BHAWANIPATNA: The three-day Kalahandi Dialogue, which concluded here on Sunday, has resolved to speed up the development process of the district and conserve its cultural heritage.
The draft declaration comprising various proposals to transform the district into a developed region will be finalised and submitted to the United Nations and the Central and State governments for support and action. Highlighting various issues faced by the tribal-dominated district, speakers said Kalahandi has undergone transformation by becoming a surplus agriculture producer.
Addressing the valedictory ceremony, Ramon Magsaysay awardee and founder of Goonj, a social organisation, Anshu Gupta called for involvement of members of each community in the growth process. “Instead of targeting malaria, we should combat mosquitoes. In this way, the core issues of people need to be addressed first with community participation. Then only, development process can be intensified,” he added.
In the 1980s, Kalahandi was associated with backwardness and starvation, which came to be known as ‘Kalahandi Syndrome’. Kalahandi became a synonym of poverty. But the district now has become the grain basket of the State, said State Planning Board advisor R N Das.
Policy makers, development practitioners and intellectuals from the State and outside presented statistics and analysis to decode Kalahandi Syndrome, which always carried a negative connotation, during the three-day conclave. Among others, Director of IEG Manoj Panda and Padmashree Tulasi Munda also spoke.