Institute for Development
Youth, Women and Child

A Panch Worried About Panchayat Development

Shyamabai Kahar is a 38 year old short heighted woman belonging to Tinsai Gram Panchayat in Harrai development block of Chhindwara district. Mother of four, she is Class five pass. Although she is a Panch, she is more worried about the development of the panchayat than the Sarpanch. She ekes her livelihood by catching fish, collecting forest produce and working as labour. She owns the responsibility of her family as a family head. She is a recognisable face out of 21 families of 102 tribals of Dheemar caste. Although she was associated with Adivasi Shramik Sangathan for the last seven-eight years and used to pay some attention to public works, she is now brimming with self-confidence. After becoming a Panch, she got trained at Agaz Academy in the year 2006-07.

Her Experience…

Two old women Rekha Giri and Dujiya Bai Yadav once told me that they had not yet received their social security pension for four months. I asked the Sarpanch about it and decided to go to the bank the next day. Accompanied by one more Panch Lakhniya Bai and 60 social security pensioners, I marched to the Satpura Kshetriya Bank, Batkakhapa, some 12 km away. When I questioned the bank manager why he was giving Rs 600 were instead of Rs 800, he said he had told everything to the Sarpanch. On this I suggested him to look into the ledger and pay accordingly. On this the manager questioned my bonafides. When I told him that I was the Panch of the village, he offered me a chair and ensured payment of Rs 800. Thus about 60 persons of the Tinsai panchayat were benefitted by Rs 200 each. Everyone from the village praised her, doubling her confidence.

She was always worried of the anti social elements and drunkards who used to make lewd comments during fairs and festivals. She worked in an effective manner to solve the problem. The organisation decided in the meeting that the problems created by the drunkards would be solved in the Hanuman temple in the village, where telling a lie is an offence and so everybody shall tell the truth. A committee of 10 members was formed unanimously and Shyamabai was elected as its president. Every incident or nuisance created is looked after in the committee and if it is of serious level, police is involved. This was an effective measure against drunkards and is creating a peaceful life for the villagers.