Query: Exposure Visits for Panchayat Members and Representatives, from Future Generations Arunachal, Itanagar (Referrals) Compiled by Alok Srivastava, Resource Person; additional research by Happy Pant, Research Officer and Tina Mathur, Research Associate 20 November 2006
It is a very good idea to have farmers/ Panchayat functionaries having exposure to different states. These types of schemes are sometimes already available under various departments. The gap is that often departments do not implement them properly. Recently I have seen a very good scheme in Department of Animal Husbandry under which 10 farmers from Andaman and Nicobar Islands are selected and taken on exposure tour to various states to have experience in practices in Animal husbandry & VS of India. Similarly there are schemes in Agriculture Department, Fisheries etc. Now with the devolution of powers to PRIs, the Zilla parishad under the three tier system has also taken such exposure tours for PRIs of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to various states of India. But I do agree that Arunachal and also other states must visit Kerala for getting better exposure to functioning of Panchayats. I also think that people from Arunachal Pradesh must visit Andamans to see how we live in this remotest part of India (!) PRIs here are also taking active role in participation in governance
Query: Panchayats and Local Bodies in SEZ Development- Advice; Experiences Compiled by Alok Srivastava, Resource Person and Jeevan Mohanty, Research Associate 28 May 2007
First of all there is a need for having database panchayat wise, of all the resources available in the villages. GIS could be used to advantage in the planning of SEZs as location for SEZs could to be identified on basis of availability of resources – natural and human. However proper mapping is also required vis a vis the neighbourhood.
In planning and execution PRIs can also play an important role. If PRIs do not approve the establishment of SEZ then it could be stopped from being established. However in the wake of recent controversies regarding SEZ we have to see that valuable agricultural land is not be acquired for SEZ. SEZs could also be set up for making some innovative agricultural projects or agri-based projects then only the agricultural land can be acquired for the purpose. For example, the Municipal body of Agra can develop an SEZ taking advantage of the tourist traffic in connection with Taj Mahal to synergise the tourism based industry. This SEZ could be small in size and not having manufacturing industries causing pollution. It could provide a platform to local artisans to sell their products and to provide space to firms which are also engaged in promoting the handicraft, processed food, and all other necessary amenities. All this can be done by the AGRA municipal bodies no body will stop them from doing so. If possible they can take help of local people/communities participation. The Municipal Corporation can keep clean the entire area around the Taj for its protection from environment pollution. Boating could be introduced in Yamuna behind the TAJ to give tourists glimpse of the TAj from the river etc. There are certainly possibilities in this area.
Food and Nutrition Security C Community Environment Water Community Solution Exchange for the Food & Nutrition Security Community Solution Exchange for the Water Community Consolidated Reply Query: Use of Human Excreta for Agriculture – Experiences
Query: Use of Human Excreta for Agriculture – Experiences Compiled by Gopi N. Ghosh and Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Persons and T. N. Anuradha and Ramya Gopalan Research Associates Issue Date: 30 September 2007
For this query, I think it would be good to draw learnings from the experiences of Sulabh Shauchalaya (http://www.sulabhinternational.org/index.html
). Twenty years back when Sulabh was just a starter we used to read and think lot of things about using the urine and excreta for several purposes, debates were on in public media but I don’t know of any kind of concrete experiments carried out in producing urinase from urine or producing manure from Sulabh Shauchalaya. But however if toilets are made available at every bus terminus of big cities this can be then comes the airports and railways stations and wagons. Traditionally farmers in interior rural belts have been using the excreta as manure in fields. Because since ages they had been going out to fields for this purpose. Problem of having the toilets in the households was highlighted only because of urban slums and the areas captured by the urbanisation. I mean the areas which were in periphery of cities, after the industrialisation have been captured by the urban and became part of the cities outskirts then only the problem of sanitation came to fore. Other wise in interior rural areas usually the practice of going out in field has been in existence. And the garbage collected near the fields is used as manure in fields. The garbage dumped at a place, which is called as “Ghoora” in my village, consist of daily garbage of household and also the foliage, dung etc all put together for months. During the month of June and July, this is spread in the fields just before the monsoons. The practice has been changed on the introduction of the hybrid varieties of plants and the farmers were taught that to get high yields you have to use fertilizers. Similarly, the biogas was also tried to be made popular in rural areas. But strangely the success rate of gobar gas was not much up to the expectation. This was meant for large holding farmers and/or it was supposed to be a community affair where many families can join together. That too remains a dream. However, corporate under the PPP- public private partnership can be roped in by the ministry and or by the states which have independency in many affairs can initiate this on priority, and health aspects can be taken care by the departments concerned and educating on vector borne diseases.
