Madhya Pradesh


Our work in Madhya Pradesh

Districts: Chindwara, Dewas, Jhabua, Sehore, Bhopal, Harda, Satna, Rewa, Sidhi

Madhya Pradesh was the first state in the country to implement the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution. There are 23051 Panchayats in MP and 3,96,877 elected representatives govern the Panchayats in the state, out of which 1,34,368 seats are reserved for women in all three tiers. In the third generation of elections, out of 23051 Panchayats, 8394 Panchayats are headed by women. Though the percentage of women in local governance has increased in the last 13 years, the elected women representatives are still severely marginalized in a state ridden with feudal and caste wars and need hand holding, support and mentoring.

The Hunger Project is working in the state for last six years with partner organizations at three levels- training & capacity building of the elected women representatives, advocacy on different issues which gives strength to Panchayats and women in the governance, and Media Dialogue to create an enabling environment for elected women representatives and marginalized people on various issues like gender discrimination, right to food, right to information, public distribution system, violence against women, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, health, education and other developmental issues.

In the last six years, the main focus has been to develop transformative leadership among elected women representatives in collaboration with partner organizations such as Mahila Chetna Manch, Action Aid, UNICEF, UNFPA, IWID and others. Such organizations have provided a strong network for advocacy. The districts are wide spread and cover the regions of Malwa, Baghelkhand, Mahakoushal and other tribal areas.

Partners of the Hunger Project

Sampark Block Petlawad District Jhabua

Gram Sudhar Samiti Block Rampur Baghelan District Satna

IDYWC Prayas Block Amarwara District Chhindwara

Pushpa Kalyan Kendra Block Ashta District Sehore

Samavesh Block Khirkiya District Harda

Vikas Samvad Madhya Pradesh District Bhopal

The partners have been working in the field for several years and working to bring visible change in the lives of poor and marginalized people through various programs. The Hunger Project in collaboration with the partners has managed to bring remarkable change in local governance through the elected women representatives in the areas. Today, the women representatives are vocal and active and are trying to transform the lives of the people and community.

"Armed with information, I feel stronger. More women are accompanying me in monitoring Schools and Aanganwadis and actively participate in looking developmental works in the village. The opportunity that I got through the reservation, all the women must be given, so that we women can live equally with men in the society."

-Gangi Devi Nat

Gram Panchayat Chakdahi

Sirmore Block, Rewa MP


Last 2006, 15 WLWs were held in which 574 women leaders were trained. A 'Training of Trainers' (TOT) was also organized to enhance the capacities of the staff of the partner organizations. 44 trainers participated in the TOT. Post the WLWs, the trained women have become confident, vocal and are able to communicate better. They have started to take interest in developmental works of their villages and are no longer confined to their homes. IEC material and resource support was provided to partner organizations and participatory techniques were used in all these trainings.


People sitting outside

Meetings at different levels were organized and issues like networking, gender sensitization, problems of EWRs, caste, feudal system, community involvement, information of different schemes, tax imposition, audit and social audit, PRA, Gram Sabha, interaction with CEOs and other government functionary, health issues, sanitation and drinking water were some of the major points discussed in the meetings. A booklet focusing on the strengths and importance of the Gram Sabha was brought out by The Hunger Project and disseminated widely. By using traditional drama forms like Jathas, the partners have tried to spread the message of democratization & the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in development in remote areas. The Jathas were organized in the villages and focus group discussions with the communities were organized especially on role of women in development, community involvement, sanitation, water and other resources of the village.



In Madhya Pradesh, The Hunger Project has been keenly engaging with the media for several years. Three types of interventions have been undertaken during this period - 1) a fellowship was awarded to a lady journalist to study and write on the issues related to the topic Women & Leadership, 2) an orientation workshop was conducted for journalists on the issues of development and women in governance and 3) a media package was developed on Women in Politics and Governance. Apart from this our partners have published newsletters, booklets, wall newspapers and IEC material. Articles were sent to newspapers and feature agencies for wide circulation. The media in Madhya Pradesh tries to understand the issues concerning women's participation in politics and is supportive and committed. The media has extended unstinted support for abolishing the Two Child Norm, and along with a strong campaign at various levels, (the Government of Madhya Pradesh has recently abolished the Two Child Norm). In all four Media Workshops were organized with Mid Career and Senior Journalists. 145 Journalists were sensitized about the PRIs and Role of EWRs in Development. In the last six years fourjournalists of Madhya Pradesh have been awarded the prestigious Sarojini Naidu Prize.

Exposure Visits

Two womenGroup of women sitting

Exposure visits were organized for the elected women representatives (EWR) to enhance their learning and confidence. The women leaders visited different states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry. Meeting other elected women leaders from different cultural backgrounds helped the women to understand that they are not alone in their struggles. Other women too face similar challenges and try to find solutions locally. The EWRs and Project Coordinators visited different Government offices to access information and held discussions with the CEOs and other officials. They also visited some of the best Panchayats of the state and met women who are working on right-based issues like water, land, forest and prostitution. Post these visits the elected women representatives are trying to implement some of the ideas in their villages.


