The 18th edition of Tata Mumbai Merathon is surely a big event this year after two years of break imposed by the pandemic. Apart from international runners and athletes, this year, 20 women Sarpanch from different parts of rural Maharashtra are set to participate in Dream Run on January 15 in Mumbai.
In a novel initiative by two non profit organisations, RSCD and ISHAD, the run is aimed at spreading awareness around education, training and empowerment through the elected representatives in Local Governments, catering around 20,000 representatives.
It is now being increasingly recognised that the essential services like education, health, sanitation, water supply, environment protection etc can be best provided to all the citizens only through the elected representatives of the concerned Local Self Governments which are Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Municipal Corporations/Councils, the third tier of India’s democratic structure. It is in-line with the strategies suggested by UN for achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 20 women Sarpanchas who are role models and pioneers in women empowerment are: Semina Panchange, Versha Pingle, Pranya Temkar, Arjana Pawar, Nita Potphode, Shradha Gaidhane, Uma Mali, Archna Kamble, Versha Jambhulkar, Sharmila Ramteke, Sangeeta Vende Archna Jatkar, Ratnamala Vaidya, Harshda Walke, Malti Sagne, Sunanda Mandle, Suraaiyya Pathan, Nanda Gaikwad, Samina Shaikh, and Pradnya Awade.