Meghalaya Rural Development Society changing life in villages

February 18th, 2009 - 8:49 pm ICT by ANI  

By Peter Alex Todd
Shillong, Feb.18 (ANI): The Meghalaya Rural Development Society (MRDS) programme is making a major difference to the lives of poor and backward people in villages here.
Jointly funded by government and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Meghalaya Rural Development Society (MRDS) aims to help villagers in a sustainable manner through promotion of improved livelihood opportunities and strengthening local institutions that relate to livelihood development.
The MRDS has been able to benefit several unemployed villagers in the South Garo Hills in Meghalaya, in the remotest and most backward district of the state.
“The farmers benefit in capacity building after we give them training and provide relevant information. We expose them to different technologies and enable them to choose which technology suits them better and they are confident enough to undertake,” said Panseng R. Marak, Project Manager, Meghalaya Rural Development Society (MRDS), South Garo Hills.
“I use to go to the village to give training in areas like family planning, nutrition and health sanitation especially for the gender. That’’s the training I give to the people. Its like an awareness,” said Lily Sangma, MRDS official, South Garo Hills.
The Meghalaya Rural Development Society holds meetings and awareness programmes to educate and help people in economic development, education, health, cultivation, savings, forming of women groups.
It helps them, directly or indirectly, and enhances villagers capabilities while encouraging them as well to benefit from banking activities such as saving and borrowing.
“The project has helped us, we bring fish from the market and cultivate in the fishery, after that we sell it and distribute the money among the members of our group,” said Mitha M. Sangma, a local resident in South Garo Hills.
“We took loans through MRDS. We are working in poultry and pig farms and we have also taken part in a training programme in Shillong,” said Forman Sangma, a local resident.
The whole project covers 14 selected Blocks in five districts of the state–East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, East Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, and Ri-Bhoi district.
The programme has come as a boon to the villagers and has given the area an economic facelift and much-needed development. (ANI)

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