Odisha’s MUKTA scheme bags WRI Ross Centre Prize in New York

Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) Principal Secretary G. Mathi Vathanan receives international award at a special event organized in New York.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s MUKTA scheme accorded a global recognition as it bagged World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Centre Prize for Cities for the year 2021-2022.

“MUKTA” – the Urban Wage Employment Scheme under the 5T Initiative of Odisha Government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik – was selected as a winner through a competitive process among 260 applications from 155 cities in 65 countries.

The winners were announced at Prize for Cities event held at the Ford Foundation Centre for Social Justice in New York City on February 1.

Accompanied by Odisha Housing and Urban Development (H&UD)’s Joint Secretary Sarada Prasad Panda, Principal Secretary G. Mathi Vathanan received the international award at the special event organised in New York.

The Prize for Cities is WRI’s Urban Transformation Award recognizing the leaders creating more sustainable and inclusive cities worldwide. The award acknowledged MUKTA’s innovative approach to responding to uncertainty, disruption and crisis by creating large-scale jobs for the urban poor, informal and migrant laborers by engaging them in development works as a mechanism for cities to live and thrive in turbulent times.

So far, 7 lakh urban poor and migrant workers across Odisha’s 114 cities have been engaged in 22,500 community-level development works worth Rs. 208 crores, which includes paved roads, drains, rainwater harvesting, community centres, plantation, water bodies rejuvenation and public space development.

Besides, 5,368 Mission Shakti Groups and 438 slum dwellers’ associations have also been engaged as implementation partners under the ambitious scheme of Odisha Government.

MUKTA scheme is lauded for the swift response of Odisha in introducing a new scheme to meet the emergent situation and its courage for entrusting the execution responsibilities to the Mission Shakti Groups and Slum Dwellers Association instead of engaging contractors. The scheme also helps in the creation of community-level civic facilities in an equitable manner.

Government of India, too, has appreciated and applauded the Odisha Government’s efforts and recommended the Odisha model of MUKTA to other states for replication. In view of success of the scheme, the state governments of Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have rolled out their urban wage employment schemes on the lines of Odisha’s MUKTA for the creation of employment opportunities for the urban poor.


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