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Poverty eradication to be focus of gram sabhas

Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM: Gram sabha meetings to be held on January 26 will focus on poverty eradication and implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, according to Collector R. Palanisamy.

He told presspersons here that the gram sabhas would take stock of the functioning of the Village Poverty Eradication Committees and, wherever needed, new committees would be formed to achieve the goal.

Enumeration of those above 60 years but without any means of livelihood would be carried out and the gram sabhas would explore the ways and means of providing them with food, shelter and healthcare services.

The gram sabhas would also help them get enrolled under the below-the-poverty line category to benefit from welfare schemes.

For protecting

interests of STs

Mr. Palanisamy also said that for protecting the interests and rights of the Scheduled Tribes, the session would analyse issues such as land acquisition, land auction and bonded labour, if any, in their traditional habitations.

The meetings would also take cognisance of differently abled persons by arranging for their registration.

If there is more than one differently abled person in a single family, the gram sabha would give priority to the family for getting a house.

Realising the role played by self-help groups in the empowerment of women, the gram sabhas would also focus on enrolling more number of women and concentrate on forming SHG federation.

The financial aspects of SHGs, such as the size of the bank assistance to be obtained, would also be discussed.

Social audit mechanism

The gram sabhas would also put in place the social audit mechanism to keep a tab on the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme.

Those village panchayats that would either be reorganised or regrouped would have to get special permission from the Commissioner, Rural Development Department, for conducting gram sabha meetings.

During such a session, they should discuss pertinent issues such as number of hamlets to be attached or detached, number of households, details of the electorate and so on, Mr. Palanisamy said.

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