Norwegian Minister for local bodies takes stock of village council

November 14th, 2007 - 8:09 am ICT by admin  
Accompanied by officials of her ministry, Kleppa visited Neemkheda village where the women have swept the local body polls.

Home to the 3,000-strong Muslim-majority Meo community, Neemkheda is one of the most backward villages-economically and socially-in Haryana’s Mewat region.

Kleppa emphasised on the role of elective bodies at the grass root level.

“I think it is important for them as well as it has been important for all of us to cooperate and to work closely together. I hope that their husbands can see and understand their capacity to make a better local society,” said Kleppa.

Kleppa is on her first three-day visit to India from October 28 to 31 following an invitation from Panchayat Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar.

A slew of development projects took off with the initiative of the all-woman village council.

“We are working on making high schools in the village, roads, schools for girls, move from village to village to do developmental work,” said 60 year-old Ashubi Begam, head of the village council.

Under provisions of the Local Bodies Acts, it is mandatory upon the states to constitute local bodies and hold elections once every five years, failing which federal grants to the states may be denied.

Under the Panchayati Raj system, local elected bodies assume a lot of power in developmental activities in areas under their jurisdiction.

Since the Act became operative in 1993 most of the Indian states have conducted elections to these bodies providing for over one million women to be elected to such bodies. (ANI)

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