Sampark would like to share with you the findings of a study conducted by us on 9,835 Qs raised by MLAs during the Legislative Assembly sessions of Maharashtra, between the years 2015 and 2018. The focus of our study is 9 districts in Maharashtra with low Human Development Index.
For more than three decades now, Sampark, a Mumbai based NGO, has been working in the field of public interest advocacy. A constant dialogue with elected representatives has been the foundation of our work. We have found that often dialogue based on accurate information is more effective than confrontation.
This was proved once again when in 2015, we started our work with UNICEF on child rights advocacy with the state legislators. We first analysed the questions raised in the assembly and then started providing the legislators with the necessary information. We found an increase of over 100 questions between the period 2011-2015 and 2015 to 2018 when we started our efforts to increase the representation of children’s issues in the assembly.
The rationale behind this study was to reveal the extent to which ‘We the people’ are represented in the highest decision-making body of our state. The study is aimed at understanding the proceedings of the State Assembly, in terms of the questions asked there based on the social issues that confront us today.
Based on our findings, the next logical step is to have a better dialogue between the elected representatives and their voters; Sampark initiated an experiment by forming citizens’ groups in seven constituencies of Maharashtra, to communicate with their MLAs with accurate information backed by facts and figures, identify the issues that ought to be resolved in their respective constituencies.
We request you to publish the observations of our study in your newspapers/portals so that they reach a wider audience and initiate a discussion on the topic.
Note: As we came close to the end of the study period, several MLA changed their party they had represented until then. But since our focus was on the sessions held during December 2014 and December 2018, we have counted these MLAs as belonging to their earlier party, as documented in the assembly proceedings.
You can read all the finds on our website. Please refer to the drop-down on the ‘Know Your MLAs’ tab.
– Medha Kulkarni 9833518713 / Mrunalini Jog (982050478 / Hemant Karnik 9821550498