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Divi Neguma, the road map to MDGs

Globally sustainable development is the key word in achieving the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs). The world will focus on post MDGs from 2015. Sri Lanka will also focus on meeting the demand of the post MDGs.


Information Technology to boost quality of life

Therefore, balancing the three pillars of the sustainable development environmental, social and economical aspects need to looked into.

The Divi Neguma livelihood development program launched under the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is paving the waz to achieve the MDGs in a sustainable manner.

Initiated under the Economic Development Ministry the Divi Neguma program has come under a separate unit - the Department of Divi Neguma Development.

Sustainable Development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Rather than importing the Western concepts of development the government strategy formulated under the Mahinda Chinthana vision focuses on the village - the smallest unit of the country's civil administration.

The rural community will be the manufacturer of goods in a continuous supply chain to the urban consumer. The Government initiated projects such as the Divi Neguma, Gama Neguma, coordinated through the Economic Development Ministry, aims at catering to this crucial manufacturing rural community by uplifting them economically and socially.During the past few years the contribution from regions outside the Western Province has increased dramatically marking a significant change in its contribution to national economy. The regional economy should be well connected to the national economy.

Many development initiatives the Government provide various infrastructure for regional development to link the village economy to the national economy. The responsibility is to try and get the best benefit of the regional development and link it with the national economy.

Today the Divi Neguma program is a major contributor in developing the rural economy.

In the Divi Neguma program the development proposals come from the grass roots level.

Initially when the plans were afoot for the project Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa visited all 25 districts and in the presence of the District Coordinating Committees these development proposals were handed over to the political authority of that area to be implemented.

Village level organisations such as the Janasabha, forward their development program proposals.

The Grama Niladhari, Samurdhi officer of the village, work along with these leaders of the Jana Sabha. Understanding the importance of the village unit, President Mahinda Rajapaksa taking over Presidency for the first time in 2005, instructed the Government to initiate a special program to uplift village communities.

Thus, the Gama Neguma (Village uplift) was launched in 2006 on par with the Mahinda Chinthana.

These projects also improved the capacity of the regions to link with the mainstream of development.

These have a catalytic role in boosting commercial activities in the villages thus making those communities a major contributor to national economy.


Sharing the harvest

The new approach of the Gama Neguma will strengthen the community participation in the rural development projects by pooling resources to be utilised for village development.Gama Neguma was launched in 119 backward villages and extended to 4,000 GN Divisions in 2007.

In 2008 and 2009 it was implemented with the exception of North and East and from 2010 the peaceful environment in the country enabled the implementation of the program throughout the island.

The village level organisations are responsible to implement the programs.

Planning and implementation is by the villagers and funds will be sent to the Divisional Secretaries and the village organisation will get the funds for the program through the DS office.

Moreover, the road network development reduced the hassle of travelling. On the whole it has enhanced the connectivity by exposure to a broader arena bringing about positive changes and modifications in the socio-economic fabric.

Farmers are highly benefited by facilitating the transportation of the agricultural inputs and products with extended market options promoting their turnover.According to the Mahinda Chinthana, "To win the world, develop the country, to develop the country strengthen the village." We as a country aim at doubling the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2016.

Thus it is important to get the maximum contribution to the national economy through the more back-ward regions and promote regional development to encourage equitable distribution of goods and services.

 

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