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The Gram Sabhas organised on Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary on 2nd October in gram panchayats, registered unprecedented public participation across India. It was organised in partnership with states and local governments as part of the Gram Samridhi Evam Swachta Pakhwada (Village Well-being and Cleanliness fortnight) from 1-15 October, 2017.
Gram Sabhas are integral function of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), function like mini parliament where elected representatives of gram panchayats as well as non elected representatives of villages participate and discuss on development works undertaken by gram panchayats.
Children conducted Prabhat Pheris in the morning to encourage all the adults of the village to attend Gram Sabhas. Women Self-Help-Groups (SHGs) of whom there are more than five crore members across the country, participated in full strength in the Gram Sabhas. Elected representatives of panchayats provided full details and disclosure of all the programmes being implemented in the gram panchayats and the money being spent on these interventions.
As part of the public information campaign during Gram Samridhi Evam Swachta Pakhwada, flex boards and wall paintings regarding all programmes, entitlements, beneficiary lists among other functions, have been put up in Panchayat buildings across the country for perusal of citizens. Work on cleaning public facilities like schools, anganwadi centres, panchayat ghars and public spaces is being undertaken during this fortnight with a thrust on overall cleanliness through better solid and liquid waste management. Concerted public campaign for behaviour change for use of Individual Household Latrines (IHHL), thrust on water conservation to ensure better water availability specially in 5,000 clusters, spread over 50,000 gram panchayats, in all states selected for coverage under Mission Antyodaya.
Through convergent use of resources from Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA), Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and other national and state level programmes sincere efforts are being made for a community led sustained interventions for cleanliness and well-being.
To promote well-being of households, efforts are being made during this fortnight to enlist youth and women for skill development programmes for diversification and development of livelihoods to improve incomes.