The Uttarakhand government on Monday announced 50% reservation for women for the post of sarpanch in van panchayats, which plays a vital role in protecting the hilly state's natural resources.
To recognise the crucial role being played by women in strengthening van panchayats, the government will reserve half of the posts of sarpanch of van panchayats for them, chief minister Vijay Bahuguna said, speaking at a workshop on van panchayats in Dehradun.
The van panchayats present a perfect example of government and citizens coming together for the management of natural resources.
These autonomous local institutions have helped in preventing forest fires, illegal felling of trees and poaching, without compromising on the community's needs for timber and fodder.
The chief minister also made several other announcements like state insurance scheme for volunteers working in van panchayats, involvement of van panchayats in conservation and re-charging of water sources, marketing facilities for the produce of local people through Agriculture Marketing Federation, connecting van panchayats with MNREGA, publicity and marketing of organic products of van panchayats.
Bahuguna also said that 30 van panchayats would be felicitated for their outstanding work every year on September 9.