How special gram sabhas are held

Around 20 panchayats did not hold the special gram sabha on Rashtryia Balika Diwas because sarpanches were not communicated

brajesh

Brajesh Kumar | January 31, 2013



 “Ah there you are Lakma Ram,” said the peon at the block office. “Here is a ‘dak’ (communiqué) for your panchayat from the district headquarters. It has been lying here since morning waiting to be picked up by your panchayat secretary saheb,” he said pushing the envelope in Lakma Ram’s hand.

It was Januray 23 and Lakma Ram, the sarpanch of Chandela panchayat was visiting the block office to get some information on MGNREGS. Since the BDO wasn’t present in the office he did not get the information he was there to seek. Instead an envelope with urgent stamped on its forehead was handed to him.

As he opened the envelope and read the document inside, he rushed to his panchayat. He had serious work on his hand.

The next day was Rashtryia Balika Diwas (national girl child day) and according the ‘dak’ every panchayat was supposed to convene a special gram sabha and sarpanches were directed to take stock of the schemes affecting a girl child.

In the gram sabha, the assembled residents were expected to discuss a variety of issues related to a girl child viz. her education, health and give their feedback on the implementation of schemes affecting her.

In an hour or so, after having reached his village, he had sent information to all the households in his panchayat about the special gram sabha next day. The following day the gram sabha convened and he reviewed every scheme that affected a girl child and took the feedback from village resident on their implementation.

The working of the anganwadi centre was reviewed and so was the enrolment of a girl child in primary schools. He made a detailed note of all the feedback, passed his remark on each, and sent it to the block office.

“But what about the other 23 panchayats in Abu road block Lakma?” I asked him aware of the fact that Lakma came across the official communiqué from the district headquarters because he happened to visit the block office that day, and other 23 sarpanches did not even know about it.

“Only five other panchayats could convene the special gram sabha,” he told me.

Those other five panchayats that convened the gram sabha could do so only because their sarpanches happened to be friends of Lakma Ram (he telephoned them and informed them about the ‘dak’) and shared his ideals of working for the panchayat and its development.

“And, what about the feedback of the panchayats that did not hold the gram sabha?” I asked.

“Ah that will be done for sure. The panchayat secretary will make sure the paperwork will be completed without even consulting the gram sabha,” he said.

What a pity, I thought.

If the communiqué had arrived few days in advance and sarpanches were informed about it the collector would have known why Muniya was malnourished or Pinki was not going to the anganwadi centre.

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