S. Harpal Singh

These illiterate tribal women meticulously keep accounts of the Samakhya's activities

ADILABAD: Statistics are strange. While they can hide a lot, they can also reveal vital information as in the case of accounts related to work on Jainoor's Mandal Samakhya (MS) building, which was inaugurated on January 4 by Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.

The accounts, which were on display at the new building of the samakhya were testimony to the professionalism of the women involved.

Mr. Jairam Ramesh was pleasantly surprised over the development wherein literally illiterate women were able to figure out the figures.

"The accountant and the assistant project manager, who initially led the members will soon be replaced by the community resource person at mandal level. They will guide the samakhya in difficult `arithmetical' situations," said B. Raghunath Rao, former Jainoor mandal APM.

Jainoor MS is one of the largest in the district with about 3,500 members belonging to 26 village organisations and 244 self help groups. They meet once every month to check the accounts of the MS.

Velugu impact

As the `Velugu' project was launched in the district with its community participation approach, the women, especially tribals, were exposed to a whole range of activities. One was `self management' including those of accounts.

An eight-member building committee was formed to execute works of the Jainoor MS building. Based on their surveys, members boughtmaterial at cheaper rates.

They also kept meticulous account of expenditure, always comparing it with available funds. "Not just expenditure, the members have also identified the source of funding for the cost overrun," pointed out Mr. Raghunath Rao.