SRINAGAR – The Director, Rural Development Department Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Zargar has congratulated the six Panchayats of Kashmir Division for winning the prestigious National Panchayat Awards in recognition of their good works in various fields.
The Award winning panchayats include Banday Gram Panchayat and Monabal Gram Panchayat of Kupwara district, Takiya Batpora Gram Panchayat, Baramulla district Panchayat and Narwah Panchayat Samiti of Baramulla district and Shadimarg Panchayat Samiti of Pulwama district.
On the National Panchayat Day, 24th April, Union Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh and Lieutenant Governor, J&K, Manoj Sinha conferred the awards to the winning Panchayats. The awards were received by the Elected Panchayat Representatives of these Districts on behalf of the winning Panchayats.
The panchayats were awarded for exemplary performance in different categories including Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (DDUPSP) for improving delivery of services and public goods; Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP) for outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development by involving Gram Sabhas and Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (CFGPA) for adopting child-friendly practices. The awards were for the achievements of these panchayats in the year 2020-21.
Banday gram panchayat in Kupwara received the National award for its outstanding performance through effective Gram Sabhas during the appraisal period. ACD Kupwara, Mehraj Shah said that the Panchayat has made extensive use of Information Communication technology for seamless communication with the people. A facebook page of the panchayat provided people regular updates regarding the happenings in the panchayat and intimation for the upcoming gram sabhas. To make it more public friendly, the information was disseminated in the vernacular.
Similarly, whatsapp groups were formed where the PRIs and VLWs were in constant touch with heads of families in the panchayat to understand their grievances and design appropriate solutions. There was active involvement of ladies and SHGs. Public participation and interaction with representatives was not limited to gram sabhas but was made a conducive continuous process.
Similarly, Monabal gram panchayat in Kupwara, Narwah and Baramulla district panchayat in Baramulla and Shadimarg Pulwama received the award for improving delivery of services and public goods. In all these panchayats, the focus was on targeted problem solving. Extensive discussions were held in gram sabhas to understand the problems plaguing the people and accordingly solutions were developed. As the people were themselves involved in understanding the problem and designing the solution, people developed a sense of ownership which allowed for seamless implementation of the plans.
Dr Peerzada Farhat, ACD Pulwama said that in Shadimarg the service delivery was linked to peoples’ grievances. He said that through initiatives like awareness camps and sanitation drives conducted in one part of the gram sabha, the rest of the gram was made aware of the benefits of ensuring cleanliness and maintaining public hygiene.
He said extensive deliberations were held in Gram Sabhas to formulate plans with inputs from line departments on feasibility of plans being developed. He said convergence of plans under various heads and with technical inputs from various line departments, implementable solutions were developed. He said that such planning reinforced the faith of people in grassroots democracy and encouraged peoples’ involvement in delivery of public goods.
Takiya Batpora gram panchayat in Baramulla received the National award for child friendly work during the appraisal period. The ACD Baramulla, Yaar Ali Khan said that the PRIs held a series of meetings with the Health Department, ICDS, Education Department, Sanitation committees, Jal jivan committees to achieve the objective of quality Education, Zero Hunger, Good health & well-being and providing of supplementary nutrition. Fortnightly check up by health department, holding of monthly Bal Sabhas meetings, parent teacher meetings and ensuring the hygienic nutrition through the Agananwadi centres.
Steps were taken by Halqa Panchayats for improvement in enrolment with the help of the Education Department. Anganwadi centers played a vibrant role under the guidance of PRIs for converting the Halqa Panchayat into Child friendly Panchayat. Besides, the PRIs supported the immunization of children through timely information to the target groups. The panchayat developed a close coordination between ICDS, Asha Workers and self help groups for ensuring the due child care.
Director RDD Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Zargar said that with the advent of the three tier panchayati raj system, the role of administration has shifted to facilitation and enhancing participative democracy. He said that elected representatives are better versed with local issues and with support of officers, can direct development activities as per local priorities.
Zargar said that he has been regularly reviewing the performance in various districts on these parameters. He said in the new PRI driven system, the administration has to ensure convergence between the overall vision of UT administration in improving the rural infrastructure and lives of people and the vision of PRIs in identifying gaps, providing valuable suggestions and solutions to local issues and monitoring the overall implementation of the government programmes.