Friday, January 20, 2017


by Father Christopher George


MUMBAI, JAN 20, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a day-long workshop on 'Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through the Rights-Based Approach' for all its partner-implementing agencies from across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra at the Don Bosco Provincial House on January 19. 

Representatives consisting of directors and social co-ordinators from 15 active partner agencies participated in this intense endeavour. The day began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai after which the participants proceeded to the auditorium, for the welcome address. 


Father Rolvin D'Mello, director of DBDS, greeted the gathering and also thanked them for taking time-out and being present for the capacity building workshop. Father D'Souza then gave a motivating inaugural address and welcomed the main facilitator for the workshop Father Thomas Pallithanam, National Convenor of the 'Wada Na Todo Abhiyan', an internationally renowned rights activist for over three decades.


Father Pallithanam thereafter presented the 'Sustainable Development Goals: A Constitutional Perspective' interspersed with experiential nuggets and personal reminiscences. He expounded the 17 goals as promulgated with 169 targets to be achieved by 2030, with a 5-P plan of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The post-break session witnessed a group interaction with participants proposing newer avenues that could be explored for future implementation.

Post-Lunch, each of the partner agencies presented their 'Comprehensive Activity Reports' dwelling on the actual working towards the achieving of the 'Sustainable Development Goals' thus far. The reports showcased the identification of various central government schemes, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, the Atal Pension Yojana, the Targeted Public Distribution System, the Integrated Child Development Service, the National Food Security Act, the Indira Awaas Yojana, the MGNREGA, the National Skill Development Mission, the SWADHAR 2011, the Janani Suraksha Yojana, the NRLM, the NULM, the RTE and the RTI among many others.


The evening's focus was an enlighteningly interactive session dealing with the understanding of the 'Needs Based Approach' and the 'Rights Based Approach'. Father Pallithanam explained, differentiated and clarified queries that arose from the floor drawing from his varied and vast repertoire of grass-root activism. He concluded with encouragement and a promise to help in every possible way, each participant involved in the social upliftment of the marginalised and the societally abandoned.


The post-tea session focused on the 'Restructuring of the Mumbai Province Development Works' according to the variety of works engaged in, wherein the participants sought to clarify and employ better intervention strategies for holistic development of the urban poor and the rural marginalised.


The daylong workshop-cum-seminar culminated post-dusk with each participant determined that 'the show must go on' in a more focused 'rights based' manner to realise the 5-P plan as emphasised by Father Pallithanam.

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