The problem of contamination of crops is another issue, which is directly related to this discussion. In our Indian Tradition, during the months of rainy seasons, which is called as “Chaumasa” means four months, one should not eat the green leafy vegetables, dairy products etc. This was idea to save life by observing these very simple things to avoid any infections. Now a day everything has changed. We use thesk of infections/infestations. There are also examples of vector borne diseases, which are being tackled. Similarly if this humanure is used, methodology for reducing the infection will also have to be developed. Regarding the usage of sewage in agriculture, I will have to say that in many parts I have found that small plot holders are using this unknowingly. The canals, which were initially the rainfed now after the urbanisation, are functioning as the sewage canals outlets for colonies developed on the agricultural lands. I saw this in Kanpur. Areas developed on the road from Kalyanpur to Panki, the areas in Bithoor mandhana. Also the pumps churning out groundwater is contaminated, this water is being used in irrigation. No scientific study has been carried out for the impact.
While preparing the Annual Budget & Works Plan for SSA I also felt that not much could be done in Rs 15 lakhs. For two districts, we received only Rs 30 lakhs under computer education. It was very difficult for grassroots functionaries to decide how to implement the scheme. It was also not fair to give only a few schools this facility while depriving others. There would have to be some criteria for selection of schools for this programme. We considered the idea of a “Vidya Vahini” (mobile computers), but could not implement it due to the scattered and remote nature of the islands and the lack of power in villages. For secondary schools, we implemented a computer education programme with the support of some private parties. The Azim Premji Foundation did a good job in rural Karnataka, where they provided computers, printers, etc under the CALC (Computer Assisted Learning Centres) programme. I understand that the initiative was taken up under SSA by the State Directorate of Education as a public private partnership. For the first year, the Foundation paid for young volunteers for these centres, after which the government took over. Volunteers were selected from the village itselfand were trained by the Foundation. Although there were power problems in a few villages, these were managed with the use of solar powered batteries. The Foundation has supported a strong network of volunteers for this project who constantly remained in touch with the district education officers. One of the reasons this project was successful was because it involved the PRIs. The Gram Panchayats were roped in and motivated to provide classroom space. In return, the community was provided opportunities to learn and use computers in the evenings or outside school hours on payment of fees decided by the Panchayat. Village community members could also get computer jobs done on payment such as filling up of applications, representation writing, etc. I believe that it is important to provide basic services like schools, Primary Health Centres and drinking water in the villages first, before we think of computer education. Since PRIs are now being increasingly involved in governance, their members should be trained/sensitised about these issues. Using the three-tier system, it should be possible to increase community participation in education.
Environment Water Community Solution Exchange for the Water Community Consolidated Reply Query: Best Practices on Water Demand Management in Cities – Experiences Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate 29 March 2007
So far, the issues have come out very well on this discussion forum. However one point which I wish to reemphasize (though others have also touched upon it) is that there is increasing water demand. I agree. But I think before that every panchayat, tehsil, district, state and the whole nation should have actual figures on water NEED. There should be water NEED assessment in form of data with governance bodies involved in water management. In another discussion, we discussed on the need for a Database for District Planning. One very important aspect here was to have a database about the population. Once we have data on population, its composition or demography, then we can at least visualize the needs of water, food, shelter livelihood, education etc. There have been many studies in US and other countries. Good examples are like Kentucky water needs survey etc. Similar survey should be prerequisites for any type of water planning in our country. If we have data on water needs of villages, then we can surely be able to chalk out a strategy for supply of water. This database should be correlated with the database on water resources available in the area, only then the planning would be good for everybody. The database will also be used for the future projections of water needs. I am only stressing the need of having a database on water need and projections before making any strategy for water management. In Port Blair municipality, at our home we are getting water supply once in three days. Irrespective of the family size the tanks installed on the roof is filled (500 litres, 1000 litres according to the type of quarter i.e. Type III or Type IV etc). Once, we got a supply of 200 liters to be used for three days. There are reservoirs also. But the correlation between the water need data and availability of water resources etc needs to be done to plan for future needs. The need also increases due to influx of tourists, which nobody can predict. This year there is pressure on water due to this tourist need also. I feel that we need to have data on various factors beforehand, only then can any strategy be worked out.
Solution Exchange for Decentralization Community Solution Exchange for the Education Community Consolidated Reply Query: Primary Education and Panchayats, Loka Kalyan Parishad, Kolkata (Experiences). Compiled by Alok Srivastava and A. Mathew, Resource Persons; additional research provided by Happy Pant, Research Officer and Sagarika G., Research Associate
13 June 2006
Role of PRIs
Gram sabhas as we know today are somewhat different from what they were in history. However, we have always propagated the idea that more decentralization should be there so that participation at grassroot level may be substantiated. Due to amendments now we are approaching towards devolution of power to PRIs. (As if they have been snatched away!) It should have been done straightaway in 1947 or decade after that. Someone in the network had very rightly pointed out and I quote “For how long do we intend to go on discussing the problems of school education, whether it is quality of teachers, qualityeducation, curriculum reforms, recognition, enrolments … the list is endless. “ Being optimistic I think it will take some time that gram sabhas will actually take governance in its HAND. There was one episode which Director Shyam Benegal depicted in the BHARAT EK KHOJ serial that was about a couple who ran away from the village to marry and they approached the king for his permission, The king asked whether they have approached the channels available to them, in response they told that village council has not given permission. Hearing this king said I cannot help you, now you have to approach the village council and abide by their rulings. THAT was the power of a Panchayat. Of course, then sabhas must be without any colour (as we see sabhas are governed by the party politics only) Gram sabhas and that mean the village community or in larger context the COMMUNITY participation in social affairs – be it education, sanitation, or any other aspect – is very crucial.
