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Bihari Women Honoured by UNDP

A woman sarpanch of the gram kutchheri (rural court)in Minapur recently received global accolades for delivering instant, and correct, justice.

The United Nation Development Project (UNDP) also filmed her while delivering a verdict and will use the footage for a documentary on her.

Meet Kiran Devi, sarpanch of Raghai panchayat in Minapur block of the district. Declaring Kiran a role model, the UNDP said her story would be showcased on the TV in the United Nations for settling disputes efficiently in rural areas, without asking for a single penny in return. A team of the UNDP, led by VK Sinha, visited this sleepy hamlet and filmed her work during their day-long stay.

Talking to HT over phone from New Delhi, Dr Sinha, who supervises the development work of the UNDP in India, said the UN body declared Kiran the best judge after closely observing her performance at the gram kutchheri and comparing with those in seven states of India. Details of gram kutchheris had been procured from the Central Rural Development Department, he said.

A partially educated Kiran, who regularly holds gram kutchheri under a Pipal tree, enjoys full support of her fellow villagers. So far, she has delivered 163 verdicts and not a single one has been challenged till date as, says Kiran, she always tries to deliver an unbiased verdict.

The penalty amount is deposited with the District Calamity Relief Fund after consulting all gram kutchheri members, Kiran said.

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