Panchayati Raj plays an important role for the development at the grass root level if utilised in a constructive way. The term Panchayati Raj is a system in which gram panchayats are basic units of administration. It has been established in all the states of India by the acts of the state legislature to build democracy at grass-root level. The government of India appointed a Balwant Rai Mehta Committee in January 1957 to study the Community Development and National Extension Service programs, especially from the point of view of assessing the extent of popular participation, and to recommend the creation of institutions through which such participation could be achieved. The Committee recommended the constitution of statutory elected local bodies with the necessary resources, power and authority devolved to them and a decentralized administrative system working under their control.Rajasthan was the first state to establish Panchayati Raj.The scheme was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on Oct 2, 1959, in Nagaur district in Rajasthan.
Almost for the construction of every Panchayat Ghar in Kashmir,the Government has invested more than 20 Lakh for raising the infrastructure of every Gram Panchayat in a phased manner.New concrete Buildings have been constructed for Panchayat Ghars at the huge cost on the public exchequer..
Do they really serve back for what purposes they have been established,huge funds have been spent on the construction of Gram Panchayat’s which almost remained locked throughout the year except on few occasions or on the visit of concerned BDO’s or other officials one’s or twice a year during Gram Shabas.
Most of the year these Gram Panchayat’s remain hub for all the illegal activities be it smoking ,playing cards or for other immoral activities,In majority of the villages these Panchayat Ghars and their surrounding areas have turned dumping sites as most of the domestic garbage and wastage are being dumped in their surroundings or nearer to it just because Panchayat’s remain locked most of the year and are being opened only on few occasions mere for show off..
The huge incidents of burning of Panchayat’s in last year were reported from different parts of kashmir ,these are mostly the handwork of miscreant’s, only an insane person can think of that because these buildings are the asset’s of every village and can be used for various productive works which can benefit the village as a whole but unfortunately they remain mostly sealed throughout the year except on official visits which hardly took place not more than 10 times in a year..
Panchayat Garhs become easy targets as they remain ideal and locked throughout the year..
Even after investing huge from public exchequer on these Panchayat’s still within years these buildings look like the century old structures without doors, broken windows as if they were damaged in encounters..
The Government must utilise these Panchayat Ghars for the maximum benefits of the concerned villages and to ensure that money from public exchequer must be utilised in a very constructive ways,
Every Panchayat consists of almost 3 rooms which includes a meeting hall as well.Hardly people visit these Panchayat’s except when gram Shaba,s are organised they visit mostly for the small works or to register their works under NERGA, and those people are mostly politically connected persons ..
Majority of the villegers even don’t visit on these days too,youth folk are mostly not interested in these Panchayat’s and their traditional workouts where there is a myth that only the Seniors and elder one’s have right to ask and manage the affairs of such institutions.
The best what the government can do is to keep these Panchayat’s open throughout the year by establishing a small library cum news paper reading rooms in every Panchayat Ghar.it will help to make these Panchayat’s functional which mostly remain locked throughout the year and it will give people a reason to go there at least not for their individual motives rather people will assemble there to read the news papers and other reading materials available there.such initiatives can turn Panchayat Ghars into information and knowledge hub rather then the Aakhada for division on political lines.. it’s the best constructive way to lure our youth folk towards these Panchayat ghars who are least interested at least they will find a reason to visit Panchayat’s..the need of the hour is to turn Panchayat ghars into social institutions rather than the political institutions which mostly people can observe because of the non participation of people in the day to day affairs of these institutions..
Why news paper reading rooms must be opened in every Panchayat ghar,in the era of technology we can access everything through internet at home or by our smart phones,but still the technology has not completely overwrapped the essence of reading once we become habitual of reading ,it becomes our addiction than which we cannot give up too easily, missing news paper reading gives you the sense of restlessness and you will find something missing throughout the day ..
It would be better if our Panchayat’s will be surrounded by youth for information and knowledge purposes rather than surrounded by chain smokers, drunkards and other anti social elements which we mostly observe around the Panchayat Ghars because panchyats remain the least visited zones and become easy targets for immoral and illegal activities
The GRS Gram Rozjar Savak of every Panchayat Ghar or the Concerned Sarpunch should be assigned the job to look after the reading room in every Panchayat..
Establishment of reading rooms in every Panchayat will not cost lakhs ,it needs only an investment of 100 Rs per day ,we can have at least 10 news papers from different publishers in an investment of Rs 100 and if Government cannot bear this additional economic burden , let them assign this job to local volunteers just provide them a room in every Panchayat for the establishment of reading rooms so that the dead institutions of Panchayat Ghars will be boosted with a new spirit and their natrious tags for which they are being recognised will be erased once for all..
The order of spending two nights for the gazatted officer in the assigned Panchayat’s will not make them to feel the essence of these Panchayat Ghars. These will be turned guest rooms for two days ,Four Gram Shaba’s ,two days gazatted officers visits and two more days inspections will not change the stories of the whole year of these Panchayat’s,efforts must be made to make common facility centres in Panchayat Ghars as well and to ensure the maximum people’s participation in these institutions by making them functional not only on Gram Shaba’s or on the visits of some officials of rural development departments..make them productive for the local inhabitants not for just to please the officials during inspections or visits which they do hardly few times in a year .
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.