Block Development Council is the full form of bdc. A Block Development Council is a ward-level council that serves as an intermediary between people in the area and local government.
The Block Development Council’s main function is to create policy for the ward through consultation with its community. It provides welfare measures, builds roads and facilities, organises events and campaigns related to developmental schemes, takes up issues related to human rights, conducts census of the population residing in the ward and undertakes several other activities for ensuring people-powered development through dialogue and awareness under ‘open space’ approach. The directive principles of community participation call for involvement of people at every stage of planning process, which includes giving them opportunities to attend various meetings such as block meetings where BC can talk about their problems directly with local governments .
In Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, a woman BC was paraded naked by police and SPOs for opposing the forced implementation of government-sponsored schemes. In another incident, people were instigated to demolish a forest department rest house in order to build a school building because the school was very far from the village. This leaves us to wonder how ‘local’ are the powers of these councils.
Moreover, funds for development are routed through District Rural Development Agency (DRDA)s which are supervised by district collectors who have little knowledge of ground realities . Thus, funds get misallocated which leaves block committees with no financial resources or developmental activities on which they can plan.
Block Development Councils are headed by Sarpanches, these are village-level bodies that serve as the link between local self-government bodies of Gram Panchayats and Zilla Parishads and its community members. However, when it comes to Chhattisgarh this term is merely a euphemism for political oppression in the hands of a feudal Lord and his henchmen.
Sarpanches are elected for a five-year term, mainly through the open council system where all adults from the village have a right to vote in the election. These elections are held in phases which occurs around five months apart, thus allowing time for various meetings between contestants and voters. However, in Chhattisgarh the term ‘Sarpanch’ has become associated with political debauchery.
People’s March, an international fact finding mission to Chhattisgarh noted that even when there were no national or state election campaigns in full swing, the BJP had set out on a campaign to achieve its objectives through Sarpanch elections. The BJP had started a campaign with the slogan – ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nishulk Sammaan aur Nirnay Abhiyan’ meaning that people should vote for a Brahman i.e. a person from the upper caste to be elected as head of their village council and some rules were introduced to ensure that only upper caste people can contest for this post.
Yet, developments in these areas did not match the promises made by the ruling party before elections. One of their main achievements was education and making sure that children attend school but it turned out that this was just a charade – nearly half of the schools were closed during our visit. The fact finding mission was able to capture this reality through its interactions with locals who spoke of how their traditional knowledge would be lost .
As mentioned earlier, the term ‘Sarpanch’ has become associated with political debauchery in Chhattisgarh. An investigation conducted by People’s March revealed that these are nothing more than a vehicle for the feudal lords to retain their grip on power. It is a known fact that most of these so called Sarpanches are proxies of landlords who have been elected as people’s representatives. In some parts of Chhattisgarh, particularly in Bastar division, Sarpanch elections will be held only when the landlord nominates his own ‘Sarpanch’.
This is specifically true in case of some dominant castes such as the Gonds, Oraons and Dhruv Gonds. In these communities the relationship between the untouchable caste members and their feudal lords are extremely exploitative. At one point of time, these peasants were slaves to landlords who forcibly took control of their land. However, in some cases they have been given the right to vote but are often intimidated by landlords who keep them a bay by using their influence and power.
Every third candidate in a Sarpanch election is a criminal, according to a People’s March investigation, the most flagrant being those from the ruling party. In Chhattisgarh, the term ‘Sarpanch’ has been way from voting booths.
Thus, election campaigns are used as an opportunity for these guards to show their power against Leuva Patidar’s, a prominent community in South Chhattisgarh. The common platform between these guards and the landlord’s is their affiliation to the BJP.
Sarpanch elections in Chhattisgarh are not based on issues but on what has come to be known as ‘a party election’. The local unit of the dominant political force generally decides which person should become Sarpanch.
What is a Block Development Council?
- A Block Development Council is a group of neighbors who are committed to improving the quality of life in their neighborhood.
- They work together on projects that will benefit the whole block, including beautification projects and crime prevention initiatives.
- The number one goal for these councils is to make sure that all residents feel safe and welcome in their homes.
- These groups are usually led by a facilitator or organizer who can help keep everyone focused on reaching common goals.
Who are the members of the council?
- The mayor
- The Deputy Mayor
- City Manager
- Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
- Clerk of the Council
How does it work to develop communities in India?
- India is a developing country with many communities.
- These communities are formed by the people in them, who share similar interests and beliefs.
- Communities can be developed through various methods, such as education or social programs.
- India’s community development process varies from other countries because of its size and population density.
- The government has three main goals when it comes to community development – empowerment, sustainability, and self-reliance.
- Empowerment means that people have the ability to make decisions about their lives so they can improve themselves.
Why should I join my local BDC and what can it do for me?
- You can meet people in your community who share your interests.
- The BDC is a great place to network and make connections with other business owners.
- Your local BDC offers many different types of workshops, seminars, and classes for you to learn from.
- If you’re looking for an entrepreneurial opportunity, the BDC may be able to help you find one that’s right for you.
- When times are tough or if there’s an emergency situation affecting your business, the BDC has the resources and expertise needed to get things back on track.
- The more involved you are with your local BDC, the more benefits it will yield for both yourself and others around town.