Elected representatives to commit for Local self governance

Elected people's representatives from recent Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) state of India, will convene around two major issues: explore possibilities of implementing local self-governance as guaranteed by Indian constitution, and commit to take all decisions in open meetings, informed Dr Sandeep Pandey of Lok Rajniti Manch who is also a recepient of Magsaysay Award (2002) for emergent leadership.

A Panchayati Raj Sammelan is being organized by Lok Rajniti Manch in Lucknow on 20th February 2011, at Common Hall, B Block, Darul Shafa, Lucknow (opposite Vidhan Bhawan) from 10am – 5pm. In the first session, keynote speakers include: Advocate Ravi Kiran Jain, Magsaysay Awardee and Right-To-Information (RTI) activist Arvind Kejriwal, Ajit Jha (Delhi University) and SR Darapuri, former IG Police and member, state conveners'committee, Lok Rajniti Manch. There are two major issues which will be discussed: one will be the local self governance as envisioned in Article 243 of Constitution of India after the 73rd and 74th amendment, and second will be elected representatives to take all decisions in open meetings where people can participate in decision making freely.

In the second session, about forty Panchayat elected representatives from recently held panchayat elections in UP will participate. Some of them are likely to take an oath to work without corruption and make decisions in open meetings.

A film "SWARAJ – The HIWARE BAZAR Village" will also be screened in second session in afternoon. This film documents an inspiring story of Hiware Bazar village where local self-governance has yielded eye-opening growth and development. Hiware Bazar is a village in Maharashtra, India, where people don't migrate to metropolis in search of jobs, teachers are present in schools, ration distribution is free of corruption, roads are clean and people live harmoniously. The people of village collectively started taking decisions through Gram Sabha and the village was transformed from a 'village of shame' to a 'village of fame', a village of Mahatma Gandhi's dream.

Vallabhacharya Pandey - CNS