Saturday, February 20, 2010

Newly-elected sarpanches want social audit to continue

13 Feb 2010JAIPUR: The Suchna Evam Rozar Adhikar Abhiyan has decided to carry forward the social audit of NREGS accounts in the state as demanded by many newly-elected sarpanches. Ironically, just before the panchayat polls, it was the then sarpanches who had protested against the audit. Demonstrations were even held forcing the government to rethink before the high court put brakes on the process.

"About 30 sarpanches elected this time are like-minded people and have won the polls through sheer honest means. They are not amongst those who spent lakhs to ensure victory. And it is these sarpanches who now want a social audit of NREGS to ensure transparency," said Nikhil Dey of the organisation.
In fact, many of these sarpanches were associated with process right from the beginning. Eight activists of the organisation have won from Pali, four from Sirohi, four from Udaipur and two from Kishangarh. "They are of the opinion that they will frame a common manifesto that would focus on transparency and community participation in all work. The manifesto would shortly be made public in a joint meeting. We then plan to organise a seminar for them," he said.
"This group of sarpanches will fight for a clean governance at the panchayat level and we want them to set up an example for others to follow," added prominent social worker Aruna Roy. She also voiced her concerns those women sarpanches who have won the polls this time due to 50% reservation and said that many of them are illiterate and could be misused by others into committing frauds in NREGS.

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