A United Nations project aimed at empowering elected women representatives in local bodies in the state has faced many hurdles and is progressing slowly compared to other states.
The Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Department, Karnataka and UN Women signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2011 to empower elected women representatives and make Dharwad and Mysore as model districts for the implementation of the scheme. Recently, Karwar was also added to the list.
However, the project is now almost eight months behind schedule and the UN representatives say there has been delay in getting the right candidate for the post of District Project officers (DPO), who will oversee the works.
According to the officials, `81 lakh has already been released for the project. “We selected the DPOs for Mysore and Dharwad in April, but it was delayed by six months. For Karwar, we are yet to recruit one. It is difficult to get a suitable candidate to work in remote areas,” said Suraj Kumar, Head, Government Unit, UN Women in Delhi.
The DPOs should go to the field and identify key issues like female feticide, malnourishment, child trafficking and problems of women at grama panchayats.
They should focus on these issues in mahila sabhas and ward sabhas.
Meanwhile, Secretary, RDPR, Dr E V Ramana Reddy in a recent steering committee meeting said ward sabhas, grama sabhas and mahila sabhas were yet to start the works and visits to progressive villages and panchayats had been delayed.
This apart, it is alleged that the CEOs of zilla panchayts have not been sending fortnightly reports to the government and nodal heads.