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Call to adopt Kerala model
- Jharkhand mukhiyas hail coastal state’s gram panchayats

A group of 25 women from Panchayati Raj Institutions in the state, who recently visited Kerala on a Unicef-sponsored trip, wants to replicate the coastal state’s rural governance model in Jharkhand.

These women shared their experience about Kerala gram panchayats’ working style — they had gathered during their five-day trip from January 20 to 25 — with Panchayati Raj director Shashi Ranjan and State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) head Pravin Shankar at a programme on SIRD campus in Ranchi on Friday.

Unicef had provided an opportunity to the 25 women to to study the Panchayati Raj set up in Kerala.

“The average annual budget of a gram panchayat in Kerala is between Rs 7 crore and 9 crore as compared to Rs 6 lakh in Jharkhand. It is more than 100 times of what our gram panchayat is allotted,” said Rinku Devi, mukhiya of Harina gram panchayat in Dhanbad.

Archana Mahto, mukhiya of Murankala panchayat in Ramgarh district, pointed out the flawless functioning of Bal Sansads in Kerala and effective co-ordination between the mukhiyas and ward members.

“The secretariat at each level of local governance, distribution of nutritious food among children at anganwadi centres and provision of handsome honorarium for each member of panchayat in Kerala is praiseworthy,” she said.

SIRD director Shankar, however, told them that mere observation was not sufficient.

“For development, one should experience the problem and try and find its solution within the existing means,” he added.