Odisha wins international award for urban innovation

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has bagged the international online Popular City Award at the 5th Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation 2021 announced on November 12.

Odisha received more than 4.6 lakh votes from across the world online.

The Urban Wage Employment Initiative (UWEI), also known as MUKTA programme of the Government of Odisha, was selected by people from across the globe out of 15 international programmes and cities.

Odisha also received the Medals of Honour for two of its key initiatives – Urban Wage Employment Initiative (MUKTA) and Faecal Sludge & Septage Management (FSSM). The two programmes were globally recognised from among 273 initiatives from 175 cities and local governments in 60 countries including Australia, China, South Africa, USA, Brazil, and Denmark.

While the UWEI was selected for reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing resilience of the urban poor, FSSM in Berhampur was shortlisted for promoting sustainable environment conservation and women empowerment through FSSM.

The award’s Technical Committee consisting of distinguished members from technical, academic and across the world assessed each submission using the main criteria of innovativeness, effectiveness, context, replicability/scalability, and significance. The Committee appreciated the UWEI programme as “an excellent example of State Government providing a safety net for the vulnerable population during the Covid pandemic and for helping build city resilience through public works.”

The FSSM programme in Berhampur was lauded for “enhancing incomes of women collectives, ensuring community participation and ownership for sustainable FSSM and promoting women empowerment.”

Both initiatives were recognised for their contribution and relevance to the sustainable development goals.

The Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation aims to recognise innovation in improving social, economic and environment sustainability in cities and regions and advance the prosperity and quality of life of their citizens.

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