Bhubaneswar, October 11 (Odisha.in) A one-day State Level Media Sensitization workshop was organized jointly by Agragamee and People’s Media Initiatives (PMI) recently at Hotel Presidency, Bhubaneswar.
The workshop was attended by over 100 journalists and other media representatives and village people from different parts of Orissa to discuss vital issues pertaining to role of Media and implementation National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in Orissa.
State Convener of PMI, Sudarshan Chhotray gave welcome address to participants and outlined the purpose of organizing the Media workshop on NREGA.
Inaugurating the opening session of the Workshop Sunday, Ramahari Mishra, Head, Biju Pattnaik College of Journalism and Mass Communication said that State is passing through a crucial phase and media has to play a more vibrant role in educating and sensitizing people’s issues in the State.
He also opined that, Media has to play a bridging role between the government and people and thereby reducing the gap. This would help people to appropriate benefit of various government development programmes and welfare schemes.
Achyut Das, Director of Agragamee presided over the inaugural session and appealed the media people to take pro-active initiatives to demystify information for public benefit.
In his speech, he said that NREGA is one of the most progressive acts in post independence era and if implemented properly, it would help people to get employment, due wages and create livelihood assets.
But there have been lots of irregularities in execution of works under the Acts. In most cases there is gross violation of Act as people have been denied work, wages are either not paid or delayed.
In this situation Media can play reach to village and people and frame issues to exert pressure on administration and other governance institution to redress peoples problems.
Other eminent guests at the dais were Mr Tapan Misha, The Samaj, Prafulla Das, The Hindu, Bhasar Parichha, editor, Odisha Bhaskar, Dillip Bisoi, Financial Express, also spoke on role of media and opined that media has a definite role in our society to ensure transparency and accountability in governance system.
NREGA is one the flagship programmmes of the government having lots of optimism and hope to create employment, reduce poverty & migration and thus media should play a vigilant role in ensuring proper implementation of NREGA.
Village participants from Rayagada, Keonjhar, Nabarangpur and Koraput presented their case studies and testimonies on NREGA issues and had described how they have been witnessing wrath of local government officials before Mass Media and requested media to extend their help to highlight people’s issues in different forum for immediate redressal.
Other Key speaker and facilitators of workshop were Mrs Gayatri Pattnaik, Ashutosh Mishra, Akshya Sahoo, Ajit Nayak, Ashok Das, Amulya Kumar Pati, C. Santakar, Prasanna Mohanty, Bauribandhu Maharana, K.R Sunani, Pramod Samantara, Niradhar Panda, Sumani Jhodia and Dhirendra Panda.
At the end of the daylong workshop Achyut Das and Sudarshan Chhotray summed up the days deliberation and announced accelerate media follow up for proper implementation of NREGA in Orissa.
Pramod Pradhan, Agragamme Center for Advocacy & Action Research gave vote of thank to all those who participated in the workshop.