Sukanta Sarkar, currently working as an Integrator at PRADAN, has been involved in the development sector for the last 23 years. He has been instrumental in ushering a women-centric community empowerment process while addressing the issues of livelihoods, mostly in the poorest pockets of the eastern and central plateau regions of India. At present he is piloting a citizen-centric development process through improved local governance. He is an agriculturist by training, and received the Endeavour Fellowship Award in 2009 from the Government of Australia.
Sensing the need of the hour during the grave crisis that the pandemic wreaked and stepping in to help villagers access social entitlements, by providing them knowledge as well as assistance in completing procedural formalities, required focus, clarity, dedication and sustained handholding
We asked ourselves — is there another way to engage with communities? Where ultimately, they can unlock the social capital that they have built, exercise their agency without external help, and where they themselves can decide on their development agenda.
With detailed planning of the processes of implementation of MNREGA, and collaboration among the people, the gram panchayat and PRADAN, the villagers are witnessing changes on different fronts—from an increase in assets and in knowledge about agricultural practices to enhanced production, leading to financial and food security.