Implementation of “Mainstreaming Gender Rights in Leadership at Panchayat Raj Institutions (M-GRIP)


Implementation of “Mainstreaming Gender Rights in Leadership at Panchayat Raj Institutions (M-GRIP)” project with the collaboration of European Union (EU) with the (Over all objective of “To ensure rights of women leaders in village Panchayat in practice and enable women leaders to perform and fight for gender equality”.

Specific objectives are:

  • To build specific skill sets to women leaders in village Panchayats to perform on their own and execute their rights.
  • To create gender responsive environment at Panchayat level, at block level and District administration level to address issues related to women rights.
  • To build network of women leaders at block and district level to sustain gender equity and work on women rights.

To achieve these objectives various capacity building initiatives are being taken during this year as follows.

1. Two set of structured trainings have been arranged for more than 650 women Panchayat presidents, 1800 women ward members and 6000 SHG leaders.

The content of the structured trainings are:

  • Understanding human rights
  • Understanding women rights and relevant women rights protection act
  • Understanding more about the local bodies in India, Tamil Nadu, the purpose, Functions, present issues in the system
  • Role and responsibility of the village Panchayat president, ward members and local community in the village Panchayat system
  • Gender status in village Panchayat system and gender budgeting

2. All these presidents are given opportunity to study one year distance education progamme on ‘Diploma in Panchayat Management’ and the regular contact classes, Reading course materials, writing examination and giving diploma for the successful completion of this course are part of this education course.

3. Providing Panchayat manual to the Panchyats as referal documents. All 650 presidents are provided a Panchyat manual as reading material to enhance their knowledge base on panchayat administration. This manual is very useful document which gives proper guidances for the panchayat presidents on their day to day administration.

Promotion of Network among the women Panchayat presidents

As a part of the capacity building of the village (Women Panchayat presidents and to strengthen their actions towards protect their rights. Net working is being promoted at block and District level. Such Block level Networking (BLN) has been promoted announced 52 and District level Networking (DLN) has been promoted for Madurai District. These Networking Executive Committee meetings are held once in two months and they started performing their role.


Impact of the MGRIP initiatives:

M-GRIP the joint initiatives of DHAN and EU, enabled the women presidents to some extent at this point in time. The significant number of Panchayats have started following some good practices at their Panchayats level. The followings are some visible impacts we observed in the middle of this project.

  • Around 120 women presidents have gained confidence for managing the Panchayat administration at their own without depending their spouse and another 200 women presidents are on the process with positive improvements.
  • Some good practices are being followed in some of the Panchyats so as to improve the democratic practices Panchayat level.

Micro plan preparation at village Panchayat level

people at panchayat level are participating for preparing their annual development plan for their Panchayats. All stakeholders from each hamlets are taking active role in preparing this plan document and it takes 5-7 days for a Panchayat. This plan document is being reviewed at their Grama Sabha Meeting’ and keep following the progress periodically. It is a good practice which is being practiced in more than 50 Panchayats this year.


Implementing social security programme at Panchayat level

In addition to the entitlement programme sponsored from the state Government, Few panchayats are trying to implement social security initiative like life insurance programme for the poor people. Jana Shri Bima Yojna (JBY) a simple product implemented by LIC of India is being implemented in more than 30 Panchayats and covering the life risks for more than 7000 members. Panchayat is acting as a nodal agency for implementing this programme. The annual premium is Rs.200 per head, Out of which Rs.100 is being given by the central Government and 100 is being paid by the respective member. This product provides pay out of Rs.30000 for natural death, Rs.75000 for accidental death and for TDA. This initiative is not only covering the risk of the poor but also inculcate the habit of insuring among the poor villagers.


Implementing MNREGP

Attempt has been made in 5 Panchayats to implement the programme more effectively. Viz. enrolling all the poor in this scheme, bringing work output, wages payment in time, introducing insurance scheme for the labors etc. In addition, the social audit process were initiated in Panchyats to create awareness among the community as well as ensure the quality of the work.


Voter list updation

To refine the voters list, updation of voter list is being done. In 25 Panchayats. By this way, 25 Panchayats are having refined voters list and the polling percentage of vote is significantly increased in these Panchayats.


Nutrition Security

The state government is very keen on ensuring the food security to the poor through the PDS system as well as by implementing as the NREGP. But the nutrition security is still challenge for the poor. Some of our working Panchayats are involving in promotion of kitchen garden through the individual families. This programme is being implemented in 68 Panchayats and covering more them 6000 families in this programme. By this small initiatives, very good impact was created by these Panchayats.


Quality Grama Sabha meetings

Grama Sabha is the unique forum which provides space for all Voters to participate, contribute and to ask questions. In many places it is not properly functioning. In our working Panchayats more them 200 Panchayats are conducting Grama Sabha Meeting regularly with quality. In addition the panchayat council meetings are also held with quality. The working committee at Panchyat level are functioning well in 10 Panchayats. By this practices, the democratic systems are getting strengthen at grassroots level.


SHG linkage with Panchayat

Now a days, the SHG movement are emerging as development organizations. They are coming up in many Districts and most of the poor people are part of this people institutions.

These SHGs are oriented to mainstream with the village Panchayat institution. By this way the poor, especially women section are able to actively participate in the Grama sabha system and their Panchayat activities. Panchayat can also take the support of SHGs and get strength from this arrangement. This process paves the way for brining quality administration especially in village Panchayats.

International Women's Day Celebrations in Five Districts - March 05-10, 2014