SUKINDA, DEC 23, 2022
The three-day annual conclave ‘Arunima’, hosted by Tata Steel Foundation concluded on Friday in the premises of Sukinda College, under Sukinda block of Jajpur district of Odisha. The event brought together students, women entrepreneurs and farmers across Bamnipal, Sukinda and Kalinganagar region aiming at showcasing the progressive journey of the region as well as to engage in conversations centered on creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.
The concluding day was dedicated to livelihood opportunities and conservation of water, where around 600 farmers from Kalinganagar, Balasore and Meramandali, interacted on water for agricultural practices. It concluded with new learnings based on a strongly felt need to focus on water in the ecosystem and how it can be used in a sustainable way, inspired by the United Nations mission of declaring 2018-28 as the ‘Water Action Decade’.
The concluding day function was graced by well-known Sambalpuri poet and writer Haldhar Nag as the Chief Guest along with Rashmi Ranjan Barik, Programme Officer, Odisha Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) Empowerment and Livelihoods Improvement Programme (OPELIP); Dr Sabita Mishra, Principal Director, The Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA); Prof. Sudhanwa Patra, Course Coordinator, Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI); Ambika Prasad Nanda, Head, CSR, Odisha. During the event, notable experts from the field shared their experiences regarding water conservation.
Appreciating the initiative of TSF, Nag said, “Water is a source of life for all of us. Saving water is a matter of sustenance for the entire world.” He also recited a short Sambalpuri story about the importance of water.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambika Prasad Nanda said, “This is the seventh edition of Arunima and since the last few years, we have focused our conversations on water conservation and creating long-term sustainable solutions through community engagement. Arunima is also a celebration of the leaders and changemakers from among the youth, women and farmers who have attempted to bring changes at social, economic and political levels to empower the community.”
On December 22, more than 500 women came together to discuss women’s collective approach towards water action. The discussion was graced with the presence of Akli Tudu, also known as the ‘Water Warrior’ who has been working towards tackling the issue of water shortage in Jharkhand by promoting pond-based livelihoods.
On the inaugural day of ‘Arunima’, 538 meritorious students received ‘Jyoti Fellowship’ which is an initiative that provides financial assistance to meritorious students belonging to economically marginalised Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.
The programme was coordinated by Tata Steel, Debanjan Mukharjee, Unit Head, TSF, Sukinda, Allen Joseph, Unit Head, TSF, Kalinganagar and Ravindra Kumar, Unit Head, TSF, Joda.