DSS has organized Workshops for the newly elected gram panchayat Presidents, Vice- Presidents and Ward members of Ranga Reddy, West Godavari, East Godavari and Krishna districts in Andhra Pradesh.
The workshops were held in the revenue division head quarters of respective districts as follows:
On 12th September 2013 the workshop was held at Ambedkar Bhavan, Chevella, Ranga Reddy district
On 13th September 2013 the workshop was held at Municipal office, Vikarabad, Ranga Reddy district
On 24th September 2013 the workshop was held at Bishop House, Eluru, West Godavari district.
On 25th September 2013 the Workshop was held at Manda Satyanarayana Kalyana mandapam in Narasapuram, West Godavari district.
On 26th September 2013 the workshop was held at Ambedkar Bhavan, Amalapuram of East Godavari district.
On 27th September 2013 the workshop was held at Meherbaba Kalyana mandapam, Machilipatnam, Krishna district.
In all the districts, the newly elected Presidents, Vice-Presidents and ward Members
both men and women have participated in large numbers. Dignitaries like Mr. Sampath Kumar RDO – Amalapuram; Mr. Leela Mohan, Deputy Executive officer, RVM Eluru; Mrs. Mani Singh, SC\ST Sub-Plan District convener; Mr. Sudarshan, Mulnivasi Sangh ; Mr Naga Raju, Dalit leader have participated in the workshops and shared their ideas and suggestions. DSS state team Jhansi Geddam-Convener, G.D.V Prakash-Programme manager, Susanna-State Coordinator, V. Bal Reddy-Administrator and N.Santosh Kumar-Finance officer have taken part in these workshops and have spoken in detailed on different aspects. District coordinators Bhagya Laxmi, Narsimhulu, Jyostna, Shanthi Rekha, Rajamani and Praveen Roy have presided over the meetings in their respective areas.
Convener of DSS, Jhansi Geddam detailing about the objective of the workshop has said that the 4 components covered such as:
1. Roles and Responsibilities of Panchayatraj leaders
2. Necessity of Personality development to Panchayatraj leaders
3. Gender Perspective
4. Awareness on SCP/TSP Act
Convener of DSS in her speeches said the entire development of the villages would mostly depend on Panchayatraj leaders and they play a key role. The people in the villages have elected them as their representatives with lot of expectations and they should work for the progress of the villages with great commitment, honesty and sincerity. They should never misuse the powers given to them. She also reminded that the Sarpanch is the first citizen of the village like the President for the country. They should command such respect from the villagers. The Panchayatraj leaders should keep aside their own families for at least span of their term because the villages in the Panchayat becomes their actual families once they are elected as people representatives.
She has interacted with the participants with some questions like “have any one of you elected as the leader for the second time?”, “If not, why?”Most of the times the answer
was “No” and if it is yes, the number was very less. Then she explained the reasons for the leaders not being elected for the second time. She explained the need of Personality development and the way how a leader should speak, how their body language should be, how they should think about different aspects in different point of views irrespective of Caste, Class, Religion and Gender with examples.
She has also mentioned the importance supposed to be given to the women. She said that in most of the cases the women are confined to certain limitations by men with in their family though they are elected as leaders by the public. They would be presented as the leaders just for name sake and all the authority would be performed by their men (Father, Husband and Brother). She has warned such men to stop these kinds of practices and allow women to perform their duties. She has mentioned that the Government is going to organize various awareness meetings and training sessions with Panchayatraj leaders. Later she has briefly explained about the SCP/TSP Act and the necessity of its implementation and has given a brief detail about the Budget allocated for different schemes in the Plan.
Programme Manager G.D.V Prakash has explained the roles and responsibilities of Panchayatraj leaders comprehensively. He said that Grama Sabhas should be held at least once in every six months and Sarpanch is will preside the Grama Sabha and all the voters in the Panchayat are its members. There will be various development committees with subject experts. He said that Audit report, Annual report, Action Plan, new taxes or revised taxes, Schemes, recipients etc. are the things to be discussed during Grama sabhas. He has mentioned about the powers of the Sarpanch like presiding Grama sabhas, implementing the decisions taken up during board meetings, examining records, organizing Panchayat board meeting during every month etc.
