Rourkela Smart City Finds Place among Top 10 Indian Cities in Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge | News Room Odisha

Rourkela Smart City Finds Place among Top 10 Indian Cities in Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge

Rourkela: Rourkela Smart City has found place among top 10 Indian cities as part of the ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’ under the aegis of the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India.

Rourkela has achieved the feat for creating formal play spaces in informal settlements and introduced lactation booths in public spaces for the convenience of nursing mothers.
Other winning cities include Bengaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Indore, Jabalpur, Kakinada, Kochi, Kohima, Vadodara, and Warangal.

The Finalists were selected following a comprehensive evaluation by a jury of representatives from MoHUA, BvLF, and independent experts in the fields of urban design, early childhood development, and behavioural change.

In the first stage of the challenge, the Rourkela Smart City Limited (RSCL) and Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) jointly responded to MoHUA’s open call for proposals to implement neighbourhood-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.
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.

“Happy to note that Rourkela is one of the Top 10 Cities in the ‘Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge’. Under the program, future plans are being made to provide children with a variety of components, a better environment, and to build better relationships between senior citizens and children in urban slums,” said Nikhil Pavan Kalyan, Collector Sundargarh.

RSCL and RMC targeted interventions in the Basanti Colony and Udit Nagar neighbourhoods spreading across 7 wards. Infants and toddlers living in informal settlements on the periphery of these neighbourhoods 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 counselling stations for pregnant mothers and kitchen gardens.

Envisioning holistic development catering to the most vulnerable parts of the city, 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.

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