The Bhagidari scheme, started by former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit in the national capital, was one of the important initiative launched by her government that involved people, including resident welfare associations and civic society, in the decision-making process.
It was also an initiative aimed to promote participatory democracy. In an event organised by the think tank, ORF, in October 2008, Dikshit had said the idea behind this scheme was to involve people in the democratic process.
Dikshit, 81, passed away Saturday afternoon at a private hospital in Delhi after suffering cardiac arrest. When the Bhagidari scheme was launched, about 11 citizen groups were identified. It later grew to more than 2,000 groups.
Under the scheme, monthly meetings were held with the RWAs, which Dikshit addressed personally through video conferencing facility. Citizens complained about water shortage, broken pipelines, poor condition of roads, bill-related complaints.
There were local officers sitting at one end of the video conferencing, while senior officials sitting at the other end. They interacted with each other and discussed the problems.
The scheme received appreciation from various national and international agencies. The Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of India, documented the practices followed in the scheme, which was sent to all states of the country to assess whether similar practices could be followed in other states.
The Delhi government also government received an award from the Commonwealth Community as well as the United Nations for best practices in governance.