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Sometimes we need to learn from Gujarat

by IT Web Admin
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IT Feature
On 3rd July 2012 IBN Live reported an article about Punsari, a small village in Gujarat thus:”Ever heard of a village with CCTV cameras, 24-hour Wi-Fi Internet and solar-powered lamps? Well, Punsari village in Gujarat is providing its citizens much more than what even some urbanites can hope for. And all this is being done without any NRI funding or any special donations -Their formula for success. Make optimal use of the government schemes.
At a government primary school in the village, the students are under constant CCTV observation. This is to keep a tab on any wayward activities. Says Bhagwatiben Patel, Principal of the Punsari Primary School, “With the cameras in place, we can monitor the kids better. And even the children know they are being watched.”
A reverse osmosis plant in the village provides clean drinking water at a nominal cost of Rs 4 for a 20-litre drinking water can. An independent bus service, a Wi-Fi tower providing 24-hour free Internet connectivity, water-proof public speakers and solar-powered lamps have enhanced Punsari’s brand equity. And with each villager being insured for an accidental cover of Rs 1 lakh and a mediclaim cover of Rs 25,000, the people here have little to complain.
Sarpanch Himanshu Patel says, “The main intention was that we should have an atmosphere of a village, but facilities like those in the city. The government talks of urban-rural connect now, but we have already done it.”
Punsari’s turnaround happened when the village sold part of its land for plotted schemes. The money, deposited in government coffers, is used to fund the village’s welfare schemes. And the village has now received good governance awards from both the central and state governments.
Meanwhile, neither is the village drenched in NRI funds nor have its schemes been funded through donations. It’s just that the village has managed its accounts well and has made optimal use of government schemes”.
The above report would seem like a fiction story written by an author with a hyperactive imagination, but is the truth. In our society embroiled with crimes, spineless bureaucrats, holier-than-thou politicians and scheming officials looking for ways to enhance their personal coffers, not to mention the self-proclaimed social activists whose “sacrifices” and “selfless endeavours” have been proven to be laced with considerations benefitting themselves and their near ones, the prospect of a better tomorrow for our future generation has become more obscure than ever before. The real issues of inclusive development, transparent governance and sustainable progress have been lost in the ensuing melee. Meanwhile, the general public who chose to mind their own personal business without resorting to unnecessary influence or obligatory favours are paying the price and are made the scapegoat from both sides of the social and ideological divide while they are the very source of the sustenance for these opposing forces in the society, stealing and snatching with unabashed impunity the goods and benefits meant to bring some measure of relief to the general population.
The above report is an undeniable indicator of the collective power of the general public. Each and every individual whether in power or opposing it should understand, respect and support their normal aspirations and wishes. Coercion, force and arm twisting tactics can only work for so long. It is time to subjugate personal interest to the interest of the collective society.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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