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Rourkela shortlisted for ‘Nurturing Neighbourhood Challenge’ cities

Rourkela was selected after thorough evaluation of their proposed and implemented projects by a jury consisting of representatives from MoHUA, BvLF, and independent experts in urban design, early childhood development, and behavioral change.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Smart City Rourkela has found a place among the Top 10 Cities of India as part of the ‘Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge’ under the aegis of the Smart Cities Mission of the Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. Rourkela Smart City Limited said in a statement on Monday.

Rourkela was selected after a thorough evaluation of their proposed and implemented projects by a jury consisting of representatives from MoHUA, BvLF, and independent experts in urban design, early childhood development, and behavioral change.

“The Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSCL) and Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) jointly responded to MoHUA’s open call for proposals to implement neighborhood-level pilot projects improving public spaces, streets, transport, and access to services to enhance the health and wellbeing of 0-5-year-old children and their caregivers”, said Subhankar Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSCL)

In February 2021, Rourkela was shortlisted by an expert committee from 63 applicant cities across the country. Over the next 7 months, it was part of a cohort of 25 cities that received technical assistance and capacity building to solicit citizen participation, implement trials and pilots, and build consensus around their proposals, he said.

RSCL and RMC targeted interventions in the Basanti Colony and Udit Nagar neighborhoods spreading across 7 wards. Infants and toddlers living in informal settlements on the periphery of these neighborhoods access nearby Early Childhood Development (ECD) services.

Recognising anganwadis as one of the most important ECD services, the city upgraded two Anganwadi Centres with play spaces, nursing cum counseling stations for pregnant mothers, and kitchen gardens.

RSCL and RMC have jointly taken measures to create learning-based play areas for underprivileged children and the community at Malgodam and Leprosy Colony, towards strengthening healthy development in the early childhood years.

 “Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge helped us to visualize and see how much we can do for infant, toddler, and caregiver communities in our city. This becomes a platform for us to work under the areas of early childhood education, Mother and children’s health, slum development, women freedom under the umbrella of infant, toddler, caregiver-friendly and the children-friendly city”, Mohapatra, CEO, RSCL concluded.