The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 19 , 2014
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Villager awareness on minister radar

- 3-day rights conclave starts in capital

State HRD minister Geetashree Oraon on Tuesday called upon village communities to unite themselves and take initiatives to know their constitutional rights.

“Society can be strengthened only by empowering village communities. And the rural bodies can become powerful only when they are aware of their rights,” Oraon, speaking as the chief guest at a three-day conclave in Ranchi organised by Poorest Area Civil Society (PACS), said.

The PACS event — a UK government’s initiative to reduce the wellbeing gap between socially excluded groups and others in India — started at Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium, Hotwar.

Oraon added that the government’s job was to provide facilities but it was the self-help group’s responsibility to make good use of them.

With Oraon were agriculture minister Yogendra Sao, sports and secretary of sports, culture and youth affairs Vandana Dadel, XISS assistant director Ranjit Toppo, social activist Dayamani Barla and PACS manager (Jharkhand) Johnson Toppo. Around 3,000 people from districts where PACS programmes are underway, were also present.

Around 2,000 self-help groups have been created across 12 districts of the state to empower villagers.

Over the next couple of days, participants would be informed about welfare schemes and acts such as forest rights, MGNREGS, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, among others, as well as how to avail their benefits.