SWARAJ ABHIYAN: Bringing Democracy to Grassroots, Eastern Uttar Pradesh districts of Deoria and Kushinagar.
Project Rationale Local self governance is the cornerstone of democracy. People must have a voice in development decisions that affect their lives. Millions of rupees are spent on villages, yet development is elusive. This project is an attempt to bring true democracy to villages in India. In Mahatma Gandhiji’s words: “20 people sitting at the center cannot run true democracy, It should be run from the bottom by the people in each village “
Project Objectives 1. To educate and empower villagers to engage in open meetings of Gram Sabha so that decisions about development are made by the stake holders and transparent implementation of development works is ensured. 2. To create a pilot examples to encourage the government to bring about the necessary legal changes to enable decentralization of power to the Gram Sabha.
Project Timeline: 3 year
Project Cost: $8600 (supporting stipend of 8 full time activists)
Major Accomplishments (July 2012-June 2012): Increased people’s participation in the decision making and monitoring process resulting in $250,000 reaching the poor and needy and limiting the siphoning of funds by corrupt officials
209 families provided funds to build homes. ($182,700)
400 workers got their wages under MNREGA ($21,500)
Pensions for 195 elders, widows and backward families. ($18,700)
50 toilets built ($2,000)
7 Road improvement projects ($ 21,500)
Activities in Progress (July 2012- Dec 2012) ď‚ˇ
Mobilizing villagers to ensure mandatory 2 Gram Sabha meetings be held in the open
Through RTI and public pressure ensuring correct implementation of government schemes such as Mid-day meal, Indira Awas Yojana, MNREGA etc.
Project Partner: Asha parivar (Arman Foundation): http://www.ashaparivar.org/new/
AID LA-OC Project Coordinator: Vishal Kudchadkar
Empowerment of community by workshop on Swaraj/RTI
Laborers working under MNREGA given their wages after intervention by Swaraj Campaign activists
Success story and media coverage