The ‘Mother & Child Friendly Corner’ by the Matigara-I Gram Panchayat, Darjeeling, is an initiative taken exclusively with nursing mothers and their children in mind. It is a celebration of womanhood and motherhood – a gesture of care, concern and support for women visiting the Panchayat Office round the year. It is also another step towards attaining the goals of ‘Gender Equality’ and ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’, two of the seventeen goals for sustainable development proposed by the UN.
Initiated in January, 2020 and completed in June, 2020, the ‘Mother & Child Friendly Corner’ has been constructed at an estimated amount of Rs. 2,00,000/- with funds primarily from Fourteenth Finance Commission, ISGPP-II’s PBG and the Panchayat’s own funds.
Among the facilities available are a Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine dispensing napkins at just Rs. 5 per piece, a private section for breastfeeding, automated hand sanitizer unit, a play-and-learn area for kids, a clean and modern toilet for women and safe, drinking water. Women from Self Help Groups have been appointed to provide the various services. There are plans to start a free legal help desk for women and children soon, along with a library to encourage the habit of reading among girl students.
The ‘Mother & Child Friendly Corner’ is an admirable initiative and one that is worth emulating by other Gram Panchayats. It might be a small step in our journey towards achieving the sustainable development goals, but one that is immensely significant in its potential to usher in an increased concern about child and women welfare.
Illambazar Gram Panchayat – A shining example in Own Source Revenue generation
The Illambazar Gram Panchayat is located in the South-West part of Illambazar Block in Birbhum District, comprising 23 Gram Sansads, along with three backward villages. A total population of 32,142, including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Minority Communities and General Category, reside in this Gram Panchayat that spreads over an area of about 18 sq. kms. According to the population census the male to female ratio in the GP is 51:49. (more…)
Maligaon Gram Panchayat in Kushmandi block under Gangarampur Sub-Division of Dakshin Dinajpur has taken a glorious step towards sustainable development by installing 10 KW rooftop off-grid hybrid solar panel system.
Since rooftop solar panels harness the power of the sun to generate electricity, they are eco-friendly, posing fewer pollution risks to the environment in comparison to conventional sources of energy. Moreover, unlike conventional generators, they are noiseless, free from harmful emissions and put no strain on fossil fuels. Using solar energy is also effective in combating climate change as they leave behind almost negligible carbon footprint. (more…)
Aktailya Gram Panchayat, Habibpur Panchayat Samiti, Malda
Aktailya Gram Panchayat along with 146 other Gram Panchayats of Malda District were included in the second phase of the ISGP program in the year 2017 and at the same time special importance was given towards increasing the own funds of the Panchayats. As a result of efforts to increase their own funds, Aktailya Gram Panchayat took up a project to construct a Ceremony House. Incidentally, in the Gram Panchayat Sansad Sabhas, there had been regular demand for building a Ceremony House for the villagers. In the General Sabha of the Gram Panchayat, with the full consent of all Sabha members, the decision was taken to build a Ceremony House by the name of ‘Udan’.
Road leads to the opening up of new roads in South 24 Parganas
Bali is a distant island surrounded by the mangrove forests at Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas district. This eight km long island comprises of two Gram Panchayats – Bali – 1 and Bali – 2. The Gomor River passes through the middle of the village. The villages on the banks of the river comprise the Bali – 1 Gram Panchayat. Even in recent past, the villagers living in this Gram Panchayat under Gosaba Block had to worry during the monsoon. The important link between three villages of the area was made by a muddy road on the banks of the river. This muddy road was also the only means of communication to the Amlamethi Shyamal Smriti School and the Amlamethi Community Hall. The road was heavily damaged during monsoon. Many students had to skip schools for the sticky mud on the road. Also, the vegetables produced in the villages couldn’t be transported outside. The villagers had long demanded the construction of a concrete road at this area. (more…)
Collection of service tax through consensus Garbage Management and increase of Own Funds of the Panchayat
Banarhat Market in the Banarhat -1 Gram Panchayat of Dhupguri Block, Jalpaiguri is a well known place. Higher Secondary School, Bank, Hospitals etc are present in this densely populated area. Banarhat is a small suburban town and as such the market also acts as small-scale business centre for vegetables. As such, this area is frequented by many people for business purposes. A permanent vegetable market, a weekly market (haat) and a daily market has sprung up here due to the local vegetable business.
