Peace and Development Initiatives:

Gajapati district is an adjourning district to Khandhamal District of Odisha. During last communal conflict in Kandhamala district the effect of conflict had spilled over to some part of Gajapati district where there was habitation of mixed community. Ramagiri Panchayat of R.Udayagiri Block in Gajapati district because of its cross community living where Dalit Christians were minority, was identified one of the most sensitive Gram Panchayat to communal conflict . Though there was high tension during the period of communal conflict but any unwanted situation was avoided due to proactive measures taken by the district administration. However Eighty percent of people living Ramagiri Gram Panchayat are poor and live under impoverish condition.

So harmonious relationship among the community was necessary for people to over the poverty and bring improvement in their socio - economic situation. It is a fact that peace is necessary for development and without peace development cannot be achieved or sustained. Since IWD had fairly good rapport with women members in the community due to its work with Women Panchayat members. So IWD took the challenge to bring people of cross community of Ramagiri Gram Panchayat to one common platform and mobilise them to work together for the development people and the village.

Through the process of Village Peace and Development Committee and Gram Panchayat Peace and Development Committee the people of all the communities were brought together to a common plat-form including religious heads, school teachers and other people where a conducive environment was created to identify issues or conflicts that were common to all and causing tension. The collective of action of the villagers has solved problem of water supply that caused the maximum irritation, long pending issues of management of common land and supporting poor eligible persons to get social security benefits from Govt. The collective action of people was well demonstrated when people from all communities came forward to help the victim of fire accident in the yearv2014 in Ramagiri village.  The villagers have put forward a demand before Govt. for staring of a high school particularly for the girls and a fire station and grant of lease title under FRA.  The women members feel that the liquor is the major cause of all types of conflict in home and also in community. So they have come out leaving their caste and religious identify behind and commonly campaigning to stop the sale of liquor in the Panchayat.