Gender Inclusive Governance
As the daughter of a village sarpanch, Ashwini Shelke grew up knowing the transformational power of good governance, especially at the local level. Which is why she chose to create awareness about the role and functioning of panchayats and promote e-governance as her initiative under the Youth for India programme.
For the past nine months, Ashwini has been working in Kanpuri village in Madhya Pradesh to promote her vision of good governance. She organized the first ever mahila sabha in the village to address women’s grievances and is also credited for the village electing its first woman sarpanch. Mahila sabhas are now held regularly, at least once a month, in Kanpuri.
Ashwini has also spent considerable time in raising awareness among the villagers, particularly farmers, by organizing film screenings and a door-to-door campaign about government schemes that they can access to supplement their income. She has worked with local government officials to bridge the gap between the government and the people.
In collaboration with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, Ashwini is supervising the construction of the panchayat bhavan’s e-governance cell and is also providing basic computer training to the villagers. She believes that the e-governance cell will enable the residents of Kanpuri to access government schemes through the Internet and assist in providing facilities like printing and photo copying.
Pull out quote: “Good governance backed with the right technology can transform people’s lives. Through this fellowship I help motivate people to participate in governance and be change leaders.”
Ashwini is a graduate in economics from Mumbai University and used to work part-time as a teacher before being selected for the Fellowship programme.