Bhubaneswar , 26/3 ( Odisha Samachar/Abhisek Mohanty) : Political parties come up with their Manifestos in every five years during the Elections. It has often been seen that the real issues concerning common people are missing. Manifestos which are supposed to be Governance Agenda for any political party or formation, should focus more on concrete condition of the state, it’s socio-economic and geographical reality and possible solution there in rather than announcing soups and popular packages, which do not serve people in long term for their socio and economic empowerment, said Convenor of People’s Manifesto Committee Sudarshan Chhotray while addressing the workshop on People’s Agenda on Wednesday here.
The approach and priorities of the political parties should be on primary and fundamental areas of human need like food security, safe dwelling houses, safe drinking water, job assurance and minimum wage besides ensuring their rights over natural resources. Health, education, sanitation, rural infrastructure, grass root’s governance like strengthening three tier Panchayati Raj system by vesting more power and planning rights to them, formation of Village Panchayats like other States, strengthening Pallisabhas-are the other areas of concern for many, where more attention should be given. Though a large section of people depend on agriculture, forest resources and marine resources for sustenance and livelihood, the opportunity to develop and plan their future is missing, he said adding that the most vulnerable among the deprived communities like traditional fishermen, rural artisans, displaced people, agricultural laborers, forest dependent communities, migrant laborers and above all the climate refugees and frequent disaster affected population should be given priority in any development plan & programmes. They need utmost care and safety socially as well as economically.
He further added that an initiative has been on to draft and to publish a People’s Charter/Manifesto. For this we planned a series of thematic meetings with experts/organizations, Networks-working on the issues. People’s Manifesto Committee had conducted a series of meetings and thematic group discussions in partnership with prominent civil society organizations during the last two months and we are in process of finalizing the outcomes emerged from the group exercises. The representatives of Civil Society have been engaged in bringing out People’s Manifesto since long. We had done it in 2004 elections and also in 2009 elections. During the previous election we had engaged ourselves with political parties to include the issues and concerns of people. And the political parties responded positively, Chhotray informed.
People’s Manifesto Committee is a civil society platform formed in connection with forthcoming general elections 2014. The mandate of the Committee is to draft/publish the People’s Manifesto and share it with the political parties in particular and people of the state in general.