The Andhra Pradesh government has employed 2.66 Lakh Village/Ward Volunteers and assigned them clusters of 50 households in rural regions and 70-100 households in urban areas. The objective is to ensure the effective implementation of government programs and schemes without any loopholes.
Eligibility criteria have been established for the selection process of Village/Ward Volunteers.
In rural regions, a Selection Committee headed by the MPDO and consisting of the Tahsildar and Extension Officer (PR & RD) as members,
while in urban areas, the Municipal Commissioner serves as the Chairman, with the Tahsildar and Project Officer/Town Mission Coordinator of the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) as members.
The Volunteers’ duties and obligations are assigned periodically, and their performance is regularly evaluated by the authorities.
Volunteer is disengaged from Duty
If a Volunteer’s performance appraisal reveals corruption, irresponsibility in discharging their duties, improper civic conduct, moral turpitude, or any form of irregularity, they are dismissed from their position.
It should be emphasized that the Volunteers are not government employees, neither on a regular nor on a contractual or outsourcing basis. They are not subject to any service regulations.
They are only employed on a monthly honorarium basis, and their employment is entirely dependent on their performance. Volunteers may be discharged from their duties for any of the following reasons:
- Engaging in corruption.
- Failure to discharge duties responsibly and efficiently.
- Behaving inappropriately in civic matters.
- Displaying moral turpitude.
- Committing any form of irregularity.
Procedure for disengagement
If a complaint is filed against a Village/Ward Volunteer, the concerned Panchayat Secretary/Ward Administrative Secretary will investigate and present their findings to the MPDO/Municipal Commissioner (the Appointing Authority) for appropriate action.
The Panchayat Secretary/Ward Administrative Secretary's responsibilities are as follows:
(i) Issue a notice to the Volunteer, informing them of the date and time of the enquiry, and asking them to appear in person for the investigation.
(ii) Conduct the enquiry according to the procedure, provide the complete details of the complaint to the Volunteer, record the statements of any witnesses, inform the Volunteer of the statements made by the witnesses, and record the Volunteer’s statement in defense.
(iii) Submit the findings of the enquiry, along with a record of the enquiry and a recommendation, to the Appointing Authority.
Based on the receipt of report of Panchayat Secretary/ Ward Administrative Secretary, the MPDO/ Municipal Commissioner concerned, as the case may be, shall issue disengagement proceedings.
Provision for Review
If the Volunteer is dissatisfied with the disengagement orders issued by the MPDO/Municipal Commissioner, they can file an appeal within one week from the date of receiving the orders, before a specially constituted Committee for review, which exists in every division.
Committee for Redressal of Grievances of Disengaged Volunteers
The government has constituted a Committee for the Redressal of Grievances of Disengaged Volunteers in each Division.
Revenue Divisional Officer as the Chairman, the Divisional level Development Officer (DLDO) as the Member Convenor, the Divisional Panchayat Officer, and a representative of the Regional Director of Municipal Administration as the other Members.
The Committee will hear the appeals filed by Volunteers and will make a decision based on the merits of the case within 15 days of the filing of the appeal, issuing orders accordingly.