The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad collaborated with the National Commission for Women to impart training to develop capacity of women Panchayat Pradhans and women members of the Panchayats as an effort to build their capacity in governance.
Both the parties on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding in this regard at NIRD&PR during the launch of a month-long Foundation Day celebrations of the Institute. Marking the inauguration of celebrations, the NIRD& PR organised the foundation day lecture on Wednesday. The lecture was delivered by Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Chairperson, National Commission for Women. The event began with inaugural address by Dr. W. R Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRD& PR.
Addressing the gathering at the event, the Director General said, since the inception, the Institute has evolved into a highly reputed organisation and became a brand in the fields of Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation. The Director General also mentioned that after the independence, we have achieved a lot in terms of inclusive development. But the country still has a long way to go in achieving 100% inclusive development, especially of the women.
The contribution of women in the inclusive development is unique and it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate their hard work by making it the theme of the foundation day lecture, the DG said. The government has done a lot in mobilising women and forming self-help groups which provided livelihoods to them across the country. “We at NIRD& PR have an exclusive Centre for Gender Studies and Development, which organises various programmes on gender equality, women empowerment. The Institute collaborated with various international organisations like UNO, CIRDAP and Asian Productivity Organisation in this regard.
The Institute also collaborated with the National Commission for Women to train women elected representatives from three States, Rajasthan, Jaharkhan and Assam on administration and planning skills. The training will begin with Rajasthan initially and will be followed by Jharkhand and Assam. Concluding his address, the Director General hoped that this initiative will bring a massive change in the grassroots level administration done by women elected representatives.
The collaboration between the NIRD&PR and National Commission for Women will focus to establishing partnership to take up various activities towards empowerment of women, training elected women representatives of Panchayats in particular. The first phase of training will begin in six districts of Rajasthan covering over 9,000 women elected representatives, followed by Jharkhand and Assam, NCW Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam said adding “As per the MoU monitoring of this project will also be done.”
The training to women elected representatives covers academics of governance such as administration, teach programmes available on money, teaching to conduct meetings besides imparting them IT training, she said. “While working with women in general and specially women from rural regions we realised that they are not part of decision making process. What we found that most Panchayat leaders don't understand administration like accounting, reporting, liaison with various government offices, how to conduct meetings, know the laws, etc. Hence, it is very difficult for them to participate in decision making,” the Chairperson said.
“Women have actually understood that when they can be successful Sarpanchs or members of the Panchayat, they are given a lot more respect because they have decision making power,” the NCW chief said. This is an effort to empower women to take their decisions and enable them to become contributing members of their own communities, and added the first round of training of Trainers (TOT) would start by this month end or December second week from Rajasthan.
She further said that NCW is developing an App and the elected women representatives will be taught on how to use IT, things like construction of roads, toilets. Beginning this financial year about Rs 2 lakh crore is going to be transferred directly to the Panchayats. Today 53 per cent Panchayat pradhans all over the country are women, she pointed out.
While delivering key note address on ‘Mobilising Women for Sustainable Rural Development’, Ms. Vijaya Bharathi, Advisor to the well known ‘Orvakal Mahila Podupu Lakshmi Ikkya Sangham’, said that Self Help Groups showed solution to many problems being faced by the downtrodden women. The creditworthiness of the women was recognised with the functioning of these groups, she said.
Dr. W. R. Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRD&PR added that NCW has developed training modules. “We will be using those modules and train the master trainers, who in turn will train the elected representatives at regional level at different clusters. This is basically a one year programme and will be done in collaboration with Rajasthan government.” “We expect to get into other activities also on field research and various other programmes like impact assessment,” he added. (NSS)