Sushasan Abhi enables good rural governance

Rural villages are characterised by poor conditions and the inadequate delivery of services. Millions of people are unaware of their rights as Indian citizens or of ways in which they can become involved in their village-level institutions. This means, they are kept from participating in the essence of Indian democracy and decentralised governance. Structured, local means of engaging citizens to learn about their rights goes a long way in helping them become well-informed citizens who will eventually take on leadership roles to improve their lives and their communities. By knowing their rights, villagers drive better delivery of public services and take problems with delays or denial of benefits and services directly to government line departments, resulting in improved transparency and accountability.

Sushasan Abhi (Good Governance Now) Program

Sushasan Abhi or Good Governance Now is an initiative that provides individual citizens with knowledge, skills, and confidence to become informed active self-advocates for the development of their communities.

Citizen participation leads to better delivery of public services

The initiative engages communities in improving poor conditions and inadequate public services through participatory training to understand their rights and entitlements. Citizens learn about their priority issues, such as their right to information, food security programs, guaranteed rural employment, good rural governance, and social security services. They learn how to apply for and claim entitlements and how to appeal delays to the appropriate government officials.

Sushasan (Good Governance) Champions are trained through Village Leadership Schools to advocate for better delivery of public services. By sharing their knowledge with community members, they help to enable other citizens to connect with government officials to solve local problems.

“Lack of awareness on legal and constitutional rights and entitlements, as well as the existing accountability mechanisms is a major bottleneck responsible for the cobweb of poverty in which the rural citizens are wedged. The poor conditions to which they are subjected stem from ineffective delivery of services as well as the existing layers of corruption that affect of rural India. Sehgal Foundation organizes legal literacy camps under its Good Governance Now (Sushashan Abhi) program. Under this, we reach out to citizen groups, who are in dire need of legal awareness to know their rights and entitlements, and to solve local problems,” said Vikas Jha, Group Leader, Good Governance Now, Sehgal Foundation.