Highlight the need to establish an effective and functional relationship between Gram Panchayats and Self Help Groups (SHGs). Also suggest some measures to achieve it.

Adequate development at village level can be ensured through proper convergence of all entities working there.

SHGs and Gram Panchayats work in many mutually inclusive areas like skill development, education, health services, etc.

Need for effective cooperation:

  • Functioning of SHGs can be achieved from gram Panchayat resources.
  • Effective integration between SHGs and government through gram Panchayat.
  • Augmenting health and educational programmes of gram Panchayat by effective coordination with communities.
  • SHGs often work with women with a reduced political exposure; synergy will help in political empowerment.

Ways to ensure synergy:

  • Nomination of SHG leadership as participants in Panchayat meetings.
  • Training of women in political empowerment by Panchayat members.
  • Inclusion of SHG activities in constitutional provisions of discretionary functions of gram Panchayats.

Synergy between Panchayat and SHGs will strengthen the grassroot level democratic set up and development in India.

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