Book title: NGOs in Northeast India: A Kaleidoscopic Observation
Editors: Seema S. Singha and Chimun Kr Nath
Price: Rs 695
Non-governmental organisations are playing an increasingly decisive role in shaping the economy and facilitating inclusive growth at the grassroots level in a large, multi-ethnic and highly populated country like India, where it is not always possible for the government to ensure that its development schemes and policies reach the backwaters of society.
NGOs in Northeast India attempts to highlight the activities of these organisations in the region and educate people on the role played by these in facilitating inclusive growth, thus ensuring development in every strata of society.
It is a collection of papers by academicians, entrepreneurs, researchers and NGO activists presented at an UGC-sponsored national seminar, discussing the diverse activities NGOs undertake or have the potential to initiate.
For instance, Dibrugarh University Centre for Management Studies lecturer Suman Mahanta dwells on the role of microfinance in shaping NGOs and its effect on women empowerment. Human Rights Initiative monitor Vijay Pandey discusses the role of NGOs in ensuring protection of human rights and in spreading awareness about the same among the masses. Dibrugarh University Centre for Management Studies lecturer Aradhana Borthakur highlights the role of NGOs worldwide in capacity-building activities relating to health, education and skill development among the vulnerable or backward sections of society and Dibrugarh University department of economics reader Deb Kr Chakraborty and Dibrugarh University department of commerce assistant professor Chimun Kr Nath together explore the role of these organisations in facilitating inclusive growth in Assam through theme-based tourism promotion.
The other papers in the book cover a wide range of topics. They include the role of NGOs in facilitating healthcare initiatives like spreading awareness about blood donation and government healthcare schemes, the role of microfinance organisations and NGOs in shaping the economy of the region, the role of NGOs in empowering women through specific capacity-building projects and the activities of specific organisations in spreading healthcare and education among the poor and backward sections of society, with some papers giving elaborate illustrations using case studies of successful endeavours.
Most papers have been well researched and this is apparent from the extensive use of statistics and other forms of illustrations to send across the right point. The language, too, is lucid and easy to grasp.
What is missing, though, is adequate information for those who want to venture out and start NGOs of their own.
The editors, Dibrugarh University department of commerce associate professor Seema S. Singha and Dibrugarh University department of commerce assistant professor Chimun Kr Nath, have done a commendable job of making the compilation as free of errors as possible, though a couple of typos do crop up here and there.
Overall, a good guide for policy-makers, wannabe entrepreneurs and NGO activists and researchers, given the wide spectrum of topics covered.
NGOs in Northeast India is not everyone’s cup of tea but a good buy if you plan to work in this area or are already at it.