Question 1: What problem did the villagers in Hardas village face? What did they do to solve this problem?
Answer: People of Hardas village faced the problem of shortage of drinking water. They held prolonged discussion on the topic and found a solution which was economical and sustainable.
As short term solution, the villagers agreed on deepening the hand-pumps and wells.
As long term solution, the villagers agreed to implement conservation of water and recharging the water bodies.
Question 2: What, in your opinion, is the importance of the Gram Sabha? Do you think all members should attend Gram Sabha meetings? Why?
Answer: The Gram Sabha functions to provide checks and balances on the working of the Gram Panchayat. During the meeting of the Gram Sabha, all the attendants have the right to raise questions if they find some wrongdoing. It is important that all members of the village attend the Gram Sabha meetings. This helps in proper implementation of various programmes. This also helps in making every person responsible for the welfare of the Panchayat.
Question 3: What is the link between a Gram Sabha and a Gram Panchayat?
Answer: The elected members serve as the link between the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat.
Question 4: Take an example of any one task done by a Panchayat in your area/nearby rural area and find out the following:
- Why it was taken up.
Answer: There was acute shortage of drinking water in village Rampur. Situation was worse especially during the summer season. So, the Gram Panchayat worked on finding a permanent solution to this problem.
- Where the money came from.
Answer: Part of the money came from grants from the government. Another part came from the taxes collected by the Panchayat.
- Whether or not the work has been completed.
Answer: The work has been completed. Two ponds in the village were cleaned and deepened. Trees were planted on all sides of the pond. Arrangements were made to allow rainwater to flow into the pond.
Question 5: What is the difference between a Gram Sabha and a Gram Panchayat?<
Answer: Gram Panchayat is an elected body whose members are elected by the people. Gram Sabha is the meeting of the Gram Panchayat. All the adults of the village are the members of the Gram Sabha.
Question 6: Read the following news item.
“Nimone is a village on the Chauphula-Shirur Road. Like many others, this village has also been facing a severe water shortage for the last few months and villagers depend on tankers for all their needs. Bhagvan Mahadeo Lad (35) of this village was beaten with sticks, iron rods and axes by a group of seven men. The incident came to light when some villagers brought a badly injured Lad to hospital for treatment. In the FIR recorded by the police Lad said that he was attacked when he insisted that the water in the tanker must be emptied into the storage tanks constructed as part of the water supply scheme by Nimone Gram Panchayat so that there would be equal distribution of water. However, he alleged that the upper caste men were against this and told him that the tanker water was not meant for the lower castes.” (Adapted from Indian Express, May 1, 2004)
- Why was Bhagvan beaten?
Answer: Bhagvan was beaten because he insisted on the tankers being emptied in the storage tank. This was against the wishes of the upper caste people in the village.
- Do you think that the above is a case of discrimination? Why?
Answer: This is a clear case of caste-based discrimination. In this case, people from upper caste want to enjoy all the comforts. They also want to deny the lower caste people even the basic need of drinking water.
Question 1: What is Panchayati Raj?
Answer: Panchayati Raj is a system of local government at the village level.
Question 2: Which are the various levels of the Panchayati Raj?
Answer: There are three levels in the Panchayati Raj which are as follows:
- Gram Panchayat or Village Level Panchayat
- Panchayat Samiti or Janpad Panchayat or Block Level Panchayat
- Zila Parishad or District Level Panchayat
Question 3: Write a brief note on Gram Panchayat.
Answer: The Gram Panchayat is composed of elected members. A Gram Panchayat can have members from several small villages or from a single large village. The tenure of a Gram Panchayat is for five years. Fresh elections are conducted after every five years.
Question 4: Who is a Panch or Ward Member?
Answer: A Gram Panchayat is divided into many wards. People of each ward elect a member. This member is called the Panch or Ward Member.
Question 5: What is Gram Sabha? Who can attend a Gram Sabha?
Answer: The meeting of all the adults of a Gram Panchayat is called the Gram Sabha. Anybody who is more than 18 years of age and belongs the Gram Panchayat can attend the Gram Sabha.
Question 6: What are the functions of the Gram Panchayat?
Answer: Functions of Gram Panchayat are as follows:
- Construction and Maintenance of Public Facilities
- Levying and collecting local taxes
- Executing government schemes related to generating employment in the village
Question 7: What are the sources of fund for the Gram Panchayat?
Answer:Sources of funds for the Panchayat are as follows:
- Collection of taxes on houses, market places, etc.
- Government scheme funds
- Donations for community works