Resort facilities

Madhya Pradesh women’s panchayat raises hopes for better schooling and Anganwadi facilities

“Children are often denied an education because there are no public schools in this village. To go to school, they have to travel almost 5 km to the village of Pandariya,” admits the farmer Bhairon Singh. Jatavwho owns a 1.25 acre farm.

Jatav is not the only one upset about the lack of public schools in Adampur Chhawani, Phanda Janpad of Bhopal district.

Laborer Ballobai agrees: “Our village suffers from a lack of good roads, electricity and drainage. But these problems are small compared to the need for educational facilities here, which affect the future of our children.

“There is neither school nor Anganwadi here. Ten years ago, an Anganwadi was installed in rented accommodation. The structure is now in ruins. Close for five years, it has been used as a refuge for animals,” Ballobai laments. She thinks it is wiser to elect women for the Gram Panchayat, as they “might take access to educational institutions more seriously than previous male representatives. .”

The sarpanch and 20 panchayat members of this all-female panchayat were elected unopposed this year. The members of the panchayat elected by this village of 3,842 inhabitants are a heterogeneous batch made up of graduates, those who are running for office for the first time, but also those who have studied only until the fifth grade. Interestingly, although the sarpanch seat was reserved for a backward caste (OBC) candidate with no specific gender priority, Krishna Rawat, a 22-year-old housewife, was elected sarpanch. During the previous term, although the panchayat was headed by a woman – Shakun Neemnarayan – the rest of the panchayat members were men.

Local resident Misribai told 101Reporters: “In addition to education, roads and drainage, the garbage dump in Adampour is a big problem. The stench and leachate from this landfill have contaminated the waters of Adampur and Haripur villages too. We sincerely hope that our women-only panchayat will address this problem.”

Earlier this month, 101Reporters covered the landfill disaster that affected nearly 200 families in Adampur Chhawani Gram Panchayat, which appears to be the main issue in this election.

Development roadmap

Sarpanch Krishna Rawat, who holds a postgraduate degree and was elected unopposed by the electorate, told 101Reporters that a roadmap for the development of Adampur Chhawani is underway.

“We decided to renovate the building in which the Anganwadi functioned in the past, and to restore it to working order. For a year and a half, when I arrived in this village, I have seen children attending schools in the villages neighbors. Thus, I have prioritized the establishment of a government primary or secondary school here.”

Explaining the seriousness of the landfill problem, she added, “There was a lot of opposition from the villagers when the landfill was moved here by the City Corporation. It is now a major problem. discharge is to ensure that it is maintained diligently.We will begin by filing complaints.If these do not yield results, we will resort to protests.

Rawat believes leachate from the landfill is affecting the water resources of nearby villages and National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders are not being followed.

Based on the announcement of the prize money to an unopposed all-female panchayat, newly elected Rashmi is waiting to disburse the amount for the school building plan. CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan had declared a cash incentive of 15 lakh for a collectively agreed all-female panchayat.

Moreover, she clarifies: “There have not been any roads built in our village since 2019. There are also not enough drains; the few existing ones are in poor condition. So we started building drains while getting ready to handle the other jobs in due time. »

Echoing Rashmi’s development views, his colleague, Seema, says they intend to send across the Anganwadi and school construction plans to the Zilla Panchayat soon. “If necessary, we will also discuss this with the local MP and the Chief Minister.”

Explaining the closure of the local Anganwadi, Ex-Sarpanch Neemnarayan says, “The Anganwadi operated from rented premises in the past. But due to the sad state of the building, it had to be closed for security reasons. renovate the building when the panchayat elections came. Therefore, nothing could be done.

How an all-female panchayat came into being

Recounting the process, Bilkhariya Mandal Prashant Thakur, ex-deputy sarpanch, told 101Reporters: “Initially, the villagers came up with my name as a sarpanch, but after CM’s announcement, I thought of an all-female panchayat. We agreed that the name of Krishna, my younger brother’s wife, would be proposed instead. Moreover, the village elders and former members of the panchayat agreed. »

Commenting on the fact that her family had nominated her daughter-in-law Krishna for the post of village sarpanch, mother-in-law Kusumbai said, “When my son first recommended my daughter-in-law for this post, I I hesitated, wondering how she would reconcile our home with administrative responsibilities. But today, I am proud of her for having taken the reins of the village.