Despite the economic development of this place, the area was not cleaned for a long time due to ownership disputes of the permanent vegetable market. As such, the place was becoming unhealthy and unsuitable for human inhabitation. The Banarhat – 1 Gram Panchayat finally decided to solve the problem meeting the demands of the locals. The Banarhat – 1 Gram Panchayat deliberated with the local business association, volunteer organizations and the local public to find a solution to this problem. Finally, it was decided through consensus that the Gram Panchayat would take up the responsibility of garbage disposal, maintenance and infrastructure development of the market. It was also decided that the local businessmen would pay a service tax to the Gram Panchayat for these services. To this effect, a by-law was also passed by the Gram Panchayat. A local volunteer organization and the business organization held camps to raise awareness of the buyers and sellers of the market. The project commenced with the combined initiative of all stakeholders. (more…)
No more panicking with Arsenic as Water Purification Plant generates hope
Symptoms of arsenic poisoning were evident in a considerable portion of the population residing in Karimpur area of Nadia district. Black spots, lumps and thickening of the skin, dry palms and heels, numbness of limbs, liver disease and skin cancer etc. caused panic among the local population.
The water from the tube-wells was tested as per the advices of the doctors and it was found that the water is arsenic contaminated with presence of more than 0.01 mg arsenic per litre of water. It was evident that the people of the area suffered from arsenic poisoning. The news spread throughout the area and people were panic-stricken. People started to appeal to the Gram Panchayat for a solution to this teething problem.
As such, the Gram Panchayat started to take initiatives for providing a solution. Accordingly, two water treatment plants were constructed near Abhaypur Primary School and Karimpur Hospital in the financial year 2015-16 from the grants received from Nadia Zilla Parishad. This water treatment plant provides Arsenic, Iron and Bacteria-free safe drinking water. Activities of electricity connection, procurement of water vessels and vehicles to transport water to the households were also completed.
Installation of Water ATM brings relief to locality
Water is considered as the drop of life. Especially during summer, water acts as a panacea. But, travellers passing through this road need to pay at least Rs. 10 to 20 to buy a litre of bottled drinking water. Scorching summer makes their life miserable and they are forced to buy such expensive drinking water. However, the water available during travelling may not be completely pure, and unpurified water may cause severe stomach ailments.
The Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat of Goalpokhar – 1 Block of Uttar Dinajpur District has recently installed a purified drinking water plant (Water ATM) and has gifted this to the locals and for the travellers passing through the area. This is an unconventional development project. Modern technology has been used for the installation of this drinking water plant. Till now, the citizens of the Gram Panchayat have witnessed construction of roads, culverts or installation of tube-wells as the only modes of development activities. However, this new initiative of the Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat, undertaken through the consultation and mentoring of the ISGPP-II, has fascinated one and all. (more…)
Convergence of beautification and waste management project
Coochbehar is considered as one of the foremost among the 23 districts of West Bengal in terms of its rich history and heritage. Remnants of the lifestyle of the Rajas and various structures built by them can be found in various parts of the district. Pundibari Gram Panchayat lies in Block No. 1 of Sadar Sub-division of Coochbehar district. This Gram Panchayat is located near the district headquarters. May be because of this proximity to urban settlement, beautification initiatives have received emphasis on the development requirements of the local populace. (more…)
How a small stretch of greenery led to the creation of an Eco-park
Two acres of vacant land existed, next to Padma canal in Chatra Gram Panchayat of Baduria Block, North 24 Parganas. The land was uneven and unsuitable for use. Local miscreants used to gather in the place for anti-social activities after dark. They caused considerable nuisance in the public life of this area. The locals of the area had long cherished the idea of a park in this area. The Gram Panchayat decided to solve these problems by constructing an eco-tourism park in this unutilized land of Dakshin Chatra High School. The two acres of lands, lying beside the Padma canal has been converted into a beautiful park covered with lush green trees that attract public attention. School students now visit the park for excursions and to acquire practical knowledge of botany and the environment. No specific funds were available to the Gram Panchayat while planning this project. However, Gram Panchayats have the option to integrate grants for a particular public service. If there is a requirement, Gram Panchayats have the option to utilize public and private lands for undertaking any non-conventional activity. They can use these powers for conservation of environment and protection of endangered flora for the benefit of the future generations. (more…)