Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 11:
Dr. P.B. Ananad, a faculty member from Bradford University, a leading institution of quality learning in England, was on a visit to Odisha capital to meet and discuss with officials of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) on aspects of inclusiveness in the Smart City Project.
He reached here on 9th May and left by afternoon today. He had meetings with senior officials to discuss various dimensions of the Smart City Project. He went on to visit Masjid Colony within the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) area and had discussion with Accreditated Social Health Activist (ASHA) and Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM), besides community members.
He tried to know the issues and challenges of working in the slums from the health workers. With regard to his interaction with community members he was keen to know about their livelihood and the challenges they are facing in their day to day life.
It can be mentioned here that on November 18 last year BSCL signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to make Bhubaneswar a Socially Smart City. This is part of the initiative under the Bhubaneswar Smart City plan to achieve Social Equity through New Urbanism in action.
The BSCL-UNFPA project will aim to promote people-centric interventions through engagement of youth, especially women and girls, with focus on the most marginalised, in order to build Bhubaneswar as a Socially Smart City.
The project objectives include, developing a youth-centric and youth-led integrated social intervention model to support citizen connect initiative, promoting safety and security of girls and women in Bhubaneswar with specific focus on urban slums through community partnerships and increasing availability and accessibility of social, health and other development programmes for the vulnerable and marginalised population.
During his visit, Dr. Anand was made aware of the various initiatives being undertaken as part of the Socially Smart City Project being implemented by BSCL in collaboration with UNFPA. He said that addressing social issues and reaching out to the most marginalised community was a big challenge and he felt happy that BSCL was doing everything possible to bring into its fold of development all sections of society residing within the BTCD area.
Dr. Anand said that it is a good initiative to work with adolescent girls and build their capacity to help them lead a better life. He said that unless inclusive approach is adopted towards development, it is difficult to achieve comprehensive development. He showed his interest to collaborate with BSCL on research and other social issues.
Dr. Anand is a reader with the Faculty of Social Sciences in the field of Environmental Economics and Public Policy. He is also the divisional research leader with British Academy Project on Sustainable Cities under Division of Peace Studies and International Development.