- The collaboration aims to harness Rs. 50,000 Crores of business in Madhya Pradesh
- MoU signed on the conclusion of the unique Rural Engagement Programme by IIM Indore
- 648 participants from IPM, PGP and PGPHRM interacted with 30K villagers in 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh
- Participants studied the impact on health and hygiene after COVID19 in the rural areas
The Government of Madhya Pradesh, Panchayat & Rural Development Department (R&RDD) is exploring partnerships to harness Rs. 50,000 crore of business in Madhya Pradesh. As a part of this endeavor, an MoU has been signed with IIM Indore to facilitate the promotion of an ecosystem for the marketing of SHG products to Business Centers. The objective of this MoU is to provide technical cooperation in the promotion, development, and operation of Business Centers for the sales and marketing of community products. The MoU was signed by Prof. Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore, and Shri Umakant Umrao, IAS, Principal Secretary, P&RDD, Government of India on December 01, 2021. Prof. S. Bhavani Shankar, REP Coordinator and Shri Himanshu Chandra, CEO, District Panchayat was also present on the occasion. The MoU signing took place in the presence of a group of women from an SHG which comes under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.
Sharing details about the MoU, Prof. Rai said, ‘The objective of this MoU is to establish a framework for cooperative institutional relations to encourage and promote cooperation in developing and strengthening of the Business Centers as one-stop facility’. He noted that these Business Centers will offer end-to-end business creation and expansion support for the sale and marketing of the products and services produced by the Community Institutions (SHGs/PGSs/Pes etc.) developed under the P&RDD. Valid for three years, the collaboration aims at reviewing the existing schemes of the marketing strategy of community products and recommendation for the further strengthening of the system. The Institute will contribute to sharing of expertise, experiences, and ideas in the areas of advertising branding, enterprise promotion, rural start-up development, marketing, and sales.
‘We are delighted to collaborate with IIM Indore for this MoU. We would be organizing joint courses, workshops, forums and seminars and creating a partnership for the product development, said Shri Umrao. The association also involves mentoring and managing the business centers with corporate support and organizing capacity-building programmes for the personnel.
The MoU was signed on the conclusion of the unique Rural Engagement Programme (REP) by IIM Indore, which aims at sensitizing the young managers and leaders towards various schemes undertaken by the government in the villages. This year, the REP was conducted in online mode for a week, starting October 25, 2021. The objective of the programme was to study the impact on health and hygiene after COVID19 in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, based on the COVID guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. During this programme, 648 participants from three flagship programmes interacted with over 30,000 villagers in 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Prof. Rai in his address mentioned the various ‘gaps’ in the life of rural and urban areas. Noting that 833 million people reside in the rural areas of India, he said that the problems faced by these residents are extremely different from that of urban residents, especially women. ‘A study says that the difference between the lifestyle of a woman residing in the rural area and a man in the urban area is 80 years – that is, a difference of at least five generations! We as a socially conscious institute and we as a nation cannot ignore this, he said. He mentioned that apart from problems like income inequality and lack of necessities like clean water and sanitation, the aged in the rural areas also need to be taken care of, compassionately. ‘The old in the rural areas are just reliving their memories. They don’t have any aim. If you as a budding manager and leader are compassionate and take initiatives to not only understand their problems but also resolve their issues, your life purpose is solved’, he encouraged the participants.
Shri Umrao shared insights on various issues in the rural areas which need to be addressed, like education facilities during the lockdown, efficient supply chain management, child marriage and the government schemes to generate awareness, etc. He also threw light on various government schemes for women and female child development. He noted that we are living in an era of a knowledge-based economy, which is dependent on knowledge creators and consumers. ‘The creators create knowledge and lead the world, while consumers consume the knowledge. To balance the economy of the nation, we need to have a balance between creators and consumers’, he said. He mentioned that it’s time to create a self-help technology model, which creates models which are suitable for all, thereby converting the villages into knowledge creators once again.
The 550-page report prepared by the participants was also unveiled on this occasion. Two best teams of REP, that studied the impact of COVID in Jabalpur and Balaghat, gave a presentation on their findings. The team members received certificates for their outstanding performance during the programme by Shri Umakant Umrao.
The participants found that the major sources of Covid 19 related information in the rural areas are word of mouth and television. They also noted that people working on farms didn’t wear masks, and didn’t wash or sanitize their hands as they weren’t aware of the covid guidelines. However, teachers at government schools were taking initiatives to generate awareness about the infection. The IIM Indore participants suggested the following ways to resolve the issue:
- Create awareness about the Government helpline to ensure adequate information
- Emphasize the unhygienic aspect of spitting and make TV advertisements to curb the habit
- Promote the idea of hygiene and self-cleanliness among people
- Plan and target specific groups from society to address the issue
- Improve sanitation services at government schools
- Curb the spread of fake news and address vaccine hesitancy, thereby generating awareness about covid symptoms.
Prof. Ajit Phadnis and Prof. Bhavin Shah, former coordinators, REP were also felicitated on this occasion for their contribution to the programme the previous year.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Prof. S. Bhavani Shankar.