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INFA (2005.12.23): Uttaranchal: Decentralisation of power

Women members of the Panchayats have excelled in undertaking the developmental work in consonance with the felt needs of the local community, says Radhakrishna Rao

Thanks to the 73rd Constitutional amendment ushered in 1993 which stipulated that one- third of the seats be reserved for women in local self governance, over a million women have become active participants in the functioning of the local bodies across the country. However, many of the States did not hold elections to local bodies within the stipulated timeframe, thereby depriving women of their due share in the local self governance.

Against this backdrop the Dehradun based Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK) which has been active in the cause of women’s upliftment, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court in 1995 against Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Tamilnadu and Bihar as well as the Union Government.