Udaipur : What is special if a couple becomes sarpanch of any village, perhaps nothing surprising. But at Goliyawada gram panchayat of Ghatol Panchayat Samiti in Banswara district, it has been a couple leading the highest post of village governance for 32 years now. Mohanlal Maida and wife Sharda Maida , popularly known as the sarpanch dampatti (couple) have been holding the sarpanch office since 1988. It is Sharda when the seat is reserved for a woman and when general, Mohanlal had remained unbeatable. They are perhaps the only couple in Rajasthan to have led any seat for seven terms consecutively. This time, Sharda Maida have been elected third time as sarpanch.
” The journey had been very long but we never felt tired or exhausted. Spending our time in social work and overall development of the village, have been our priority always” Mohanlal says. The couple is known for their humbleness and easy approachability. ” Whether it is a celebration or tragedy at any home, the couple is always there, they have a personal connect with every home in the panchayat” says Dinesh Meena, a resident. ” We love our village and wanted every facility like road, drainage, handpumps, schools, hospital, electricity etc for it. We make sure that no schemes mooted by the government stays out of reach of our village” says Sharda. When asked whether the social service have hampered their marital life any time, the couple nods in refutation. ” On the contrary, having spend so many years in social service, we understand the responsibility that comes with the ‘sarpanch tag’. Before entering politics, I did not realize the importance of the work unless I was elected myself. People have some much of expectations from you related to the development works, they share the problems of daily lives and look upon the sarpanch for solutions. How can they be left unattended” Sharda asks.
It was in 1988 when Mohanlal was elected Sarpanch in the then Kherwa panchayat.Later after delimitation Goliyawada came into existence after separating from Kherwa and Mohanlal was re-elected as sarpanch in 1995 in the newly built domain. When should the husband and wife become sarpanch He was elected third time in 2000 and next term when the seat was reserved for women, Sharda led the chair for two consecutive terms from 2005 to 2015. Her husband overtook her in 2015 and this year again the lady won third time.