The struggles & advocacy of the EWRs resulted in the Madhya Pradesh Government abolishing the Two Child Norm from the Panchayati Raj Act. The norm violated the rights of the elected women representatives and disproportionately affected them in large numbers. This is so because the norm threatened to encourage sex selective abortion, desertion, divorce, and cases where legal wives were sent back to their natal home to hide a third pregnancy or child. This collectively resulted in discouragement of women from contesting elections, which defeated the very purpose of the 73rd amendment.

The partners have formed SHGs to support the EWRs in the villages and all the SHGs are involved in income generation activities and savings. Apart from this, grain banks and gram kosh (Village Fund) have also been developed by the partners in the villages to support the poor in emergency. All these activities are being monitored by the concerned EWRs in the villages. One of the partners has started 'Sakhi Pahal' programme focusing on health in the Panchayats.

Advocacy is important and there is a need to provide supportive platforms for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions. A system needs to be evolved for quick follow up to the resolutions sent by the Panchayats to Janpad and Zilla Panchayats. Large-scale mobilization is also required for Panchayats to become proactive and prioritize their development needs.

Kusum Devi Khushwaha, Mahuraj Sarpanch in Madhya Pradesh shares her experience with NREGA in her Panchayat and speaks about the effectiveness of the program. She openly discusses the problems faced by female Sarpanchs and says that no amount of interference by family male members will impede women’s determination to succeed in governance and political participation.

Women in Governance

Challenges faced by Elected Women Representatives in Madhya Pradesh in preparing and issuing of job and Below the Poverty Line cards:

  • Absenteeism of Sarpanch and administrative officials {Secretary}
  • Non Inclusion of villagers in Gram Sabha
  • No pre information regarding Gram Sabha Meeting
  • Need for Aanganwadi
  • Non implementation of the past agenda by Gram Sabhas
  • Improper implementation of Mid Day Meal Schemes

Women in Governance

Demands of Elected Women Representatives in Madhya Pradesh

  • Dhara “40” should be abolished with immediate effect
  • Provision of Mahila gram Sabha should be mandatory
  • Proper devolution of the departments and clear rules should be framed in order to run the Panchayat Act smoothly
  • Tax and other revenues should be handed over to Panchayati Raj Institutions
  • Entitlement to natural resources
  • Opportunities in terms of employment must be provided
  • Need for Class 8/10/12th school in every village
  • Need for infrastructure for commuting
  • Availability of Primary Health Centre should be ensured
  • Need for Electricity
  • Need for new survey to correct discrepancies in BPL list
  • Disciplining of Government Officials
  • PDS has to be efficient and non discriminatory
  • Welfare program should benefit those for whom it is meant for
  • Budget for Panchayat should be disclosed before Gram Sabhas
  • Sarpanch should get more power
  • Availability of water and toilet for all and especially for girls in schools in order to retain girls in schools


A two days Panchayat Secretaries Orientation Program was organized at Bhopal in which 75 Secretaries of remote Gram Panchayats participated. The objective of this program was to sensitize the Secretaries about the efforts of the elected women representatives and the critical role that they play in implementing developmental works. The response was overwhelming as the secretaries came out with new ideas and also threw light upon the problems of bureaucracy, patriarchy and male domination in Panchayats, Caste System, Feudal System and other hierarchical problems prevailing in the villages. They all urged the Hunger Project to orient the senior district officers and also demanded trainings on different aspects like social audit, implementation of government schemes, evaluation etc.

Moti bai shares her views on governance. She, as the Sarpanch, talks about the ground realities of Gram Sabha, where women are not given equal status and face discrimination by administrative officials as well as by male members. She says the issue of caste factor often hampers governance at the grassroots level. She has raised the issue of the inefficient role of the secretary in her Panchayat. In spite of all the constraints,she says she is able to make a difference in the village and hopes to fight for the next election for either the post of MLA or Janpad President.


People sitting in a circle

The Hunger Project has carried out hunger mapping in four states in order to understand the hunger, poverty, and role of Panchayats in eradicating the said problems. Jhabua was one of the districts in the study, where the study was conducted in 6 Panchayats. Jhabua is predominantly a tribal district of MP and known for its cultural traditions and values. Despite years of programmatic intervention by government and civil society organizations, life continues to be hard and tribes have to migrate for their livelihood. Several government schemes such as the PDS and NREGA have been implemented in the area but it has done little to improve the condition of the tribes. The situation continues to be pathetic and the lack of education and health facilities in the area contribute directly to the deteriorating lives of tribal women and children. The Hunger Project has undertaken a survey and in the coming year alongwith the Gram Sabhas, THP will aim towards smooth functioning of the schemes and programmes of the government with regard to food security.


