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Panchayat presidents

One–day training to newly elected women panchayat presidents (WPPs)

The elected WPPs have a key role in community based monitoring since they are constitutional functionaries from the same community. Recognising their importance – both for gender equity and local government – HRF has trained and supported over 2000 panchayat presidents since 1996, when panchayat elections first were held in Tamil Nadu after the 73rd Constitutional Amendment.

The training will

  • Cover orientation on their roles, responsibilities and powers as elected representatives under the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1994 especially duties and authority with respect to (a) women in governance (b) gender equity (c) child rights including monitoring right to education, preventing child labour, trafficking etc (d) access to justice (e) access to social security/livelihood schemes, scholarships and pensions (f) protecting natural resources (g) climate change (h) disaster preparedness, risk reduction and management (i) village resource mapping (j) basic statistical information on available natural resources and non-negotiable in protecting natural resources.
  • Help consolidate their networking, enhance their leadership skills and domain knowledge
  • Enable them to secure social and economic security benefits that are due to the excluded communities (women, Dalits and Adivasis) by mapping eligibility, tracking access and securing entitlements (individual social security schemes and community infrastructure and services)
  • Provide tools for monitoring access and benefits with respect to rights and entitlements,

In addition to the training, HRF provides support (including litigation) when WPPs are prevented from discharging their duties.

Dates: To be announced.

Participants: All WPPs are eligible, though due to resource constraints, participation in this course is by invitation only. Preference is given to WPPs from scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, single women and first timers.

However, we will provide trainers and resource material (including monitoring tools), to other organisations working with the socially excluded communities provided they cover the logistics and finances.