BHUBANESWAR:The Odisha Government on Wednesday launched Mission UDAY for promoting youth power to engage them in social development processes in remote habitations of the State.It is a joint initiative by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Foundation and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS).
Mission UDAY aims at building the capacity of 1,000 young boys and girls in leadership, social entrepreneurship and values of active citizenship. Post training, they would be engaged in social development processes in 1,000 remote habitations of the State and influence at least 20,000 youth. The project will be initially implemented in Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts in close collaboration with the administration of respective districts.
Deputy Regional Director of UNFPA (Asia Pacific Regional Office) Jennifer Butler said Mission UDAY is a multi-stakeholder project envisioned to address the challenges faced by young people from vulnerable tribal communities in the State.Seeking to place youth at the centre of development initiatives, she said the project will endeavour to create change agents in the community and build young leaders, who would be engaged in social development processes and influence their peers for the betterment of their communities.
Minister for ST and SC Development Ramesh Majhi appreciated the intervention and said the Government accords high priority to the overall development of tribal communities who constitute a significant section of the State’s population. “We have rolled out a number of programmes to ensure their rights and entitlements besides education, skill building, livelihood and employment opportunities,” he added.
The initiative is expected to help young people take advantage of Government programmes that have focused on skill development and livelihood enhancement. It will not only empower young leaders but also their communities as a whole.
Director of REC Ltd SK Gupta said the collaboration with development agencies and Government would add new impetus to flagship programmes at the national and State levels. The launch of the project marks a historic milestone of a unique partnership among development agency, State Government, academic institution and Corporate sector, envisioning a new social responsibility leading the way to empower the State.Among others, KISS founder and Rajya Sabha member Achyuta Samanta, Assistant Representative of UNFPA Venkatesh Srinivasan and State Head Deepa Prasad also spoke.