Insurance for Panchayati Raj representatives

To frustrate every move on every front of forces inimical to successful functioning of Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir and pre-empt any attempt to instil fear in the representatives of Panchayats , Government is not only actively mulling to address the issue adequately from time to time but has been regularly deciding to take cogent steps in this direction. Now, all the representatives of Panchayats numbering nearly 40000 shall be covered under Life Insurance, currently the modalities about the same are being given final touches. It may be recalled that militants tried to weaken the Panchayat functioning by selectively targeting some Panchs and Sarpanchs in the hope that the institutions of the grass root levels operating from our rural areas would suffer considerably but if it is said that the fearless elected representatives emerged more determined and resolute only to prove that if anything mattered the most was development of their villages in the manner they and their members wanted, it will not be any exaggeration .
However, delegations of Panchayats from Jammu and Kashmir intermittently keep visiting New Delhi and interacting with the Central leadership and sharing experiences and problems, is known to all. One of such delegations brought into the notice of the Central Government about providing insurance cover to them which has been now favourably considered and the UT administration is reportedly in the process of deciding about the amount of risk cover , the premium payable and about other necessary formalities. It is understandable that the move being first of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir and the likely number of the proposed insured being forty thousand, taking a final decision would take some more days . That being not as much important as the fact that a new policy stands to be adopted and made a routine practice which would go a long way in providing a boost psychologically to the Panchs and Sarpanchs etc as also an assurance of benefits to the next of kin of the insured in case of any eventuality.
It needs to be appreciated that despite lot of problems, threats, diktats etc from terrorists and call of boycott of election by the ‘mainstream ‘ political parties, elections took place and full cooperation from the representatives and people concerned ignored and braved threats . The Government on its part kept taking such decisions post elections like empowering Panchayats, Providing adequate financial support, ensuring participation in more activities, implementing changes and amendments with the only aim to make them function effectively in a mechanism of local self Government. One more decision in the right direction, taken recently is about providing adequate insurance cover to Panchs and Sarpanchs since the Government has fully realised as to how they even risked their lives for participating in elections and what best it could do as a reciprocal measure. The move was going to play a significant part in restoration of normalcy and carrying on with developmental activities uninterruptedly.
We urge the UT Government to expedite the process of selecting the Insurance Company and to initiate such steps which could be taken in floating e-tenders for the purpose and since Central Government was keeping security related funds at the disposal of the UT administration adequately , paying premiums and other charges for providing insurance cover would not be any problem in respect of more than 40000 representatives of the Panchayati Institutions.