The geographical area of this study is West Bengal - a constituent state (province) of India. The state government policy aims at administrative decentralization through Panchayats (or Village Councils) in rural areas. It is a 3-tier system, comprising a Gram Panchayat in every village, Panchayat Samity (block level), and Zilla Parishad (district level). Focusing mainly on Panchayat Samity members, the study explores the knowledge, attitudes, participation, and involvement of the Panchayat Samity members in National Health and Family Welfare Programs. The categories of respondents are the Health Committee members of Panchayat Samity, and health personnel of Block Primary Health Center and Rural Hospital. With a positive frame of mind, they are found to be involved in promoting awareness about health and family planning, and in providing child immunization and other health measures to predominantly agrarian communities.


Panchayat Samity, Health Committee, Child Immunization, Family Planning, Pulse Polio, and Maternal-child Health


The author conveys his gratitude to Prof. B. N. Bhattacharya of the Population Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, for his kind cooperation and guidance for conducting the study and preparation of the manuscript, and grateful thanks to Prof. (Dr.) Maureen Duffy, TQR and Prof. S. Guha Roy (retired) of the Population Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, for development and enrichment of the study.

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