PRIs are supposed to play a major role in all aspect. Primary Education is to be given top priority, next should be HEALTH.
Village Education Committees were formed with objective of over all development of the School/education of their area. They are to ensure that no child is left out of school. Above age those who are left out must be encouraged to attend adult education centres. Same goals have been emphasized in SSA these centers are called as EGS and AIE centres. However role of PRIs remained same.
In SSA, basic works have to be done through the gram panchayats means the SURVEY for out of school children were done, which envisaged the BIGGER ROLE and PARTICIPATION of gram panchayats. Under the SUREVY As suggested by the apex ministry/ agencies that the VILLAGE REGISTERS be kept in the village itself where all the data regarding the IN-School, OUT of School, Physically Challenged, and children in age group of 0 to 5 are to be kept. There were instructions as to how these registers are to be updated annually. While conducting training programme on HOUSEHOLD SURVEY for SSA, to the Principals and teachers, I came to know about the GOODNESS of these things and HOW, PRIs are supposed to be involved at every stage through the CRC and BRC under SSA.
Even CRCs – Cluster Resource Centres – through the village have been entrusted the power to make plan for preprimary and primary classes. It means that through the VILLAGE REGISTERS they will come to know as to when and how many children are supposed to become eligible to attend class I, simply by sorting the data on column of age. And there is another column where head master or the village office has to record as to when (year) the child will become eligible to attend class-I.
Panchayats may prepare plan for development of the school of their area. Either building the wall or classrooms or computer room, or approach road or playground or any other thing. I had visited few villages in Karnataka where the computer room is provided by the village community and CALC- Computer Assisted Learning Centre, are established by the AZIM PREMJI FOUNDATION. I thought it was an example of the PARTNERSHIP between GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY (PRIs) and the CORPORATE or private bodies.
Same is replicated in the urban areas also
The salary part of the youth who will be engaged in these schools may be borne by the village Panchayat.
At present in Andamans, PRIs are aware of their role in Pre-Primary Education and adult education centres. Since 1997 the implementation of the scheme is being transferred to the PRIs in phases. As per the guidelines the candidates for the post of Pre-primary Teachers and preprimary ayahs and also the preraks (motivators) of the adult education centres is done by the Gram Panchayats. After conducting interview they recommend the selected candidates to the department of education for formal orders for payments of salaries. Panchayat has powers to select or reject candidates for these posts.
Panchyat also make demands to start pre-primary classes in their villages, as per the availability of sufficient children of that age department starts a class. Panchayat provide SPACE to start with to run these classes if space is not available with the school of that area. Same is the case with Adult education centres. Few instances have been reported where principals denied salary to the absenting teachers on the report of the Village Education Committees and PRIs of that area. Means Village community with the assistance of the authority can make little difference.
Same has been the case with the MID-DAY MEAL also whereby the PRIs are the important members of the TENDER AWARDING COMMITTEES of the Schools. The representatives of the panchayats are also on members in various committees for INSPECTION of MID-Day meals for HYGIENE etc
The PRADHANs and similarly Panchayat Samity Pramukh and ZILLA PARISHAD ADHAYKSHA etc are members of these committees at different levels. They can play major roles. Under SSA in annual plan we kept the provision of the Training to PRIs at CRC and BRCs for various aspects of education like sensitizing them towards Girls education, TRIBAL education, education of disabled etc. I am sure other state must be having similar provisions as per the norms of SSA. Thus need is to motivating the PRIs to take active role first in the arena which is already available within the present FRAME work of governance. Most often they are not aware of their role. I remember, a booklet, which we published on the Village Education Committees detailing their role rights etc, on demand from the Urban council, I sent a large number of copies for distribution among the COUNCILORS. But after that nothing was heard. Panchayat can take part in making curriculum also. Means they can initiate actions whereby with the help of principal some classes on the Local Folklore, traditions, Local Geography, traditional Knowledge about FLORA and FAUNA of their area can be started. These can be taken together with the local excursion tours for Science and Environment awareness generation. Evening Hobby classes in village schools these can to intertwined with the ADULT education or ALTERNATIVE INNOVATIVE EDUCATION centres, Under SSA. Lots of coordination is also required between the implementing departments – Education, PRIs, Social Welfare, Health, Industries etc. All are separately working towards attaining their separate goals. SCHOOL EDUCATION is to be linked with the Livelihood.