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‘Assam’s SDGs initiative a role model’

GUWAHATI, June 3: The initiative taken by Assam government regarding the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state is phenomenal and so other Indian states should follow it. This was discussed during two Consultations on policy and practice related dialogues on SDGs which were recently organized by the Centre for Environment, Social and Policy Research (CESPR) and Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC) at Guwahati and Tezpur. The Assam Government is the first in the country to adapt SDGs through government notification, and was adopted from January 1, 2016. This has been stated in a prèss release.

At the Guwahati Consultation on May 29, which was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Development Goals (CSDG) of the Assam government,  Dr RM Dubey of the CSDG said, “It is a global prospective, after getting information from the people we came to a conclusion that SDGs model is nothing but a framework of development.”

“When we talk about SDGs, all of us are working some way or the other for the welfare of the marginalized people, one of the main motives of SDGs is that no one should be left behind” Dubey stated.

Praising Dubey and the CSDGs, Nafisa Goga D’Souza, convenor of INECC said, “Assam has taken a leadership role in engaging the SDG framework, and there are a lot of opportunities for learning,” the release said.

Nivedita Barthakur of the IL & FS stressed on skill development and said it is the need of the hour, and Amiya Kumar Sarma of RGVN, said “Assam is on high risk in terms of livelihoods and also it is disaster prone and if we spoke about floods then people have also learnt to cope up with livelihood strategies”.

On gender issues, Sunita Seshadri of National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development said that there are positive changes as more women have come to non-traditional professions, and also there has been a growth in women related organisations, while Chayanika Konwar, of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women said steps should be taken to make women aware of the various laws, as per the release.

Manisha Choudhury, a researcher on nutrition said Assam has more than one million undernourished children and the institutional delivery is more than 75%.

In the same session, Shahjamal Zakaria of the Horticulture department spoke on mushroom cultivation.

Silpi Rekha Pandit, of the Guwahati College of Architecture and Priyadarshini Karve, Samuchit Enviro Tech spoke about sustainable urban planning.

As part of energising and urbanising Assam role of energy entrepreneurs in meeting energy needs and decentralised energy systems were discussed by Beudhar Sutar of DESI Technologies and Siddharth D Souza of Laya Green Ventures.

Ajita Tiwari National Facilitator of INECC, in her speech praised the CSDGs for institutionalizing the roll out of the SDGs and involving the MLAs and the autonomous councils in the process. 

Similarly, a one day consultation was organised at Tezpur in Collaboration with North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management (NERIWALM) and the Energy department of the Tezpur University on May 31.
Pankaj Barua, Director of NERIWALM  said, “In Sonitpur district, agriculture potential is huge, however it is yet to be tapped due to lack of irrigation, flood and erosion.

Jitendra Sarma, Director, Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) said, “The motive of RSETI is to develop village people by providing them training, and entrepreneurship has become a need of the hour in Assam,” the release added.