880 sarpanches take oath

Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, January 11

A young girl with dual postgraduation, who is also an IAS aspirant, has become the panch of Pattar Khurd village of Kartarpur. Rajwinder Kaur (27), who has done masters in history and political science, is now taking coaching for the IAS.

Rajwinder said earlier, village residents did not want her to become a panch just because she was a young girl. Also, she was well aware of problems of her village.

Another panch from Dayalpur village is Dalwinder Dayalpuri, who is a Punjabi singer. With a wish to do something for his village, he has now entered politics.

Both of them want to change their villages in their own way.

Dalwinder said he had seen drug problem in his village and he would now try to write songs on the menace to make people aware while Rajwinder, who has done postgraduation in political science and History, says that she would use her education to free her village from various problems.

Dayalpuri said he had sung songs with another Punjabi singer Miss Pooja.

“My only aim is to work for people of my village selflessly,” he said.

State Education Minister OP Soni today called upon newly elected sarpanches and panches to join hands with the state government for ensuring holistic development of villages. Addressing the gathering after administering the oath of office to the newly elected 880 sarpanches, 5,460 panches, 191 members of panchayat samitis and 21 members of zila parishads at the local grain market, the Minister said the newly elected members had been given a verdict by people in favour of prosperity and progress of villages. He said people should respect this verdict and ensure that aspirations of people were fulfilled.

Soni assured full support and cooperation to the newly elected panchayats for comprehensive development of the villages.

He said the strenuous efforts of the state government would only fructify if the newly elected sarpanches and panches contribute generously to it.

He said severe action had been initiated against drug peddlers in the state. Likewise, he said, a major drive had also been initiated to promote sports and provide recruitment among youth so that their energy could be utilised in a positive direction.

The Minister said the state government had given special attention towards health and education and also increased the budget of both departments to facilitate people.

He said the government had so far built 2,200 smart schools in the state and would achieve the target of 5,000 smart schools by March 31.

Soni said the government had also introduced pre-primary classes in government schools to strengthen the foundation of school education in the state.

He said Capt Amarinder Singh had launched a debt-relief programme for peasantry and each farmer would be covered under it. Besides, initiating the Ghar Ghar Rozgar scheme to ensure job to each unemployed youth, 100 per cent water and sewerage facility, a new industrial policy was brought to facilitate businessmen. He head also taken many other initiatives.

Addressing the gathering, Lok Sabha member Chaudhary Santokh Singh asked the panchayats to work dedicatedly for the development of villages.

“The time has come when each one of us must make joint efforts to develop the villages,” he said.

He recalled the stellar role of the Congress in strengthening the Panchayati Raj system in the country as well as the state.

The MP said he also asked the district administration to organise special seminars to apprise the newly elected sarpanches and panches of their rights and duties along with the functioning of the Panchayati Raj institutions.

Chaudhary Santokh Singh also batted for women empowerment to strengthen democracy at the grass- roots level.

Full support for development: Minister

State Education Minister OP Soni assured full support and cooperation to newly elected panchayats for comprehensive development of the villages. He said the strenuous efforts of the state government would only fructify if the newly elected sarpanches and panches contribute generously to it.