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Flashback: Chandor village plan

how the village must develop over the next

five years. After eight public meetings in all wards of the

village, they came out with a five-year plan.

"The sincerity of our panch members will be gauged by the

alacrity with which they carry out the proposals in the

people's plan. The gram sabha and all villagers of

Chandor-Cavorim expect the panchayat to immediately start

working out the cost of implementing the proposals outlined

here," said Tiago Miranda.


The Five-year People's Plan for the Sustainable Development

of Chandor (2007-2012) was presented to the village gram

sabha (village council meeting) on December 10, 2006 in the

panchayat hall.

Accepting the plan, the chair of the gram sabha, the

sarpanch, announced that the panchayat would soon call a

special, or extraordinary, gram sabha to discuss the plan.

However, that has still not happened, but villagers have not

lost hope. People have various demands, and these, form an

integral part of the People's Plan for the Sustainable

Development of Chandor (2007-2012). They have short term and

long term plans.

The villagers propose to have a waste reduction and recycling

system before June 2007, 100% literacy before 2008, village

land cooperative by June 2007, increase locally generated

income to at least 50% of total village income, raise two

crops by 2012 through natural, ecologically-sound organic

farming, set up a gas agency, a petrol pump and a bus service

through the village cooperative before 2008 and make the

village Panchayat totally people-friendly by December 2007.


Give the economy a little push by promoting agriculture,

tourism, dairy farming, horticulture, poultry, and animal

rearing. Encourage people to go for natural farming, using

organic manure and farm as a cooperative, treating all the

Communidade land as an indivisible, collectively owned unit.

Also restore the vil1age to a point in time when myths seemed

natural enough, to attract tourists. Also promote backwater

tourism. Keep the village centre and tintto (market) clean,

less crowded and unpolluted as possible and plan sub-markets.

Besides, build a new structure to construct a new identity

that people immediately connect with Chandor. Also promote

dairy farming as an important economic activity in the

village, with the panchayat promoting welfare of "dairyists".

Also consider a cooperative dairy farm in the village and

provide "dairyists" a common site for their milch animals, to

pre: vent inconvenience to nearby residents.

Dedicate most of the non-paddy Communidade and private land

to a mix of horticulture, poultry, animal husbandry and

piggery projects. Rush mat weaving, using the Iou reed found

over large stretches near the marshy areas around Cotta and

Guirdolim, is another possibility considered in the plan.

The Handicrafts Corporation and the Industries Department

make funds available for conducting training in rush mat

making. Develop small fisheries projects, using government

schemes for inland nurseries


A recycling unit could generate fertilizer for the

cooperative farm and create a couple of jobs too. The

panchayat has enough funds funds.

Also attempt to reduce the amount of garbage created in the

village, particularly in the market place and in the church

environs and come up with waste reduction systems. At least

ten compost stations to be dug up at various points in the

village immediately.


Attract more government funds by pulling in more welfare

schemes into the village. Taxes are another source of income

the panchayat needs to pursue seriously.

The increased income may be spent on a free anti-rabies

vaccination pro¬gramme for all registered dogs in the

village. They also talk about the role and importance of

Panchayat, Sarpanch, panchas and Gram Sabhas.


With the Communidades of Cavorim and Chandor proving

incapable of protecting village interests, the villagers

suggest that it is time for all Chandorcars (villagers of

Chandor) to take over the task of safeguarding the physical

integrity of the village and of the means of sustenance by

forming a villagers' cooperative to oversee the egalitarian,

sustainable and cooperative development of our village.


Channel some of the foreign money into income-generating

projects in the village. Ensure some enriching activity, for

Non-Resident Chandorcars when they return home for their



Early commencement of and completion of the proposed bridge

over the railway tracks near New Township. While planning

more roads and new bridges, ensure safety on roads. Provide

proper parking place, bus service and electricity.


They also talk about empowering children and women. Besides

improving school infrastructure, provide for an outdoor

badminton or tennis court, gymnasium, table tennis, a

community TV set, computers, newspapers, magazines, and even

dancing in the corner if some people feel inclined to move a


"After all, the development and prosperity of our village is

the responsibility of all Chandorcars," added Fernandes.


This article was first published in the Gomantak Times issue

of February 25, 2007, under the title "People's Plan --

Chandor" and is authored by Preetu Nair.

Nair is a senior reporter at the Gomantak Times and can be

contacted via email or at the newspaper offices at Sant Inez

in Panjim, Goa 403001. Her blog is at

Linken Fernandes can be contacted at Chandor via phone


Chandor shows us what development from the grassroots really

looks like

By Rahul Goswami

The community of Chandor has made and delivered an emphatic

statement. The 'Five Year People's Plan for the Sustainable

Development of Chandor (2007-2012)' is a document whose

importance cannot be overstated for Goa. A work-in-progress,

for that is what it is, it contains the spirit and confidence

of a community in itself, awareness of its location as a unit

and of the desired future of that unit, and it shines with a

sense of belief, enthusiasm and community solidarity. Chandor

has gifted Goa a model of thought and intent, no less.

