Power to People - Training of Gram Sabha / Ward Sabha Members
The Handbook on POWER TO PEOPLE explains about the Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of Gram Sabha / Ward Sabha prepared by the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) in December 2011. Gram Sabhas (GS) of Village Panchayaths and Ward Sabhas (WS) of Municipalities are envisaged as fora of direct democracy where citizens directly participate in taking decisions regarding local administration and development. It seems that most voters are not aware of the fact that each voter is a member of the GS/WS of the ward in which he or she is registered as a voter. Attendance in GS/ WS meetings is on the declire. The forum of direct democracy is gradually getting degraded into a ritualistic meeting to satisfy the legal mandate. In the long run it will erode the faith in decentralised governance and may pose a threat to the basic principles of participatory democratic governance. In such a situation it becomes the unavoidable responsibility of the Central Govt. and State Govt. to strengthen the GS/WS.