Thirty-six local corporators from the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) will be the first batch to join the SNDT University’s recently launched six-month certificate course in Panchayati Raj for Women.
Vaishali Darekar-Rane, chairman, Women and Child Welfare Committee, KDMC, says, “The course aims to empower women corporators who enter politics due to the fact that at least one male member in the family has a career in politics. These are women who come with little or no education. This course will help them understand the everyday nitty-gritty of how the municipal corporation works. It will also make them realise the immense power the of the seat they hold.”
Vardha Joshi, founder of Mahila Bahu-Udyeshya Sanstha, who will manage the programme for KDMC, says, “It has become important for women who enter politics to develop their socio-cultural skills as well. Since women corporators generally come from a background where their role is limited to household chores, we need to train them to become problem solvers for citizens and not just titular public servants.”
SNDT University’s vice-chancellor, Vasudha Kamat says, “The six-month certificate course will not only empower women corporators but will also help them hone their skills, from communicating with citizens and ward officers, to writing reports or filing complaints.”
Dr GY Shitole, director, Centre for Distance Education at SNDT University, says, “The government of India, through the 74th amendment, announced that women are well represented in legislature, and we are simply aiding those women who are interested in politics but are not holding academic qualifications. It took a over a year of brainstorming to finally come up with a proper course curriculum. While currently we are focusing on women corporators in at the gram panchayat level, we want to modify the curriculum to suit the needs of those in the cities as well.”