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Our Village, Our Development – Training For Gram Panchayat Members

A training was organized for Gram Panchayat Sarpanch, Deputy Sarpanch and members at Zilla Parishad Primary School Auditorium, Awarpada, Kotbi (Gram Panchayat Chari- Kotbi). The two-day training was facilitated by Datta Gurav from Resource Training and Development Centre and the theme of the workshop was Our Village – Our Development. AROEHAN Governance activists Bhalchandra Salve and Sneha Gamre guided some of the training topics. The theme of the workshop was. A total of 7 Gram Panchayats (Ranshet – Wadhana, Chari – Kotbi, Raitli – Chandwad, Sarani, Modgaon, Dabhadi, Kinhwali) of Dahanu and Kasa Divisions, Sarpanch and Sub-Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat members, PESA President, Villagers, Pada Committee members were part for this training.

Datta Gurav provided information about the job, finances, and procedures at the Gram Panchayat level. A group activity was conducted where Datta Gurav asked them to prepare an estimated gram panchayat development plan, prosperity plan, and sanitation plan. We looked at how to identify the needs of the village, what funds are available for village development and gram panchayat development plans. Every group presented the problems they had chosen and their planning methods. On behalf of AROEHAN, Governance activists Bhalchandra Salve and Sneha Gamre gave guidance on the importance of PESA, PESA Village, facilitating School Management Committee (SMC), funds available for village development and how to avail them.

At the end of the training, the participants expressed their thoughts and experience with school funds, anganwadis, and Samrudhi budget. Vasundhra Kalangada, Sarpanch of Chari-Kotbu Gram Panchayat delivered a vote of thanks to AROEHAN and expressed her thoughts on the importance of Gram Sabha. She encouraged the locals to participate in village development programmes and spoke of the significance of proper segregation of funds.


25 years of PESA Act Enactment: The Strength of Tribal Community

Mokhada taluka of Palghar district have different communities and cultural diversity. Tribal people here belong to various communities such as Varlis, Thakurs, Kathkaris, Dublas, Vaitis, Konkanis, Dhodiahs, Dhorkoli and Mahadeo Koli. The Provision of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA and the Panchsheel Principles of India guarantee protection to indigenous people. Indeed, the Indian Constitution is constituted to protect the tribal interests, especially tribal autonomy and their rights over land, through the Fifth and Sixth Schedules along with PESA Act that was enacted on December 24, 1996, to enable tribal self-rule. PESA offers a great opportunity to provide equitable governance in tribal areas of Mokhada. AROEHAN organized and conducted a “Rally for Rights” in Mokhada to celebrate the true spirits of democracy and self-governance.

The celebration started on 23rd December with a Rally for Rights from three junctions of Mokhada and continued by the rally on 24th December at Hutatma Smarak at Mokhada.  People from different villages/padas and Gram Panchayat’s gathered together to celebrate 25 years of PESA Act enactment in tribal areas of India. The rally was carried out from Birsa Munda Chowk to Hutatma Smarak at Mokhada Taluka, Palghar. The local tribal people asserted their rights by reciting “जल, जंगल, जमीन आमचा अधिकार” and “आमचा गाव, आम्हीच सरकार” on the way to Hutatma Smarak. The entire rally had an atmosphere of empowerment and self-governance. The Adivasi culture was portrayed through folk dance, music and street plays. Children adorned the traditional attire and performed at the event. Mr.Amit Narkar, CEO of AROEHAN sparked the audience with his inspirational talk, highlighting the significance of PESA and the need for its ground-level implementation. Furthermore, informative pamphlets were distributed amongst the masses present. The program ended with a spirit of upliftment and the need for self-governance was felt right through the crowd.