The news items emanating from the Janata Durbar of Nitish Kumar are sometimes exhilarating and heartening. Further, I heard Nitish Kumar is also visiting all the district headquarters as a means of routine contact with ‘aam aadami’ to have a feel of the problems and issues of the region. It is a great thing to do. I wish it could spread some necessary messages too. I wrote a letter to his e-mail.
Dear Nitish Kumarji,
It is nice to hear about your Janata durbar. I have some suggestions. I am sure you must be doing that, but still I wanted to express my views.
I wish the durbar or all such public interactions be also used to pass on certain urgent message to the aam aadami, as a total attitudinal change is required in the mindsets of the people of Bihar in particular.
One such message must be to appeal to all attending the durbar to send their children, all boys and girls, to the school. And the panchayats must ensure that. If necessary, some incentive or awards such as the ‘best panchayats with 100% children attending school’ can be instituted.
Another important message must go about the futility of the certificate of examinations obtained by unfair means at the examination centers, many times assisted by the guardians.
You have already taken initiative to stop lobbying (or pairabi) for transfer. But can you also pass a message that with huge number of state employees doing nothing, there is hardly any scope for employment in the state government, and the people must not look for the government jobs too much. Only solution to the unemployment of the youths is self-employment through small businesses after getting trained in skills that are in demand.
In three years time left with you, please do something so that Bihar improves its ranking considerably at least in education sector. Bihar and Biharis have only knowledge sector to prosper in the state or outside honourably.
These durbars can serve the people in many ways. It can tell them how an ordinary woman named Lal Muni Devi earns her living honestly that can be emulated by others, particularly, as none in Bihar’s villages are without a house of some sort.
On one hand I get a shock of my life that Bihar doesn’t produce today even a single megawatt of electricity. On the other hand, to my surprise I found many households in Bihar’s remote villages are enjoying at least some connectivity with the world with solar plates on the rooftops, and are update with news of World Cup 2007 and entertainment from the 100s of private channels. I appeal to CM to provide special subsidy to underprivileged class to install solar energy sources. If DMK can go on distributing colour TV, can’t our CM help the poor get a light at home?
But my main worry is about the disinterest in almost all the people that I met about the education. Panchayats can play a big role with 50% women in it for everything including healthcare and education through effective ‘aanganwadi’ system. Schools must be reformed. Teachers must come out of political patronage and religiously take care of the children in the school. DMs must be given the responsibility to initiate and develop a good education hub in every headquarters with number of secondary and higher secondary schools, trade training centers, and an engineering and medical college. An innovative means must be found to get all the children above 14 years who can’t go for higher education with employability into some sort of skill building. Skill can be as basic as plumbing, carpentry, tailoring, haircutting, massaging, electrician and bricklaying. Teacher may be one who knows the skill and train the children. It hardly matters if Bihar can’t provide the jobs for them. If the government even with private agencies can train them, they can get better employment wherever they migrate be it Kashmir to Qatar.
He can also help in getting some social myths regarding caste-based professions broken. The farmers must diversify the cultivation pattern based on profitability, must breed more milking or meat producing birds and cattle of good quality as means of additional earning in the family. Many are doing that but the potential is huge with sure prosperity.
I wish CM took advantages of some of the rural initiatives such as one from Microsoft or ITC’s e-Choupal to digitally connect the rural Bihar to provide the necessary agriculture related services. As reported, “by March 2008, the Indian government hopes to set up 100,000 common service centres (CSCs) across India. These e-kiosks will offer everything from crop prices and insurance to tele-medicine and education. Footing the bill for half of them is Microsoft India.”
Bihar government is to be proactive to take the advantages of these initiatives rather than fighting here too the political battles. It will be anti-people.