|February 10, 2014 at 10:01 am #5148|
Special gram sabhas held on Sunday to approve the draft list of the socio-economic and caste census, 2011, faced a rather peculiar problem, particularly in Salcete. As the contents of the list, running into hundreds of pages, were in the Devanagri script, most of the sarpanchas and panchayat secretaries, who are unfamiliar with the script, failed to read out the list at the meeting.
Moreover, as the meetings were convened at short notice, most of the gram sabhas registered low attendance, sources said.
“The panchayat secretary produced before the Loutolim gram sabha 13 bundles for Loutolim village (each bundle of over two hundred pages) being the draft list of names of the persons enlisted in the draft list of the socio economic and caste census, 2011. The gram sabhas were held to create awareness about the draft list of the census and gram sabha members were required to peruse the list and submit their objections, questions, etc. The gram sabha members of villages in Salcete were shocked and enraged to find that the draft list in Devanagri script and villagers were at a complete loss to read the same as they were not comfortable with the script. Several panchayat secretaries themselves could be of no assistance as they also were not comfortable with the script,” Loutolim sarpanch and spokesperson of Salcete Panchayat Forum, Maria Monteiro, said in a press statement.
Monteiro pointed out that the list did not contain the house numbers, addresses and wards where the persons enlisted are residing.
“One fails to understand how the authorities expect the villagers to submit their additions/deletions/objections etc. when no addresses of the persons are mentioned in the list. It is also surprising to see that while the authorities concerned have prepared the socio economic and caste census 2011 list (which is learned to be carried out every ten years) in 2014, the gram sabhas are presently conducted in utmost haste and the public required to submit their questions/objections/ deletions by February 23,” Monteiro added in the press note.
The gram sabha members have requested the authorities to provide the lists in English and with proper addresses of the persons enlisted, the note further adds.
Source/Reference: Times of India, “Devanagri script hinders special gram sabhas“