Policy Road Shows in India
The Road Shows were a unique effort to bring together local NGOs, research organizations, some prominent academicians and intellectuals and even some beneficiaries, for a free flow of thoughts and id...
The Road Shows were a unique effort to bring together local NGOs, research organizations, some prominent academicians and intellectuals and even some beneficiaries, for a free flow of thoughts and ideas and also to share experiences. A total of 243 NGOs participated in road shows, that were conducted in the five major coastal stretches of Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry.
What were the main objectives?
1. To present the policy research findings before the community through NGOs and CBOs.
2. To seek suggestions in order to make strong policy recommendations.
The highlight of the road shows were the group discussions where the participants had the opportunity to analyse and discuss the research findings and recommendations. Green Coast partner WWF India asked for their ideas and visions, to improve the draft policies before they are taken to higher levels. For this, the participants organized themselves into three groups based on their area of interest or expertise. Individually they discussed the three focal areas of the policy research, i.e. fisheries, coastal defense and reconstruction. At the end of the discussion, a team member presented the recommendations of each group to the assemblage.
The group members participated with great i°nvolvement and enthusiasm and came up with plenty of significant suggestions, some of which are mentioned below.
° A fishing community should have its own constituency as well as its own panchayat in order to be heard.
° Fishing ranges should be protected from encroaching foreign fishing vessels.
° There should be a fisheries development bank to revive the sector.
° There should be a Central Government ministry or department to address grievances of the 2 crore (20 million) fishermen in the country.
° Fishery cooperatives should be strengthened.
° Facilities for cold storage should be provided during high yield, low price seasons.
° Vocational training on boat repair, engine repair and net repair should be provided to increase other sources of income.
° Forest Department roles and responsibilities in the coastal greening programme should be clearly spelt out to the people.
° More clarity is needed on the selection of sites, choice of species, consent of communities and tenure of the planted area.
° A joint monitoring committee comprising of community members, Panchayat Raj institutions and local NGOs should be empowered to monitor tsunami rehabilitation activities. Women and Dalits should be represented in the committee.
° A comprehensive master plan or housing plan for the construction of permanent habitations should be in place. It should address fresh water supply, centralized sewage treatment plants, solid waste management, community areas, health centers, roads, bridges etc.
° Need based reconstruction is essential and building designs should be finalized after considering the requirements of children, physically challenged and elderly people.