03Jul2014

Trained to Lead: Sehgal Foundation’s Rural Governance Training

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Sehgal Foundation trained 30 villagers in rural governance. These villagers have put their training into action. This is an enormous step towards improving rural governance in their communities.

The Foundation organized a feedback session after the training at the Ghaghas Community Center. Feedback highlighted positive and enthusiastic developments in the trainees’ lives. Trainees also discussed their improved reactions to issues of local governance.

RG Trainees took action against a Public Distribution System (PDS) depot holder. The depot holder was responsible for distributing food rations in Jaffarabad village, Mewat, Haryana. Instead, the provider opened a shop and was selling the rations. RG trainees contacted authorities about the depot holders’ activities.

The program taught participants that they elect the government to work for and better society. With this in mind, RG trainees worked to improve the functioning of the PDS in their communities. The PDS now runs efficiently in 6 villages after trainess took action. Ration depot holders have committed to distributing their goods appropriately in these villages.

RG trainees learned about the Right to Information (RTI) Act. RTI requires that government employees provide citizens with requested government information quickly. In the village of Agon, authorities denied some poor citizens access to land through the rural housing scheme. RG trainees contacted authorities and referenced the RTI Act to find out why they denied the land access. District administration recognized their mistake in denying these individuals land. They cancelled the current plot assignments and are currently re-plotting. They will reassign the land and ensure appropriate distribution.

RG trainees learned about the structure of the government. This knowledge enabled them to pass a message to parliament. They demanded that local authorities recognize and abide by the Right to Information Act.

RG trainees take part in rural government proceedings to improve how it functions. They believe that women must also take part to ensure that community development is holistic and inclusive. Women will advocate for the needs of other women. Only 9 of the 30 RG trainees were women, but they are encouraging more women to join the program in the future.

RG trainees seek development in their communities. They no longer allow authority figures to exploit their rights. They have committed to improving rural governance. Effective rural governance will enable better development of villages and communities. Sehgal Foundation will continue to work on empowering the people of rural communities.

For more information, please contact:
Email: communications@smsfoundation.org