"For example even if all the state resources were properly channelized, the state will only be able to meet its health requirements in 2038," said Manish Kumar Singh, of Uttar Pradesh Voluntary Action Network (UPVAN) while speaking on 'Wada Nibhao' Campaign at the Uttar Pradesh Press Club on Saturday, 6 March 2010 afternoon. Mr. Singh was addressing the bi-monthly Media for Children, organized jointly by UNICEF and Media Nest, a forum working for the welfare of media persons and their families.
He said the campaign was started by UPVAN for making the state accountable in their efforts for realizing the development goals. The organization is monitoring the institutions of governance and would find the realities regarding their commitments towards the citizens.
Speaking about UPVAN, Mr Singh said that it was started in 1993, as a network of civil society groups in safeguarding the rights of the marginalized poor. UPVAN works towards sensitizing all the concurrent emergent issues and having interventions over the state policies towards social change and development. It provides a common platform of about 262 members' organizations, coming from all the 65 districts of the State. Since UPVAN is a coming together of allies (Member Partners) to achieve social synergy it has succeeded in bringing about the ground ability of following issues through the techniques under advocacy programme:-They do social mobilizing, campaigns.
Media 4 Children is a capacity -building platform for journalists writing on development issues. The expert therefore dwelled at length on how NGOs and media can be partners in development. Mr. Singh suggested that as true partners in development media should attempt to bring all these facts out before the masses so that a movement is built up to support MDGs.
He suggested a proper networking between NGOs and media on issues concerning the common man. He said the media must shed its misconceptions about NGOs and try to see the work being done in the field.
Stressing that often the media poses the problems but fails to provide the answers he said it would be much more beneficial if the media can also find those who can provide the answers or solution. Media can focus on those who can act as pressure group to give a healthy end to the problem. But what he specially emphasized was a ‘follow-up’ exercise to issues which would take them to their logical conclusion.
He said that a closer look will reveal that ‘poverty is the crux of the failure of all our policies.
“Media must focus on highlighting poverty –alleviation programmes- the other goals will automatically be met then,” said Mr. Singh in his interaction with the media.
Speaking at the interaction senior media person, and an expert on RTI Mr. Afzal spoke about the disparity in our education system and how there is a wide gap between the private and government schools’ education.
“Only a miniscule per centage gets quality education and that per centage is from private schools. In short we hold back 99 per cent students from getting ahead and promote the talent of just one per cent,” said Mr. Ansari.
“The nation that neglects its children can never get ahead,” he said adding that it is in the hands of the common citizen to “activate the system that will deliver.”
In his address to the media persons and members of NGOs working for and with children, Mr. Augustine Veliath, UNICEF communication specialist said that Uttar Pradesh must do a re-think and put renewed efforts to fulfill its MDGs in the five years that are left for the deadline of the promise. “If UP does not do well, India will not work well and if India does not do well the world will not be able to achieve its MDGs,” said Mr. Veliath.
(The author is a senior journalist and Secretary-General of Media Nest)
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