In the recent past, Federal Governments, the world over, have started decentralizing political, financial and administrative responsibilities to lower level institutions. In India the same has been done by promoting local Self Govenments known as ‘Panchayats’.
The local Panchayat is in direct contact and access with the people of villages as they serve to the daily needs of people in maintaining the roads with in the Panchayat limit, providing drinking water, street lights, maintaining the drainage and taking care of the waste disposal.
Politics in India is a bumpy road. Though to serve people, politics is the best avenue, not many chose to be a part of it, given to its nature.
But now in India, the local panchayats have broken this strong hold and gives an opportunity for those aspiring to serve people through this avenue.
Women empowerment has long been only in prints and speeches. The advent of information technology has opened the doors to many women and now the women empowerment has come into to the forefront in the cities, as women have already been exploring the IT (Information Technology) avenues.
Many have been waiting to see the women empowerment in the districts too. Of course, there are women who serve in the Banking institutions and in the Education field in the districts. But how about politics?
I was overwhelmingly happy, when I saw Smt Valliammai Achi serving effectively as the President of the Local Panchayat of the Nachandupatti District, in the deep South Tamil Nadu, standing as a testimony to women empowerment.
Valliammai Achi in her sixties is an inspiration to those aspiring to achieve in life, as she is one among those handful serving in politics.
She has to be applauded for her efforts, as still politics is only for the survival of the fittest.
When I expressed my wish to see Valliammai achi and her team in their office and discuss on their achievements, though on a Sunday afternoon, they readily accepted our offer and opened the doors for us and waited with some delicious snacks.
We were further touched when we were given a red carpet welcome and all of them waiting to interact with us.
Nachandupatti is a Panchayat with about 1,200 people with 509 men and 678 ladies. Though a small one. it has all the basic facilities that one may need every day from schools to hospitals.
It comprises of 6 wards and 27 streets. It houses a Higher Secondary School, 2 Elementary Schools and a play school, a Government hospital with delivery wards, permanent doctors, nurses with outpatient service. There is a free hospital too that the people can opt for. A weekly dental service too await the people here.
Further to the basic needs, ICCI Bank, Pandiyan Grama Bank, Union Bank, a post office, a Village Administrative office enhances this Panchayat.
In the night, the Panchayat is bright, as the 192 IMAS lights, 2 Solar lights provide electricity. Also, it is difficult to say that it is a village, as the 23 cement roads, two metal roads and the 5 overhead bridges drive the people easily from one part to another.
How can the people not Thank their visionary Panchayt President, who is always waiting at her office to listen to her ward people and help them without a single cent bribe? It is ever a heartfelt feeling for them to interact with her who goes an extra mile like providing them with a sort of over head Tank with 60,000 liters of water.
Hope more Panchayats in India empower women and many women come out of the boundaries of the kitchen and follow the foot steps of the Presidents like Smt Valliammai!