On 28th June 2011, to celebrate the victory of women in their new roles as political leaders stepping forward in the public sphere with greater responsibilities- The Hunger Project in Patna, Bihar organized a convention( samellan) of around 200 Elected Women Representatives across seven districts, namely, Muzaffarpur, Jehanabad, Rohtas, Madhubani, West Champaran, Jamui, and Nalanda. This convention was held at Taramandal Auditorium, Patna.
The Minister of Social Welfare, Ms. Parveen Amanullah was the chief guest for the event. She addressed the newly elected women representatives and appealed them to use their rights and provide strength to Panchayati Raj by providing strong leadership in their respective Panchayats. She also said that the elected women representatives are armed with enough knowledge and potential to run Panchayats and hence they should not worry with the hurdles in the way. She also focused on the important role elected women representatives can play in ensuring social welfare to every citizen of the Panchayats.
The Elected Women Representatives took oath of strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions by conducting regular Gram Sabha’s, working towards bringing social justice, equity, and creating an enabling environment for women’s participation in local governance. They also put forward a charter of demand urging the Panchayat raj ministry to frame proper guidelines for conducting gram sabha, regular capacity building of Elected women representative’s, strengthening the role of women representatives, provision of respectful honorarium, implementation of policies that are gender sensitive, providing legal sanction to ward sabha’s, ensuring atleast 20% women’s participation in Gram Sabha, etc. The two-term winner elected women representative’s shared the need and strength of federation with the newly elected women representatives and appealed them to join the same.
Mr. Raghuvansh Kumar Sinha, the ex-deputy commissioner of Bihar State Election Commission, also addressed the elected women representative’s and appealed them to use their rights as political leaders and establish a mark of strong women leadership during their tenure, so that the next generation can also learn and observe from these feisty women leaders.
The convention provided a platform for the newly elected women representatives to voice their collective identity as leaders of tomorrow, working to bring about an enabling environment for women to participate in the effective functioning of local governance.