Sunday, March 10, 2013

Women on a mission to educate masses

As assembly elections round the corner, thousands of women are on a mission to educate masses about the importance of holding free and fair elections, by taking oath among villagers that they will not be lured by offers of expensive gifts or money by the contestants.

Especially in villages, unaware of their voting rights get easily misled by elected representatives. Hence, under the theme 'My vote is not for sale', a motivated group of women volunteers hailing from Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts are holding door to door campaign and educating their community people about the importance of casting vote in the forthcoming elections.

Through street plays the women are creating awareness about several burning issues and are explaining the consequences of electing a bad leader, how it hinders the development of State and the welfare of the people among various other issues. Thanks to the NGO Mahila Samakhya Karnataka, which is actively involving women and making them aware of their responsibility towards creating a better society.

The volunteers also highlight the importance of women contesting in elections, how they can contribute towards the development of their village or community as an elected women Representative and how can they become role model for other women in the villages.

Speaking with anonymity, one of the Elected Women Representative said that there are several instances where women in SHG's are misled by elected representatives. “Elected representatives first lure the heads of the SHG's making by promising of offers, if elected. Following this hundreds of members in the SHG will vote the candidate, where they later realise the mistake.”

Mysore District Co-ordinator Lochana said that women volunteers are conducting meetings, holding group discussions to educate people about election process.
Chamarajanagar District Samakhya Co-ordinator Meena Kumari said that we are visiting the SHG's and educating people about electoral process and importance of selecting right leader considering the development of country.

Literacy Camp
The organisation is further playing a vital role of encouraging women to contest in Gram Panchayat and Taluk Panchayat elections. Elected women representatives are provided training in leadership and communication skills, taught how to compete equally to men and made aware of the facilities provided under the Panchayat Raj Act. Even illiterate elected representatives are educated under basic literacy camp and several of these women can today sign on their own.

Fact File
* The Samakhya is working in 15 district of State.
* In Mysore has spreads its wing in 254 villages of HD Kote, Hunsur, Periyapatna, Nanjangud, KR Nagar with the members of 12,000. About 88 members under Samakhya have been selected as GP, TP members in
the ZP elections held in 2010.
* In Chamarajanagar from 235 villages of Kollegal, Yelandur, Chamarajanagar, Gundlupet there are 11,368 members. About 81 women have been elected.   

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