Policy Matters

About

One of the aims of RGPRS is to demand decentralization so that even the last man in the village has a voice in the decisions which affect his life. RGPRS believes that Panchayats will be more effective in bringing social, political and economic development and change if powers are decentralized by the State and Central Governments to the Panchayats. Funds, functions and functionaries need to be devolved so that panchayats are able to fulfill the aspirations and needs of the electorate who vote them to power. After all, local governments are closest to the people and better understand their needs!

Through policy advocacy, RGPRS aims to influence public opinion in the district regarding decentralization and Panchayati Raj. The organization opposes laws which revoke powers of the Panchayats and the Gram Sabhas. RGPRS also opposes centralization of programs which could have been best implemented at the Panchayat level.

Some examples of RGPRS’ advocacy:

1) RGPRS advocates against the ordinance passed by the BJP Government in Rajasthan, amending the UPA enacted Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013. RGPRS coordinators undertook
signature campaigns, banner campaigns, dharnas, media conferences and submitted memorandums to the district collector to protest these new amendments.

English Translation Land Acquisition Act in Rajasthan

2) RGPRS opposes the closure of 17000 Schools in Rajasthan in 2014, which is in complete violation of the Right to Education Act. It directly impacts the learning and schooling of SC/ ST children, especially the girls. RGPRS coordinators protested in their districts, taking out padyatras in Gram Panchayats.

3) Introduction of education clause for candidates interested in contesting 2015 Panchayat election in Rajasthan.

4) RGPRS gives additional suggestions to the Committee constituted by the Congress Government in Karnataka to review the Proposed Amendments of Karnataka Panchayati Raj Act 1993, which if implemented, shall strengthen good governance and decentralization in Karnataka and encourage participation of marginalized groups such as women and SC/STs.