Jan Sunwai or Public Hearing is a process by which people who may be affected by a particular action or decision have the opportunity to ask questions, make submissions or register objections to a panel of experts. The panel may comprise of elected representatives, government officials, non-government organizations, experts from the field, media, etc.
It is a formal meeting designed to provide the public with an opportunity to express their support or opposition for any project or scheme in an open forum. Such hearings are especially useful for people living in rural areas and small towns. It gives them a platform to voice their concerns and provides for speedy justice and instant resolution.
Samarthan uses this tool to the fullest in providing the voice to the voiceless in small towns of Madhya Pradesh. We have conducted several public hearings in these towns to improve the implementation of various social security schemes. Through public hearings, numerous eligible candidates who were denied the benefits of these schemes were able to submit their applications and got approval instantly. The process also helped the administration to find poor and vulnerable citizens who were left out of the social safety net.
The whole process of public hearing comprises of three stages. It begins with a door-to-door survey of the poorest and needy families in the backward areas of the town. Based on the survey a report on various issues in the implementation of these schemes is prepared for the the public hearing. During the public hearing, citizens are invited to voice their grievances in front of the panel comprising of the chief municipal officer, elected representatives, senior journalists and citizen leaders. Grievances raised during the public hearing are resolved immediately and decisions are taken for other issues raised by the public. After the public hearing a follow-up of decisions taken is done to ensure the implementation of these decisions.
|Number of families who received benefits at public hearing|
1. 178 people got arrears of Rs. 550 each in Hatta town
2. 3000 fresh applications were filed for availing the benefits of social security schemes
3. 809 beneficiaries got their pension amount raised
4. Systematic and separate registers are being maintained at various urban bodies and receipts are also being given to applicants