Shillong June 19 : A Regional Round Table Conference on “Delivering Democracy – Retrospect and Prospect” was held in Shillong on June 19, 2023. The conference was organized by Amazing Namaste Foundation and supported by Civil 20 working group to seek suggestions from the grassroots level through discussion to strengthen participatory democracy and inclusive governance in the North East region.

The conference was inaugurated by the Governor of Meghalaya, Shri. Phagu Chauhan. In his address, the Governor lauded the initiatives of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in increasing the participation of civil society organizations in strengthening democracy in different regions through Civil-20 under G-20. He also highlighted the workings of the traditional local administration systems which are still maintained in Meghalaya under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Dr. Basavaraju R Shrestha, Executive Director, GRAAM India Co-ordinator C20 Delivering Democracy Working Group, gave a brief outline on the importance and purpose of the Round Table Conference while highlighting the importance of documenting the case studies of the democratic practices in our country.

Chairman, Amazing Namaste Foundation, Shri Atul Kulkarni, in his welcome address spoke about various successful models of governance at the grassroots practiced in the NER. Amazing Namaste Foundation has been actively working with various CSOs functioning in the region.

The topics covered during the Conference included youth and democracy, people participation and grassroots democracy, civic and social engagement, digital democracy etc.

The conference was attended by over 100 participants from various civil society organizations, government departments, and academia. The participants discussed the challenges and opportunities for strengthening democracy in the North East region and made suggestions for future actions.

The conference concluded with a call for greater participation of civil society in strengthening democracy in the region.