In India, the 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendment Acts, 1993 were intended to transform gram panchayats at the village level and municipalities at urban local body level, into self-governing, transparent, representative and accountable entities. Instead the system has been rendered dysfunctional by factors including caste, gender dynamics and apathy on the part of respective state governments. This failure of local democracy impacts marginalised communities such as Dalits, tribals, minorities, women, urban poor, contract labourers and farm hands, the hardest They are deprived of a platform to voice their concerns and interests. They are excluded from village development and social welfare schemes. And denied their rights, services and entitlements. This makes them prone to further deprivation and exploitation. And over time, they fall into a cycle of vulnerability that prevents them from participating in the process of democracy and development in an independent or empowered manner.
GOVERNANCECOURTS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICESTRATEGIC INITIATIVES
India has one of the highest number of pre-trial detainees or undertrials (UTs) in the world. UTs make up 67.6% (95.7% male and 4.3% female) of the total prison population, as per the Prison Statistics India Report, 2014. Many are in prison for petty offences, and are too poor to secure bail or pay for lawyers. A majority are either Dalits, or from minority communities.
Tackling malnutrition across India is crucial to our goal of creating a world where no child goes hungry. Where all children are well-nourished, and able to grow into healthy productive citizens. For this, their families too need the opportunity to lead healthier lives. While India has cut down stunting among children from 48% to 39% in the last eight years, prevalence remains glaringly high in some high-burden states. Our aim is to frame a multidimensional, multi-sectoral approach to reduce stunting in states such as Odisha (where the problem is especially severe), and also enhance the health of generations, present and future. A multi-sectoral approach is necessary, to foster greater cooperation across states, departments, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. And crucial to empowering deprived communities, improving quality ante and postnatal care, and strengthen better reach and coverage of Health, Nutrition, Water and Sanitation (HNWASH) services as also, Agriculture, Livelihoods, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.