PUNE: A training module developed by a city -based institute for empowerment of women representatives in local self-governments has been selected by the Commonwealth Local Governance Forum (CLGF) for promotion in member countries.
Conceived by YASHDA (Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration) here, the module is being employed in Maharashtra to train elected women members of local self government bodies such as Panchayat Samitis, Grampanchayats, Zilla Parishads and municipal councils.
“The recognition by CLGF of our ‘Panchayat Mahila Sashaktikaran’ module, which was developed to spur the movement for women’s empowerment in rural and semi-rural areas, has come as a morale booster for our team,” said Jayshree Tadelkar, coordinating officer-in-charge of the women’s empowerment cell at YASHDA.
Although the number of elected women representatives in local self-government has gone up following the introduction of 50 per cent reservation, it is seen that at times they lack proper access to government schemes and resolutions pertaining to the work cut out for the respective bodies.
“The YASHDA module is simple and spread across a day with instructors using just the infrastructure arranged by the host block development officer (BDO),” Tadelkar said.
Participants are told about the avenues of obtaining the information which is necessary for them in the discharge of their duties in a democratic set-up and also encouraged to take up issues related to women’s welfare and empowerment, such as the prevention of female foeticide and building of toilet blocks.
“At one place, during the training programme, women representatives informed us about the steps taken by them in order to stop harassment of girls by eve-teasers on state transport buses in the area,” Tadelkar said, talking about her experiences with the module.
YASHDA is now mulling an integration of the Panchayat Mahila Sashaktikaran programme with the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan to make it more expansive and effective.