Even as, through 2006, the sound and fury about Goa's

Regional Plan 2011 gathered and grew, the Chandor Development

Forum was putting in place the very mechanisms, the very

processes, that had been found to be absent in the

state-level plan.

"A development plan is ideally prepared with the active

participation of all the people for whom it is intended,"

states the preface to the Chandor document.

"It was therefore proposed that the views of all the

residents in the village should be sought and their

aspiration and hopes understood before the plan was

finalised. Subsequently, some villagers took it on ourselves

to go around every corner of Chandor and ask people for their

views on how our village must develop over the next few


How very different, how much more truly democratic, more

genuinely representative than the 'official' plan for the

state of Goa, which was dislodged only via popular outrage,

public protest and legal challenge.

Indeed, independent of state-sanctioned departments and

methods -- and of the the reformed planning paradigms that

are only very slowly taking root in the country -- the

Chandor Development Forum has shown how 'participation' must

work in theory and practice.

The Planning Commission, in its direction to the state of

India for the preparation of district level plans, wanted

that "the early part of the year 2006-07 should be devoted to

preparing for each district a vision, through a participative

process starting from the grassroots, as to what would be the

perspective for development over the next 10 to 15 years."

The articulation of such a vision is best done in each

planning unit, right down to the gram panchayat level,

stating with respect to each area what the needs and

potential are, what the attainable levels are and what the

goals to be reached could be.

A basic requirement, the Planning Commission tells us, is

that the preparation of the vision is not conditioned by

schemes and programmes. I shall repeat that for the benefit

of Goa's 'monntris' (ministers, or, losely, politicians) who

spawn schemes and programmes with the speed and alacrity of

the anopheles mosquito -- community vision is not equal to

socio-political bribery.

This vision is needed to primarily articulated in terms of

goals and outcomes and would address basically, three aspects

of development: human development indicators, infrastructure

development and development in the productive sector.

The Chandor document is excellently articulated (Linken

Fernandes and comrades, take a bow) and it has put in place

the structures that will enable the community --

Chandor-Cavorim and Guirdolim -- to fill in the three aspects

of development.

The idea is that the envisioning process, being

participative, builds a spirit of teamwork and begins the

process of breaking down the departmentwise 'planning' that

is now dominant and which plagues Indian national and state


Are we happy living the way we do now? Does Chandor's

physical environment and living spaces promote a healthy,

stress-free life for our children and us? Are all the

conditions present that can ensure that our lives will

continue to flourish?

Are the institutions which have such a big influence on our

lives locally -- the school, the panchayat, the comunidades,

the fabrica -- performing optimally and in our best

interests? These are the key questions that the Chandor

document asks and then proceeds to find answers to.

At the national level, such a question-and-answer approach is

called 'envisioning' and incorporates ideas of attainment

regarding vital social needs such as education, health, water

supply and sanitation.

At a central level, the means for inclusion of women in

development planning and implementation is to ensure that

part of sectoral funding is available and used for women.

However, equality has to be built into the envisioning

process as a whole by ensuring that women have an important

role in the design of the entire panchayat/community plan,

rather than only in the 'womens' component'.

For example, in surveys involved in the planning process, it

needs to be ensured that womens' views are especially sought,

including through focus group discussions.

Women community leadership will need to be identified and

included in committees that may be formed under various

sectors, to ensure that women are included in planning for

sectors other that social development, such as

infrastructure, use of common lands, natural resources and


In ensuring meaningful participation of traditionally muted

and excluded groups like tribals, dalits, women and

minorities in the envisioning exercise, there is need for

special capacity building for them. Networks of elected women

members ought to be encouraged so that they can exert

collective pressure as well as throw up leadership.

Chandor's example has shown that what was brought about by

design in Kerala -- the democratic decentralisation of

economic planning -- is now 'development from below' in Goa.

Choices of local development projects need to be left to the

community, for they are th best placed to assess and judge.

Projects are to be conceived, formulated, implemented, and

maintained by the local self-governments, including those

empowered under the Panchayati Raj Act. In such a process of

change, the role of the state government in local level

development will be reduced -- as is the case in Kerala -- to

that of a facilitator providing funds and guidance.

This is a landmark for the state, and Goa's 189 panchayats

must make -- right now -- a reading of the Chandor document

mandatory for themselves and their communities.

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