Kerala

Kudumbashree gears up for its own elections

A meeting of Kudumbashree members in progress  

More than 4.5 million members of the Kudumbashree Mission will vote to elect the heads of neighbourhood groups, area development and community development societies in July as the unique, all-women, democratic process rolls on, impacting a whole array of development decisions at the grassroots level.

Elections are being held in July this year because of the upcoming elections to the Assembly, Kudumbashree sources said on Sunday. Earlier, the triannual election of Kudumbashree leadership was expected to commence in the second week of February so that the new office-bearers would be in place by March 1.

Postponed

Elections, normally held in January to enable new office-bearers to take charge by January 26, was postponed this year in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the earlier schedule, elections were to commence on February 9 and end by 28.

With 45,11,834 members spread over 2,99,997 neighbourhood groups, the Kudumbashree women will elect the leaders of the NHGs as well as leaders of 19,489 area development societies at the ward/division levels and 1,064 leaders of the community development societies at the local body level.

Election of Kudumbashree office-bearers is a unique process. There is nothing like it under direct government control anywhere else in the country. There are voluntary agencies and NGOs, engaged in uplifting people. But they are all private entities. The Kudumbashree elections are fought very hard with members vying for goodwill and votes just as in an election to the State Assembly or Parliament. Among aspiring leaders, a healthy mix of competition and cooperation is on display.

In local bodies too

Voting for Kudumbashree leadership is on the heels of the recent elections to the local self-government institutions in which 7,058 Kudumbashree members were elected to various councils. A total of 16,000 Kudumbashree members were in the fray.

Seventy per cent of the seats reserved for women in the local bodies have been won by Kudumbashree members, sources said, pointing out that the democratic process had gotten more robust with the Kudumbashree Mission.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:10:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kudumbashree-gears-up-for-its-own-elections/article33651499.ece

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