Idanna mama” …a Vedic verse (in Sanskrit)Translation: Whatever I am offering is not mine. None of this wealth, this power, education and belongings are mine…all are from the grace of Ishwar (God).“If you find it in your heart to care for someone else, you will have succeeded.“Be the change you want to see in the world” It starts with you. If not you, who? And if not now, when? Have confidence in your ability to make a change. you truly can make a difference.

ABSTRACTThis paper attempts to illustrate the contribution of NGOs towards sustainable community development. NGOs have many programs, functions and roles which assist community to become empowered, and eventually attain sustainable development. This paper reviews some of these roles, functions and programs of NGOs, such as microfinance, capacity building and self-relianceNGOs, through capacity building, develop community capacities such as ability, skill and knowledge of mobilizing resources, planning and evaluating community initiation and solving problems to gain the mastery over their lives. It also motivates the community to participate in the projects and help them to improve quality of their lives, NGOs mobilize the communities to be self-reliant. It assists the communities to discover their own potentials and rely on their own resources. In short, this paper demonstrates that all these programs and functions of NGOs could contribute towards the realization of sustainable community development.

NGOs constitute a viable alternative to government as channels of development assistance, particularly in developing countries. Some of the NGOs’ functions and advantages, according to Streeten (1997) are (1)they are good at reaching and mobilizing the poor and remote communities; (2) they help empower poor people to gain control of their lives, and they work with and strengthen local institutions;(3) they carry out projects at lower costs and more efficiently than the government agencies and (4) they promote sustainable development.In this article two aspects will be discussed, first, the relationship between NGO and empowerment as a particular virtue of NGOs, and second, the strategy and program undertaken by NGOs that contribute to sustainable community development.


The day has come when NGOs will no more be doubted. Their credentials have to be accepted by national and international organizations and their word has to carry the full weight. As such the NGOs have also to be alive to their responsibilities. This calls for a debate on the restructuring of the NGOs themselves along a broad democratic base. They must, in due course of time, become the icons for democratic ideology and dispensation.

The picture of the importance and role of the NGOs, which we are contemplating, eventually necessitates considerable expansion of NGOs, their structure, their corpus of activity, their accessibility and their fund of achievements. It is also a reality and a necessity that NGOs world over confederate into a universal body with regional trappings and then co-ordinate their efforts of building a new civil society in which justice and equity rule the roost.

*Professor,School of Management Studies, Adikavi Nannaya University, Rajahmundry,Email:profpsrmurthy@gmail.com

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