29th of September, 2016; In an unprecedented show of solidarity rural Assam is advancing towards a remarkable transformation of development through ‘Amar Gaon Amar Achoni’. The block level convergence meeting organized by NEST on 29th September in the Conference Hall of the Bokakhat Block Office is the testimony of such a transformation where Panchayat elected representatives of 6 Gaon Panchayat came together along with representatives of various line departments and the block level administrators to short out various hurdles of Panchayat development amicably.
After the decision of the 14th Finance Commission to devolve untied fund of the tune of Rs. 488 per person to the Panchayat, has empowered the Panchayat to work as an institute of local self government and make independent plan for their Panchayats and not merely implementing the centrally sponsored schemes and programs.
Already State Institute for Rural Development has designed people friendly guideline for implementation of Amar Gaon Amar Achoni and also rigorously trained the key stakeholders of the program including the President, Secretary and Ward Members of the Gaon Panchayats. All the 6 Gaon Panchayats where NEST is working has completed formation of all the committees mandated by the Amar Gaon Amar Achoni, carried out data gathering exercises and are in the different stages of preparing the Draft Status Report (DSR).
In this process of revisiting their Panchayats, Elected Representatives, members of various committees, grassroots government officials and volunteers like Anganwadi Workers, ASHA workers etc. felt the need of collective discussions and dialogues that are impacting their performance in the Panchayats and find out solution of their problems. Few of the crucial problems that draw centre stage of the discussions are small Anganwadi centers compared to the number of enrollment, inappropriately constructed toilets, quality and quantity of Supplementary Nutrition supply, malfunctioning weight machines hampering growth monitoring of the children etc.
Participants of the meeting agreed that the funds allocated by the 14th Finance Commission through Amar Gaon Amar Achoni should bridge the gap of developmental need, rather than replicating the existing govt. schemes and programs.