Lucknow: The construction of Panchayat Bhavans and community toilets in all gram panchayats of Uttar Pradesh will be a means of empowering women, fulfilling the intent of the ‘Mission Shakti initiative launched by the Yogi government.
The state government has announced that every Panchayat Bhavan will have a bank branch and each community toilet will have a woman sanitation worker as the caretaker. She will get an honorarium of Rs 6,000 a month.
There are nearly 58,079 gram panchayats in the state with the government constructing 56,960 community toilets, of which 18,847 have been built till now and nearly 35,058 are near completion. .
This will lead to more employment opportunities at the local level. For instance, the government wants to develop Panchayat Bhavans as mini-village secretariats. These centres are connected by optical fibres and have high-speed Internet connectivity. Officials concerned with village development will meet at regular intervals to discuss the upliftment of the villages. These officials include the ‘pradhan’ (village head), accountant, secretary, employment assistant and organisations such as the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and panchayat members.
Instead of going to the tehsil, people will be provided all certificates, including caste, income, birth-death, pension, at the Panchayat Bhavans. This move will also give employment to at least four to five persons in a village.
With 56,960 community toilets in the gram panchayats, one woman associated with a volunteer support group will be employed as a sanitation worker-cum-caretaker. Besides plumbers and electricians will also get work from time to time. The government has earmarked Rs 500 a month per toilet for maintenance.
Toilet maintenance tools such as brooms, brushes, wipers, sponges, buckets, mugs, mop, soap, harpic (toilet cleaner), washing powder, air freshners, gloves and masks will be readily available. During the unprecedented corona crisis, it will also provide employment to people engaged in the business of toiletries. The government has allocated Rs 1,200 per toilet for every six months and Rs 1,000 per toilet every month for sanitation items.
Additional Chief Secretary Panchayati Raj Manoj Singh said nearly 58,079 poor women will directly get employment with the construction of community toilets and Panchayat Bhavans.