He has also explained the rights of Ward Members to question Sarpanch in case of irresponsibility, damage to assets and right to verify the records and discuss on administrative aspects. He has clarified the authorities of Panchayats like;
(i) To repair and construct Buildings, bridges, canals etc
(ii) To repair and arrange street lights in required places
(iii) To clean the damaged Wells in the villages
(iv)Construction and maintenance of burial grounds
(v) Safe drinking water
(vi) Registration of births and deaths
(vii)Safeguarding resources etc.
He briefed about various sources of income, house taxes, taxes on production, taxes on transfer of property, taxes on agricultural lands etc. He also explained about SCP/ TSP Act and the budget of Rs 8584 crores allocated for different schemes in the Plan for this year and the details are as follows:
Quantum of budget to SC Corporation has been increased from 90 crores to 1124 crores. The quantum of subsidy per head will remain the same, but the number of units has been increased in big number.
Land purchase under SC Corporation has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to 5 lakhs
88 crores allocated for the waiver of electricity charges to each SC/ST household in government colonies consuming 0-50 units of electricity per month.
600 crores for the completion of incomplete 2.35 lakhs houses @ Rs 45,000/- per house
200 crores for laying the roads in SC colonies
Online transfer of Pre-Metric scholarship for V – VIII standard children studying in government schools and aided schools
23 crores for the repair of Ambedkar Bhavans
1098 community halls (one for each mandal) @ Rs 7.5 lakhs per community hall
Social Welfare Hostel & Residential Schools: (All together 728 works worth of 1758 crores will be taken up in hostels and residential schools)
To construct 100 hostels for college girls @ 3 crores per each hostel
To construct new building for 85 hostels
To construct 67 Integrated hostels (children of all communities) @ 3 crores per hostel
87.5 crores for minor repairs such as doors, windows, flooring etc
To construct toilets for 65 hostels in rented buildings
To establish 15 social welfare society residential schools @ 15 crores each
259 crores for furniture including cots for children in 150 social welfare society residential schools
Sampath Kumar RDO of Amalapuram has said that the sarpanches should stop looking for grants and concentrate on the individual schemes. He stressed for working with participatory approach to avoid opposition. The decisions should not be taken one sided, instead form committees like anganwadi centers, schools, sanitation, roads, water, etc ensuring the representation of all the castes in the village including the ward members. With this there will be participation in the governance, thus reducing opposition. He has said to implement this method and check its viability. For instance based on the report of respective committees
on the functioning of sanitation workers, anganwadi workers, etc, their salaries can be paid. Due to these practices the accountability increases and ensures transparency in governance. In general the officials take one side in order to protect themselves. Actually caste, class plays a key role in the politics. The politicians recommend the schemes to their own groups irrespective of the need and therefore it is our responsibility to make them understand about the vulnerable and the needy with authentic date. Hence we need to prepare the list of the beneficiaries by collecting authentic data available from government offices, match it with the AADAR number and the ration cards, list out the schemes availed and the schemes yet to be received and prioritize.
In all the workshops in four districts, the Panchayatraj leaders have appreciated DSS for its effort in strengthening them. Women leaders also have spoken in the workshops and expressed that they got some really important inputs and suggested to take forward this message to maximum number of leaders who are confined to certain limitations. The participants have expressed the problems being faced by them and have given their suggestions for better functioning of Panchayatraj leaders. Some of them are as follows:
(i) MLAs not to be as ex-officio members, as their presence will affect their identity.
(ii) Joint cheque power to be removed and kept with President as the secretaries are incharge for 4 to 5 villages and are not available as and when required.
(iii) If Grama Sabhas are held twice in six months, there would be more possibilities to submit representations to all the concerned district officials and get the required works resolved.
(iv) Many of the Panchayatraj leaders have expressed that they does not even know who are the Superior officers and whom to be approached for different issues in Villages hence steps should be taken to create awareness.
(v) The Panchayats should be given all the rights in Education and Health sectors.
(vi) Women leaders asked for separate training from them
(vii)Workshops should be organized also in Mandal levels so that maximum number of Panchayat Raj leaders get aware
(viii)Sarpanches not informing to the ward members of opposition group about the board meeting.