|To empower the NGOs in their pursuit of bringing about social reforms, a
workshop was held on Wednesday where details of parliamentary
procedure, role of parliamentarians and legislators and effective ways
to approach them were shared with participants.
The one-day workshop, titled Parliamentary Procedure and Engaging
Effectively with Parliamentarians and Legislators, was held at YASHADA
and attended by 16 NGOs working in different areas of concern. The NGO
representatives were informed about work profiles of the MPs and MLAs,
functioning of the Parliament. The tips to get involved at policy-level
operations of the country were also shared with the participants.
“We work closely with the MPs and conduct researches based on the
tracking we do. We not only keep an extensive account of the MPs
performances, but also work towards ensuring transparency and
participation in the legislature. This initiative aims at involving NGOs
in the process as the valuable work that they conduct at grass-root
level does not help in bringing about policy-level changes just because
they do not know how to approach an MP or an MLA, who are the policy
makers. Through this workshop we train the NGOs the various approaches
and areas where the public representatives can be tapped,” said Tonusree
Basu of Delhi-based PRS Legislative Research, which along with CSO
Partners, an organisation working towards creating constitutional
awareness amongst masses, had organised the workshop.
It threw crucial light on various aspects related with the
functioning of the Parliament like the sessions in the House, the roles
and responsibilities of MPs, parliamentary standing committees, etc.
which the NGOs can target in order to reach their representatives.
“Advocacy is an important aspect while working as an NGO. As a
democratic nation, people are our strength and while working for the
people, we need to know the ways to approach the representatives. For
instance, the Raigarh SEZ was called of because the local leadership was
compelled to oppose the same by local residents. The state SEZ policy
on the other hand was approved as there was none to challenge the same.
This just means that people’s voice has to reach the representatives and
the NGOs should play a crucial role in doing so for which knowledge of
parliamentary functioning is important,” said Amit Narkar of National
Centre for Advocacy Services (NCAS), an NGO working for advocacy who
participated in the workshop.
Usha Pillai of Catalyst for Social Action, an NGO working for
orphans, said, “Major policy-level reforms are needed in our sector. For
instance, the agencies in villages have children and no adopters,
whereas in cities there are adopters and no children. Not only that,
adoption licenses is another concern. Last year, we submitted a petition
to the Prime Minister... Engaging with the parliamentarians is an
irreplaceable part of the NGOs area of work.” The workshop will now be
conducted at Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangaluru in the days to come.