Rural Indian women against corruption
Golamunda is one of the most backward blocks of Kalahandi district of eastern Indian state Orissa. The dysfunctional block administration, mafia of local politician and general ignorance has made this block a haven for corruption. In this context, Mrs. Duleswari Sunani has started a war against the corrupt system, so that people of herpanchayat ie cluster will get their due right.
Duleswari is a first timer in politics. When in the last election, the President post(ie sarapach) of Farang panchayat was declared to be reserved for women, many people asked her to contest for it. Her family also gave her full support. She contested against three women and as per her view, she won mainly because of women votes. During her election time, she went from house to house asking the women to vote for her.
During women leadership workshop, she came to know about the rights and responsibilities of Elected Women Representatives(EWRs), particularly of sarpanch. During a discussion it came out that the beneficiaries of Janani Surakhsya Yojana, where a mother gets Indian Ruppees. 1400/ for delivery at hospital, had to pay Indian Ruppees. 200/- to the doctor of the hospital to get their cheque. Duleswari said that she had enquired about this to various mothers, and many of them paid Indian Ruppees 200/-. After knowing that it is illegal, she went to the hospital with some of her ward members and asked the doctor, why he was taking money to release the cheque. When the doctor said, it has to be given, Duleswari asked him to show the notice other wise she would complain about this practice to the collector. This was enough to threat the doctor to stop the illegal practice. Now nobody in her panchayat has to pay money to get their cheques.
In another case, Duleswari has mobilized her ward members to collect all the data of new born baby girls to enroll them in Balika Samrudhi Yojana, where a baby girl gets Indian Ruppees. 500/- deposited in her name. Since no money is being given now, she is pressurizing the block administration to release the money soon.
She is visiting schools of her panchayat and made it mandatory that teachers should inform her before going on leave. By her strict attitude, the schools of her panchayat are running smoothly now.
Duleswari has dreams to make her panchayat an "Adarsh panchayat" ie Ideal Cluster and the best part is that all the ward members, particularly the women ward members are sharing her dream.