Muneer for special meet of grama sabhas on specific issues

Minister for Social Welfare and Panchayats M.K. Muneer has said that local administrative bodies should initiate steps to improve the security for women and children in view of repeated instances of attacks against them.

He was speaking at a State-level Panchayat Day celebration here on Tuesday. “The local bodies in the State should focus on issues faced by women and children. We should take effective steps in the direction so that Kerala will be a model for other States to follow. An order has already been given to declare 77 grama panchayats in the State as women-friendly panchayats,” Dr. Muneer said.

Grama sabhas should be convened at regular intervals as it was the only way to gauge the feelings on the ground, the Minister said. “Out of every four grama sabha meetings, at least one should be a special meeting focussing on specific issues like waste treatment or importance of nutritious food. Also, it is the responsibility of local bodies to implement the Asraya project for the rehabilitation of destitute families,” he said.

Infant deaths

Regarding the deaths of infants in Attappady, Dr. Muneer said that everyone, from the State government to the local bodies concerned and the media, was responsible for the unfortunate situation there. He said the media had distorted the statement he made during his visit to the place and said that only the Social Welfare Department was responsible for the situation whereas he meant that everyone had equal responsibility.

“What happened in Attappady can be repeated elsewhere, unless we create proper awareness about these issues. We should also focus on bringing marginalised communities to the mainstream,” he said.

Dr. Muneer said the delivery of services would be improved with the creation of new posts at various levels. Around 200 news posts had been created, including 864 for Assistant Secretaries. The appointments to these posts were nearing completion. Laptops would be distributed to the secretaries as part of the e-governance initiatives. Promotion for last grade employees would also be considered, he said.

The Minister announced a reward of Rs.5 lakh each for 14 panchayats which had utilised 100 per cent of the Plan funds. The awards for the best panchayats in the State were distributed at the function.

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