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Report On Lok Sangathan Utsav, Odisha

After two and half years of journey of PACS with aaina, its other partners, community and its CBOs, PACS organised a CBO Conclave, Lok Utsav on 14th and 15th March. Almost 1500 CBO leaders in Bhubaneswar gathered to reflect back and celebrate together the strength of the community, their action achievements, challenges, dreams and hopes. They were excited to discuss their experiences and share their skills with media and other participants from different districts. The two day event included photo exhibitions, exhibition of dream village, cultural shows parallel thematic discussions on MGNREGA, Education, FRA and issues related to PWDs and women. Many of the representatives of aaina from community came up to share their knowlede and experience with PACS so far. A cultural program was also organised by the children from aaina. Different thematic experts and subject specialist were present as speakers during the discussion. Aaina proudly put up a stall exhibiting its work under PACS project, information on current facilities and schemes for people with disability, and a model of an inclusive village.

The CBO representatives discussed issues of concerns and challenges based on their thematic areas of intervention. A boy from Khajuripada who had given a presentation on inclusive education block was thrilled to receive appreciations from eminent personalities at state level. One of the women CBO members shared that it was her first time experience to participate at this level and be a part of such a big gathering. Filled with emotions, she almost cried at the time of sharing her feelings.

Lok Utsav participants from each block had prepared maps representing the current scenario of the village and another representing the ideal dream scenario in the village expected after 5 years. SHG of PWDs, angan wadi workers, teachers, members of Shramika Sanghas and Children Clubs were involved in the process. Participants creatively exhibited inclusion in their maps by showing ramps in schools and other public places, representation of people with disabilities and women in community and village level meetings etc.



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