|DFID Audit Team Commends Financial Transparency|
An audit team of DFID on visit to Dhar has commended the financial transpareny in the MPRLP villages. The team members included Ayodeji Agunyemi, National Audit Office UK, Tim Drew, Motosi Sengupta Programme manager DFID MP and Taposh Roy State Representative DFID. The team visited the Patbhoga and Semlipura villages in Tirla cluster of Dhar and held discussions with villagers on a number of issues specially regarding financial arrangements and use of Gram Kosh.
The team members made queries about organizing Gram Sabha meetings, participation of women, access to information, and decision making in the Gram Sabha. Villagers explained to the team in detail about every aspect. They informed that "we earlier thought that only Sarpanchas and panchas attend Gram Sabha meeting. When we came to know that all of us are members of Gram Sabha and can participate in discussions on any issue, we have started attending meetings."
Ayodeji asked the villagers in Patbhoga about the fund in Gram Kosh and how the accounts are maintained. They informed that it is written on the wall of school building for the knowledge of everybody in the village. The DFID team was overwhelmed to find such a mechanism. The Gram Kosh account details are written on the walls or display boards for common knowledge in all Project villages. The DFID team inspected the wall on which details of Gram Kosh were printed. The team commended the transparent system. They sought views of the villagers on repayment of money borrowed from the Gram Kosh. The villagers informed that they would repay the loan amount before harvesting of wheat crop giving a logic that Gram Kosh must remain filled for use and reuse.
The DFID team assessed the utility of even paltry amount and found that even a small sum could bring about a lasting change in the lives of rural poor and check their migration. The members of Self Help Group informed the DFID team that they are striving to improve their income base. In Semilipura, the team members visited a mother goat unit and appreciated the initiatives. The team members inspected the record cash book, Gram Sabha register, proposal format, pass book and relevant documents.