Aim is to sensitise stakeholders to their role

The agenda of the meeting was poverty alleviation. The venue was a posh hotel. On Friday, heads of government departments, including school education, agriculture, rural development and social welfare, attended Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission’s (TNSRLM) district-level orientation programme in the city.

A section of bankers too attended the half-a-day programme followed by lunch. The main thrust of the exercise was to sensitise stakeholders to their role in freeing the State from poverty as envisioned by the Chief Minister in Tamil Nadu Vision 2023 document.

Explaining the need for the TNSRLM, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mythili K. Rajendran intrigued the participants with questions such as “What is poverty? Who is a poor? Why is somebody poor? Why many programmes have not been able to eradicate poverty?”

Stating that some government departments defined the poor on the basis of their economic status while others such as agriculture defined them on the basis of their land holding, the CEO said that multiple definitions often lad to confusion.

Additional Director Manohar Singh said that the TNSRLM was an extension of ‘Pudhu Vaazhvu’ project. It was being implemented on an outlay of Rs.1,667 crore of which Rs.1,301 crore had been taken as soft loan from World Bank.

“The aim of the TNSRLM is to consolidate the poor, provide capacity building and assist them in accessing schemes provided by various government departments. Out of the total amount to be spent on the mission, around Rs.1,400 crore would be spent on capacity building alone.

“The best way to empower the weak is to align them with powerful institutions. So, we are trying to establish powerful institutions in the village and align the poor with those institutions. This is the basic concept of the TNSRLM,” he said.

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