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Other States - Rajasthan Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Call to make panchayats self-reliant

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, MAY 22. A two-day workshop here over the week-end for elected women representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions belonging to Scheduled Castes provided them an opportunity to understand the issues before the village panchayats and their role in the social and political empowerment of women to intervene in their matters.

The State-level workshop was organised at the Indira Gandhi Panchayati Raj Evam Grameen Vikas Sansthan here under the aegis of the National Women's Commission. A call was given on the occasion to strengthen the economic position of panchayats to enable them to play a meaningful role in social transformation in the rural areas.

The women representatives who attended the workshop included the Sarpanches, Pradhans and Zila Pramukhs from various districts. Each of them provided a brief account of the problems confronting the Dalit, Scheduled Caste and disadvantaged women in their regions and the role expected of the panchayat bodies in improving their lot.

The Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Department, M.K. Khanna, speaking at the valedictory function, said the panchayats should be made self-reliant especially on the economic front so that they could play an influential role at the local level. He also underlined the significance of imparting regular training to the elected representatives on the identified themes.

Mr. Khanna apprised the participants of the "revolutionary changes'' being witnessed in the realm of decentralisation of power with a wide range of authority exercised by the Panchayati Raj bodies. He pointed out that the distribution of wheat obtained from the Food Corporation of India and the steps to increase the employment avenues for women formed part of the panchayats' increasing powers.

The Director of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes in Rajasthan, G.S. Somawat, said the lack of literacy among the elected women representatives of panchayats was a major stumbling block to their effective functioning. He called for holding regular training programmes for women representatives in the State to overcome this inadequacy.

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