resources are depleting fast under urbanization and building other infrastructures.
Besides traditional handicrafts, there are more skills like cooking, mobile repairing, agriculture, carpenter, livestock farm management and other crafts to teach the village people to have source of income.
In fact our youth has degrees from various institutions but they do not have skills and knowledge to get jobs. He said cooking is a better option for the village people to prepare some food items and sell on roadsides and public places near there. Apart from this, he said garments industries in urban areas need more skilled workforce from rural parts.
Fuad Ghaffar Soomro, Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad appreciated the voluntarism in rural areas in which the community activists are working on a self-help basis. He took names after hearing the activists how they started their journey on voluntarism. He said the government departments should oblige these people at all levels. He assured collaboration with these CSOs and those organizations working to promote entrepreneurship at the village level.
Sarwan Baloch, project manager WHH Sindh also encouraged CSOs representatives who are working at the grassroots level and building linkages with government departments.
He said they are working with small-scale organizations, which have dedicated volunteers.
Shafqat Solangi, assistant director of Social Welfare Department (Hyderabad rural) said the area covers 80 percent with more than one million population, starting from Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Matiari to Jamshoro districts. He pointed out that due to urbanization people depending on livestock and agriculture are losing their traditional sources of income. It is need of hour how to deal with the issues, at least build linkages of the local communities with government departments.
Previously, Shamim Akhtar leading the project gave a comprehensive presentation to highlight issues and interventions with local communities.

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