Chennai, Sep 24 (IANS) Social organisations and activists in Tamil Nadu have urged the state government to conduct gram sabhas seriously and properly.
The next gram sabha is scheduled on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti day.
The state government had announced that gram sabha meetings would be held six times from 2022 during which various issues, including developmental and the teething problems faced by the villages, will be discussed.
A study by social action group, an NGO based out at Madurai, found that the last gram sabha held on August 15 had a meek representation. The NGO in the study said that even after local people submitted petitions and memorandums to the respective district authorities, there has been no proper conduct of the gram sabhas leading to very low participation in it.
Sukumar Achary, an activist associated with Social Action Group while speaking to IANS said, 'While gram sabha has agenda to discuss local issues as well as pertaining issues related to the development at the local level, without proper publicity how can people attend the sabha. '
Interestingly, during the August 15 gram sabha in almost all the districts announcement had come only a day before the date of the programme and this led to a very low participation in the programme.
Sreekala Kumaresan, who attended the grama sabha on August 15th at Chengalpattu while speaking to IANS said, 'The participation was less due to very little publicity. Other than this there was not much discussion being held during the session and this makes us feel as to why I attended this programme.'
However, the state government officials told IANS that the government is planning to conduct a meeting with 100 performing panchayat presidents across the state next week. The inputs received during that meeting would be useful in chalking out programmes for the next gram sabha.
Sukumaran Achary, however, said that the gram sabhas in Tamil Nadu were turning into a farce as even Block Development Officers and Panchayath heads do not have a proper understanding of these.
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