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The 73rd Constitution Amendment came into being in April 1993. It is an enabling provision, re-empowering Gram Panchayats and rural masses. Gram Panchayat, with all its limitations, remains the best possible local body created by the Constitution to elicit people’s participation in development process. Impacting and empowering the PRIs would lead to more sustainable development process.

MMBA is running a programme Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions through Women Leaders. The main objectives of the programme were:

  • To moblise community so women are able to articulate their voice
  • To build capacity of women elected representatives and women’s group
  • To influence the local governance process
  • To strengthen network of elected women representative at different leves
  • To ensure wide dissemination of field process and facilitate replication

The organisation emphasises on active participation in decision making by weaker sections, and on enhancing their role, status and leadership in local self governance. It focuses on building, promoting and empowering new leadership of women, dalits and other weaker sections of rural communities.

As a part of the programme training of elected women representatives have been held and workshops for different stakeholders of Panchayati Raj system held. A campaign has been conducted on strengthening Gram Sabhas. Panchayats are being enabled for addressing rural employment under NREGA.

Panchayat Resource Centre

MMBA successfully ran a Panchayat Resource Centre at Barmer district with the objective of providing continuous support to PRIs. The resource centre is a one stop shop for the Panchayti Raj related services. This centre provides various services to PRI functionaries and rural masses in general at Barmer district in Rajasthan.

The following services are being provided by this resource center:

  • Information dissemination on all panchayat related matters to PRI functionaries, i.e. sarpanchs, panchayat secretaries, ward panchs, aanganwadi workers, ANMs, etc
  • Panchayat system related information to all masses in general
  • Information about the functioning of Panchayati Taj Institutions, laws, rules, schemes, etc.
  • Detailed information about government schemes for rural masses
  • Developmental schemes and guidance
  • Training on developmental issues
  • Training on life skills to adolescents
  • Special awareness campaigns and training programmes for women on Gender Issues, Health and Reproductive and Child Health issues
  • Special Adult Literacy Campaigns for the Panchayti Raj Functionaries

Advocacy for Rights

Women panchayat representatives are not only discussing routine issues in panchayats, but also social issues too like alcoholism, primary education, health issues and violence against women. Advocacy is being carried out by MMBA on the issue of NREGS, right to information, mid-day meal and promotion of girl child education.

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