Sthree Shakti Sanghas came into existence with the sole objective of making women economically independent by providing them with self employment. But now it has transpired that such Sanghas can become potential vote banks at the time of elections.
Around 50 percent of voters are comprised of women and majority of them in rural areas are associated with some woman organisation or the other, predominantly Stree Shakti Sanghas. With Assembly elections round the corner, political parties have found an easy way of using them to swing votes in their favour by luring them with funds and promises.
Its learnt that Politicians are offering money to certain Sthree Shakti organisations in return asking the members to cast their vote for the party's candidate. Women residing in villages fall easy prey for such tactics employed by unscrupulous politicians.
Though not all Sthree Shakti associations are targeted by politicians, a larger number of women's organisations, are under their radar. Even the Associations not shy of making as much as possible while the sun shines. There are even instances for their political gain some of the party candidates are forming association on caste lines.
Speaking in anonymity, one of the women organisation member said that a major political leader has assured of distributing houses for the association members, who are in 160 number.
Deposit of amount from Rs 1000 to Rs 15000 for bank accounts after studying the family condition of the voters, distribution of sarees, shalls, set-top box, and several other tactics are followed to lure the voters.
Sociologist Prof Indira says: “Across the country its reported that women organisations are being misused. But women should realise that being a responsible citizen they should exercise their franchise not swayed by such entices. They have the power to bring changes in the society. The mistake committed by a few will become a black mark for the entire SHGs.”
Mahila Samakhya organisation Mysore District Co-ordinator Lochana also admitted that women in villagers are easily lured by politicians.
The organisation members have taken a initiative to educate women residing in villages under Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP).
As per the statistics obtained from Women and Child Welfare Department as many as 6,602 Shree Shakthi Sanghas have registered under the department.