Women power shines at GPs

When Jayalakshmi, the Talapady gram panchayat (GP) member decided to take on gambling (matka), an issue that affects the poor families in the region, she knew she could not do it alone. With the help of other GP members, she complained to the city police commissioner and was able to put a full stop to the gambling activities at her village.

This was one of the success stories that women gram panchayat members shared at an interaction programme of members of Sugrama, a federation of women gram panchayat members, organised by the Jana Shikshana Trust, The Hunger Project, Mangaluru Press Club and Apna Desh here on Friday. 

She said that she will start creating awareness on cleanliness in all the SC/ST colonies. Explaining how she fought all odds to distribute 135 title deeds to the poor homeless families, Vrunda of Meramajalu said she was able to distribute title deeds for the poor with the help of staff in the gram panchayat.

By prevailing upon the health minister, a sub-centre of the PHC was sanctioned to the village. The work on the sub-centre building has already started, she said.

Motivated by her brother, Presilla of Bajathoor GP, said she has decided to donate her body and has completed all the formalities needed for it. She said, “When the dead body can become useful for the medical students to carry out studies, why one should not become a part of it? As a member of Sugrama, I have come to know about various programmes of the government and the whole functioning of Panchayat Raj system.”

Jaya of Bannur GP said, “I was empowered after I became a member of SHG associated with Madari Grama Vikasa Kendra. As a job card holder of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), I, along with other job card holders, have been successful in planting fruit-bearing plants in anganwadi premises,and schools.
By creating awareness on ill effects of burning plastics, I have been successful in prevailing upon my villagers not to burn the plastic carry bags.”

Realising that solid waste management is a challenge for the gram panchayat, Neelavathi Shivaram of Kadaba GP said cleanliness awareness rally was organised.

The members of various organisations and gram panchayat members carry out cleanliness drive in the gram panchayat limits every month. The work on a anganwadi building will be taken up under MGNREGS shortly, she added.

Sowmyalatha Shetty of Palimar GP said she has been creating awareness among her ward citizens on the facilities available in the GPsz and how to utilise it. Jana Shikshana Trust Director Sheena Shetty and Krishna Moolya said women elected representatives from 45 GPs  in Dakshina Kananda and 15 in Udupi taluk are the members of the Sugrama federation.

The federation members should work together in order to make the institutions more powerful. They should facilitate better awareness among public on various welfare schemes and their implementation, she added.

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