The THP state office has collaborated with the government and Civil Society Organisations to develop reports on developmental issues and has also helped to carry out different studies like the FOCUS report edited by Prof Jean Dreze, and released by Prof Amartiya Sen. THP State Coordinator, Sandip Naik has contributed a separate piece on the history of Anganwadis in India in the FOCUS report. The state Office has also contributed to the study of Mid Day Meal Scheme in 4 districts of MP with the Right to Food campaign.



Sandip Naik

Sandip is the State Coordinator of The Hunger Project in Madhya Pradesh. Prior to The Hunger Project, Sandip was Principal in CBSE Senior Secondary Schools like Vindhyachal Academy and Army School.

He has worked in EKLAVYA for 10 years and has also established an Adolescent Resource Centre with the help of CEDPA and UNFPA. Sandip likes writing and has written different manuals for State Resource Centre, Government of MP and different NGOs on Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health especially for out of school adolescents in Madhya Pradesh. He writes book reviews as well as short stories and also publishes articles on developmental issues.

Neeraj Saxena

Neeraj joined The Hunger Project in January 2006 as a Programme Associate in Madhya Pradesh State Office. He looks after Accounts and Administration in the state office and also that of the partners. Neeraj takes special interest in training the Accounts and Administrative persons in the partner organizations. He also liases with local NGOs, Government departments and other stakeholders in Bhopal.

Prior to The Hunger Project, Neeraj worked with Samarthan, Action Aid (CG) and ASA.

Shriram Kevat

Shriram joined as the office assistant and facilitates the smooth running of The Hunger Project office in Bhopal. Shriram is from Harda district and has been associated with the Hunger Project for last two years. Shriram right now is pursuing his graduation for Bhopal University in Arts stream.

Names of Districts and Blocks covered by The Hunger Project in M.P

Harda Khirkiya Block

Chhindwara Amara wara & Haarai Block

Dewas Khategaon BLock

Jhabua Petlawad Block

Sidhi Rampur Naikin Block

Satna Rampur Baghelan block

Seoni Lakhnadoun Block

Rewa Semariya Block

Sehore Ashta Block

Bhopal Entire district


NGO Partner` Samavesh

District Harda

Block Khirkiya


1- Morgadhi 10- Sangwa

2- Chhurikhal 11- Maktapur

3- Kukdapani 12- Juanpani

4- Chikalpat 13- Nahali

5- Jamnyakhurd 14- Bhagwanpura

6- Sawalkheda 15- Bandi

7- Charua 16- Monpura

8- Bawadiya

9- Ramtel

NGO Partner Anupama Education Society

Distt Satna

Block Sirmore Semariya cluster


1- Mohra 6- Bara

2- Pipra 7- Bawaiya

3- Kumhrajudwani 8- Busoul

4- Devgaonkala 9- Tighara

5- Chakrati 10- Choura

NGO Partner Gram Sudhar Samiti

Distt Satna

Block Rampur Baghelan


Intensive Extensive

1-Chhibora 1- Basti

2- Dengarhat 2- Bella

3- Ramnagar 3- Jamuna

4- Sagouni 4- Jarnadanpur

5- Khokham 5- Karmau

6- Sonoura 6- Mahidal

7- Khairya Kogar 7- Gajan

8- Chakdahi 8- Khukhuda

9- Itmanadi teer 9- Koniya

10- Kharwahi 10- Chakera

11- Mahuraj 11- Karpwah

12- Katella 12- Krishnaganj

13- Tapa 13- Bihkiya sarai

14- Sari Bougha 14- Gouhari

15- Nemua

16- Huddan

Name of the NGO & IDYWC

Distt - Chhindwara

Block - Harrai / Amarwara


1- Damkhoh

2- Bailpathar

3- Jhiran

4- Manakwadi

5- Kothiyua

6- Waka

7- Anchalkund

8- Tinsai

9- Bhumka

10- Malpani

11- Palni

12- Choupana

13- Bichhua

14- Saldhana

15- Devri

16- Khirda

Name of the NGO - On Shiksha Samiti

Distt - Sidhi

Block - Rampur Naikin


1- Kaouri Kothar

2- Bahiraha

3- Paterah

4- Agdal

5- Dithoura

6- Titira

7- Gadhara

8- Choubhara Digvijaysingh

9- Bagadkhas

10- Ghatokhar

Name of the NGO - Pushpa Kalyan Kendra

Distt - Sehore

Block - Ashta


1- Hakimbad 22. Govindpura

2- Rupeta 23. Dhuradkala

3- Tanda 24 Kurli

4- Loraskal

5- Bandariya

6- Mundikheda

7- Neelbad

8- Kaatla

9- Siddikganj

10- Shampura Magardha

11- Rollagaon

12- Guradiya Wajpat

13- Semri Bonda

14- Lakhiya

15- Amarpura

16- Singarchori

17- Jassupura

18- Jhikadi Mewati

19- Rampura

20- Nogaon

21- Bapcha