Resource and Support Centre for Development (RSCD)
Project – Panchayat Kayada Saathi
MF Issue Area : Women’s Empowerment
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The Panchayat is one of the oldest institutions of governance in the world. Although India has the distinction of having a very sound and structured system of local self-governance, RSCD’s work in rural Maharashtra has helped identify ‘lack of information’ as a major gap. There exists a disconnect between the elected representatives and the gram sevak/ Panchayat secretary. Information isn’t willingly shared/disseminated among those in power in the villages and the villagers themselves. This gives disproportionate power to those with knowledge of government schemes and services and budgetary information. The lack of technical and legal information has been a glaring but common phenomenon in villages in Maharashtra. The various power centers in a village, act as gatekeepers of information, hindering the democratic and developmental process, often adversely affecting the most vulnerable section of society. The Panchayat Kayada Saathi (Legal Colleague) Programme aims to minimize and eventually eliminate this problem. 100 women will be identified to learn and later lead their villages with regard to the various Panchayat laws, government schemes and regulations being implemented for village development, to ensure accountability, good governance and accessibility.