The need for women representatives in various panchayats to assert their political rights was stressed by N. Markandan, former Vice-Chancellor of the Gandhigram Deemed University, while delivering the keynote address in the Panchayat Day celebrations organised by the Island Trust in association with the Nilgiris District Elected Women Representatives Federation here on Wednesday.
Stating that the women representatives should display courage and refuse to toe the line of persons who function in a questionable manner, he added that they should ensure that the benefits of development programmes reached the people. They should help cleanse the political system.
Adverting to the mindless exploitation of natural resources by those in charge of evolving policies, he said that they should be sensitive to the requirements of the local communities.
He exhorted the women leaders to play a bigger role in conserving natural resources.
Christy Samy, convenor of Women's Front, Karur urged the elected women to transform politics in Tamil Nadu. She said that women's power should be used to put an end to corruption.
Women should contest in more number of seats in the panchayat elections.
The release of a compilation of services rendered by the Island Trust to elected women members by Cicilia, Chairperson of the organisation, marked the occasion.
Awards for best panchayat leaders were given to Rajeswari Devadass of Berhatty, Elsie Michael of Nelakottai, Rajammal of Kagguchi and Rajamani of Kunjapanai at the function.
Earlier, Kavitha of Thuneri Panchayat welcomed the gathering.
M.L. Alphonse Raj, Excutive Secretary of Island Trust, proposed a vote of thanks.