Mangaluru, Mar 12: 'We the People', a new civil society organisation, was launched at a function organised at Fr. L.F. Rasquinha Hall of St. Aloysius College in the city recently. The organization aims to deepen democracy and improve the living standards of citizens in the Dakshina Kannada.
During the launch, experts highlighted the importance of citizens' participation in the effective functioning of a democratic system. They urged citizens to bring any observed deficiencies to the attention of the authorities and emphasized the critical role civil society organisations play in this process.
The function was presided over by Padmanabha Ullal, a senior social worker, and retired officer, who also launched the organization's website, www.we-the-ppl.org. In his address to the gathering, Ullal emphasized the need for citizens to take responsibility for identifying and reporting problems and grievances. He stated that only through people's participation can the system work more dynamically.
The chief guest, Katyayani Chamaraj of Civic Bangalore, expressed concern that the government has the wrong policies for solving the problems of the municipalities. She urged civil society organisations to inform local government bodies of people's demands.
"The Ward Committees are not allowed to function properly, and Area Sabhas have not been constituted yet. Unlike rural areas, a social audit is not done in urban areas. Civil society organisations should constantly make local government bodies aware of the people's demands. Advocacy should be done for people's work; if unavoidable, issues can also be challenged in court," she said.
Prof. D. Jeevan Kumar, Hon. Professor of Karnataka State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj University, Gadag, quoted comparative studies and gave suggestions for developing the democratic system in India. Melanie Kumar, a freelance journalist, spoke about the dangers of social media.
President of 'We the People,' Prathapchandra Kedilaya, explained the organisation's aims and objectives. He also announced that the Association would be convening a brainstorming meeting with social activists from across the Dakshina Kannada district within the next ten days. The purpose of this meeting would be to address the various social issues affecting the region.
The Vice President, Mariete Fernandes, welcomed the gathering. Secretary Oswald Periera gave a vote of thanks. Treasurer Suresh Nayak and Executive Members Bhaskar Kiran, Dilip Vas Naik, Gladys Monteiro, and Steevan Dsouza participated in the inaugural.
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