He may be asked to help his group solve their problems. For example, a group of shopkeepers finds that their market is not being kept clean. They would send their leader to tell the person in charge about their problem. The leader is the representative of the group. Groups of people who live or work together need to obey some rules or laws. Usually leaders help a group to make its rules. All members of the group, including the leader must follow these rules.
Sometimes, a group of people who do the same kind of work form a cooperative society. A farmers’ cooperative may help them buy good seeds and fertilizers at reasonable prices. It may collect money and buy a tractor, which the members use in their fields. Each farmer would have to pay only a small amount of money to use the tractor. He would not need to buy his won tractor. A cooperative society can also help its members to sell their products at a good price. There are women’s cooperative societies too, which help them sell handicrafts and other home-made products.
India has thousands of villages, big and small. Each big village usually elects its own group of men and women as its leaders. This group is called a panchayat. The leaders of the panchayat are called the sarpanch. Many women are now taking an active part in village panchayats. The panchayat looks after the needs of the village. It may collect money from the villagers and use it to keep the area clean, to make roads, to provide clean drinking water, street lights, dispensaries and schools. Often the panchayat is asked to settle quarrels between the villagers. In this way the villagers govern or rule themselves. The village panchayat is an example of self –government by the people of a community.
A town or a city is much larger community. Here the leaders are usually chosen through an election. The town or city is divided into many areas or zones. One person is elected as the representative from each zone. The leaders of a town or city are called councilors. They govern the city, collected the taxes and arrange for all the public services the people need. They usually have to run a large office where people can pay their taxes and send in their complaints and suggestions.