Need to revisit Mahatma Gandhi’s tenets: Aruna Roy

Monday, February 3, 2020, 10:48

Roy alluded to the alleged murder of RTI activist, Ranjan Kumar Das in Odisha, and said that hundreds of development activists die in India every year.

New Delhi: Urging the need to listen to the voices of the community, social activist Aruna Roy asked for a return to Mahatma Gandhi’s doctrines. “There is a need to position Development Management within the inequities and call for social justice (…) We need to revisit the tenets of Mahatma Gandhi and our freedom fighters in being able to listen to the voices from the community and people.”

“Development Management is not for profit, it is for well-being and we need to collectively define our wellbeing,” said Roy who is also the founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan. She was speaking in the capital on February 1 at the Development Management Day event organised by the Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a pioneering institution established to develop the discipline of Development Management.

Roy alluded to the alleged murder of RTI activist, Ranjan Kumar Das in Odisha, and said that hundreds of development activists die in India every year. Former Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, who was also speaking at the event emphasised the importance of establishing a connection between the economic and democratic crisis currently faced by the country. “Development cannot take place in the absence of rights and democracy. (There is a) clear link between democracy and development, and we need to begin to stop seeing these as two independent processes,” said Shetty.

February 1 was being celebrated as Development Management Day for the second year by well-known social sector leaders with the goal of making a large group of conscious, responsible and professional change leaders.

Currently, India has over 3.3 million Non-Profit Institutions (NPIs) employing over 18.2 million people, making it one of the largest and most active social economies in the world. “We need young people who are leaders, who are mission-oriented, committed to making a difference in the world, who don’t worry about profit. We need to be able to think at scale to ensure impact,” said Ashish Dhawan, Founder, ISDM and Founder of Ashoka University and Central Square Foundation.

All the speakers unanimously agreed that the proliferation of development management as a separate discipline is sorely needed in India. “In the last four years, our efforts have been towards strengthening the domain of Development Management and the larger development ecosystem. The relevance of ISDM is even more today than from the time it was conceived and set up,” added Ravi Sreedharan, Founder and Director, ISDM.