They Call Them Heroes

The Right Act Arvind Kejriwal

IIT engineer turned-bureaucrat-turned-information activist Arvind Kejriwal is one of the heroes among the activists across the country that are engaged in propagating Right to Information law against all resistance from a hierarchy of custodians of information. And the pioneering efforts gained international recognition when Arvind got honoured with Ramon Magsaysay award. But within a year of its enactment, the government attempted to amend the RTI law to deny access to sensitive file notings. Kejriwal played a vital role in mobilising public pressure to drop the proposed amendment. Kejriwal’s latest initiative is to help the Bihar government set up a call centre to enable illiterate villagers to access information. I keep on following media report on Arvind, as he is known to my eldest son from his IIT days.

Pistachio King Lajpat Rai Munger

Lajpat Rai Munger got caught while taking a bribe of Rs 500, when he was head constable in Punjab Police in 50s. And then happened the transformation. He left Punjab Police in 1954 and managed to reach America, the land of opportunities, in 1966. And the metamorphosis and resounding success as a businessman followed. From an ordinary menial worker, he switched to a small business. Today, Munger owns 8,000 acres of land in California and is the largest grower of pistachios in the world. He is also the biggest blueberries baron in California too. The 90-year-old Lajpatji came back from the US early this year to donate a whopping Rs 20 crore to set up an engineering college in Hoshiarpur, that to him is his “penance”. Here is one example that many can emulate.

Abhayanand- A Police Officer, A Teacher Too

Abhayanand, a 1977 batch IPS officer currently posted as ADG (HQ), is back in active life of a policeman making a difference in Bihar. He is one of the key persons behind the 5,000-odd convictions in 2006 in Bihar. Even high and mighty MLAs and MPs in Bihar are scared, as the cases against them have been suddenly reopened. Besides being an officer, Abhayanand ji is a teacher too and the founder of Super30 Institute. Along with Anand Kumar the maths wizard, Abhayanandji provides coaching to 30 IIT-aspirants of whom 28 cracked the IIT-JEE this time. And the students are the poor ones, including Dalits who cannot afford tuitions of the professional coaching institutes. Abhayanand is an example of double role, and one doing both with excellent success rates.</POS

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