This article has been authored by IAS officer Durga Sakthi Nagpal, Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India.
New Delhi: Today, we are in the midst of one of the biggest churning of ideas. It is a period of mass-scale awareness on important issues. It is also a period of heightened aspirations and vocal expectations.
It would appear an ideal circumstance, where the nation’s commitment to reach out to the last man and woman in the social structure, is apparently more emphatic and convincing.
Various development models have been designed to put people, the common-deprived lot at the center stage.
The expanding, people-friendly technology has helped fix such ambitions and goals. There is also a perceptible readiness on the part of ordinary citizens to upgrade their skills and to do something for society.
Can the current scenario of rich ideas, hopes and opportunity be tapped and availed to create a more desirable, just, healthy and fulfilling social order? This seems feasible and doable within a reasonably short term.
The ongoing development agenda of the Indian government offers a much-needed platform and adds an impetus to the related echo system. Consequently, the common people appear keen and willing to put in their might and stakes into the arena.
There is thus an urgent need to find ways and means to marry those aspirations and keenness with the government’s agenda.
Today we have a Prime Minister who is welcoming of new, innovative ideas in the march to develop India into an exemplary and wholesome model. A major role as a facilitator will first and foremost, have to be played by the government and their local institutions.
Simultaneously, various segments of society, such as retired people from the government and private sector, NGOs, public-spirited individuals and those with entrepreneurial aptitude need to take initiatives at different levels.
First, by making the best of new opportunities created through a large number of public programs by the Central and State Governments.
Second, by way of helping the intended beneficiaries including the lesser literates to properly avail their due.
Additionally, there are a number of known areas such asSwacchata, public health and nutrition issues, education for all, using water responsibly, avoiding wastage, slum dwellers, child labour, the poor and sick, senior citizens : finding local solutions to them with the required public support.
The following steps will help: First, the respective governments need to create volunteer groups from amongst the people. Particularly the unemployed youth, and pay them well, to devote to such listed tasks.
Second, each one of us, need to make a start with our ownselves. At our workplace, and the communities where we belong. We need to identify definite issues and make a start, however small. We will do well by fixing a time table for the selected activity, along with reliable friends while persuading others to join.
In addition, regular brainstorming amongst groups to come out with fresh ideas, and taking pride in our endeavours, will enrich the ongoing Mission Manthan.