What is Gram Sabha?
- The Gram Sabha is the fulcrum of the Panchayati Raj and village development. People use the forum of the Gram Sabha to discuss local governance and development, and make need- based plans for the village. The Panchayat implements development programs under the overarching mandate, supervision and monitoring of the Gram Sabha. All decisions of the Panchayat are taken through the Gram Sabha and no decision is official and valid without the consent of the Gram Sabha.
Constitutionality of Gram Sabha
- The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b). Gram Sabha is the Sabha of the electorate. All other institutions of the Panchayati Raj like the Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Zilla Parishad are constituted by elected representatives.
- Persons, those who are above 18 years of age, living in the village and whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level are the members of Gram Sabha.
Functions of Gram Sabha
- The Constitution mentions that the Gram Sabha exercises such powers and performs such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide [Art 243G]
- Report of activities undertaken by the Gram Panchayat since the last Gram Sabha is presented and the resolutions and suggestions of the last Gram Sabha and the action by the Panchayat there on.
- Discussions are held about distribution of rations, old age pension, pension for handicapped etc, in Panchayat limits.
- The Gramsabha also discusses problems of enrolment of all children in the schools, their attendance and development of schools in its jurisdiction.
- The Gramsabha also discusses the hospitals and veterinary institutions and their activities. They educate the people about the precautions to be taken to protect the health and hygiene of people and cattle.
- The Health officer of the primary health centre of the Panchayat tool will attend the Gramsabha and brief the Gram Sabha about the inoculation programmes, children suffering from malnutrition and precautionary steps to be taken against disease like Malaria, etc. The Gramsabha discusses the services and facilities to be provided by the health centers.
- The Secretary of the Gram Panchayat will identify the public works to be undertaken under the Panchayat grants and place it before the Gramsabha and get its approval for incorporating it into the plans of the Panchayat.