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Workshop for Panchayat Raj Leaders

A one day workshop for the dalits elected to Panchayat Raj respective levels was held at HASSS, Hyderabad on 18th October 2010. ZPTC, MPTC, Sarpanchs and Ward members from 8 districts have participated.

The Convener has briefed about the objective of the workshop and has stressed on the need of capacitating the panchayatraj leaders for effective functioning.

K Madhava Rao IAS – Former Chief Secretary of the state participated as the chief guest. He said that the reservations in panchayatraj are being implemented only in our state. We got this due to the constitution amendment made by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The five tier system brought in the panchayatraj enables the participation of the poor and taking the governance to the gross root level. Though many of our leaders are getting elected due to reservations, but the power is lying in the hands of the dominant community. The main reason for this drawback is lack of knowledge on the Act including the roles and the responsibilities and much dependency nature. Recollecting the past he has given various examples where in the dominant community has exploited our representatives in panchayatraj, thus even leading to false cases. We can overcome only when we stand united. Hence the role of organizations like DSS is very crucial in bringing all on to a common platform.

B.Tharakam Senior Advocate-High Court and State President-RPI has said that he is surprised to see so many ZPTC, MPTC, Sarpanchs and Ward members belonging to dalit community coming to a place and has appreciated DSS for doing so.I am very proud that you have

entered politics and have won in the elections. You should work hard and try to grow up in the politics and even aim for higher positions such as minister, chief minister and even president of India. To achieve this we need to be self disciplined, honest, commitment for the community, knowledge on the respective Acts and unity among us. You should know your roles and responsibilities as sarpanch, ward member etc and discharge your duties. This is the time that you should be cautious as the time for the elections is nearing and the government eagerly looks for appointing special officers in our place to grab away the power from our hands.

Dr Siddoji has said that he has come all the way back from Australia to serve the community.Likewise the responsibility of the dalit community lies on the shoulders of everyone here in this workshop. The leaders here are the future MLAs and MPs

As a leader we need to have capability and at the same time should sacrifice for the sake of community. You are reaching the end of your tenure and unless and until your performance is up to the mark you can’t win in the next elections. A leader is the one who represents all and at the same time you should pay back to the community. As the responsible person of the village you need to know the needs of the community at large, individual needs and address them. At the same time you should have control over the schemes and programs being implemented in the village and lay much emphasis on NREGA.

In the next session the Program Manager explained to the participants on the 73rd and 74th amendments of the constitution through which the Panchayatraj Act has come into force. The participants were explained about the Panchayatraj Act, the need of Gram Sabhas, Ward Sabhas in dalit localities, their role in the assessing the needs of community and individuals, ensuring the active participation of dalits laying much focus on dalit women, likewise to put much focus on effective implementation of NREGA for accessing more number of work days for dalits.

In the concluding session the participants shared their experiences and assessed their needs. Likewise they have requested to hold these workshops at district level in regular intervals for them to be capacitated to discharge their duties. They also shared their problems and the humiliation being faced by them.

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