Village development, focus of first State-level social workers’ meet in city

Going back to the roots by focussing development activities in villages was the thread linking stories of struggle and success shared by social workers and activists at ‘Ennangalin Sangamam’, a State-level meeting here on Sunday.

Organic farming, water conservation, energy saving, sanitation, health and education in villages were among the most discussed issues at the eighth edition of the meeting organised by the Networking and Development Centre for Service Organisations (NDSO), at Urumu Dhanalakshmi College, Kattur.

Speakers felt the increasing numbers of youth giving up professional jobs to work in villages was a turning point for the development of village societies. The NDSO awardee of the year and founder of Mugavari Foundation, K.Ramesh, was recognised for his efforts in mobilising funds to support higher education of meritorious but underprivileged students. So far, his Foundation has helped 179 students take up careers in engineering, medicine and civil services, by sponsoring their education.

Online collaboration

The organisation launched a website designed by professionals from Tata Consultancy Services, Chennai. The website would function as a community engagement platform, enabling NGOs, activists and social workers to spread the word on the cause they espouse and network with other organisations, said J.Prabhakar, coordinator, NDSO. By incorporating access to various social networking sites, the website would help activists mobilise participants for events and workshops.

Group discussions allowed social workers from various regions to review their efforts in addressing various issues ranging from disability, Dalit empowerment, organic farming, solid waste management, environment and provision of toilets. A directory listing social workers and their contact addresses was released by Subramanian, chairman, UDC College. Muthiah, editor, Namathu Nambikai and Azhagar Ramanujam, president, NDSO, spoke.

The first edition of the meet outside Chennai, arranged by coordinators Paul Guna Loganath, S.N.Kamakodi Sundar, Prema Jeevanandam and M.Suresh Kumar, saw close to 750 participants from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Encouraged by the response exceeding previous editions, the organisers have decided to hold subsequent meets in Tiruchi.