The first gram sabha meetings of 2020 across Tamil Nadu and the first after a gap of three years on Sunday (January 26) passed unanimous resolutions demanding the withdrawal of public exams to be conducted for the class 5 and 8.
Interestingly, the highest number of resolutions – at least seven – passed the gram sabhas of Salem district, including Sanniyasipatti Panchayats, the constituency of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami too passed a resolution against the board exams.
Village panchayats in Sornaakkadu, Thanjavur, Vellivaayal Chavadi, Tiruvallur, Tiruvenkadu, Nagapattinam also passed unanimous resolutions on the issue.
The resolutions were passed with the help of Palli Kalvi Paathukaappu Iyakkam – Movement to protect schools – headed by noted academician V Vasanthi Devi.
Meanwhile, panchayats in the Delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam passed resolutions against implementing of hydrocarbon projects.
“Along with the usual resolutions like laying new roads, renovating dilapidated school buildings we also passed resolutions against hydrocarbon projects which will affect the livelihood of many in this region,” said R Subitha, a 22-year-old first-time Panchayat president of Poosalangudi panchayat, Tiruvarur district. She added that conducting the first Gram Sabha meeting has taught many lessons.
“Earlier I have attended such meetings were we used to question the representatives. Now, it is reversed. Initially, I was nervous about how I am going to handle the meeting, since a lot of elders, former panchayat presidents and cadres from various political parties were present. But people were cooperative,” said Subitha.
In some of the villages like Pandeswaram in Tiruvallur district, people have passed resolutions against bars and liquor shops.
Rekha Raman, a first-time president of Pandeswaram panchayat, used modern devices like PowerPoint presentations, during the meeting. “Instead of conventional talking, I used PowerPoint presentations, so that there will be no interruption and people will be focussed on it. I have explained about the financial condition of the panchayats, schemes approved for our villages, etc. It helped me in a greater way, that some of the political parties who planned to disrupt the meeting were turned silent,” she said.