Government of the Punjab (GoPb) lit a candle from these experiences and handed it
to the PRSP, for the Punjab. “Social Mobilization” is perhaps more widely talked
about than it is content understood. Experience shows that a major
accompanies poverty is the poor needing support even for reflecting on problems
of poverty, for considering solutions, for forging linkages, for accessing resources
and services. “Social Mobilization” is a process that prepares the poor, and
creates in them a capacity, for undertaking all these poverty-combating activities.
The orthodox process of “social
mobilization” is designed around organization of the poor households through providing
skills, credit, creation of local capital and infrastructure – all facilitated by
a “support organization”. The purpose of such organization is the support
to initiate and sustain a process of diversified growth of economic, human and natural
resources for the household, for the Group and at the village level. Given
the multi-dimensional disadvantages connected with Poverty, this process can get
initiated only with advocacy, counselling, urging on with encouragement and persuasion,
creating a new thinking and kindling of a new spirit. All these, highlight
the need for a “support” organization hence the raison d'etre for the Punjab Rural
Alongside, the “core” RSP operations
are the other poor-centred interventions e.g. in Health, Education, Agriculture,
Livestock sectors. The impact of these interventions on poverty are universally
acknowledged. “Social Mobilization” continues to be the engine driving these
interventions. It is the life blood of all PRSP operations. It is the
currency in which PRSP conducts all its business. However, “social mobilization”
takes different forms as found relevant to a context. The number of beneficiaries
or stakeholders, for certain interventions, may be very large. The Group may,
therefore, need to provide “representation” to important interests rather than ensuring
the “participation” of every beneficiary. Groups may also have to conform
to different operational processes depending on the precise role that the interventions
envisage for them.
the first focus in the “broad brush” approach is on the community and not on the
household unlike in the “orthodox” RSP strategy. But the obvious assumption
is that the benefits of the “broad brush” strategy do reach the poor households.
Both paths lead to the poor household. The second path has shown that it can
carry the benefits to many more poor households. It, therefore, seems to deserve
a place, at the very least, alongside the first path in the PRSP strategy.
It is relevant to add here that the Endowment from the GoPb is accompanied by special
emphasis on precisely such social sector interventions that use the “broad-brush”
approach following the second path.