Odisha: Rayagada witnesses administrators performing beyond their traditional roles

Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: Recently Rayagada is witnessing a few administrators going beyond their traditional roles of being super bureaucrats. This could be a trickle down effect of the Prime Minister Modi declaring himself as chief sevak and Chief Minister Naveen pushing the 4T mantra.

Though these administrators are supposed to assess the ground situation by being there and having one-to-one and community interface with the affected people, it is hardly done. Leaving their cosy air-conditioned vehicles, the young bureaucrats have dared to commute to these god forbidden villages in the hinterland of Rayagada. Recently Amrit, an young IAS, has shown the way by traversing the undulated terrain covered with dense forests and infested with ultra-left activists. Dr.Saravana Vivek M, yet another young IPS, who is a sports champion and a doctor by education, has become a good Samaritan by lifting a person being accident ridden, who was left out beside a road unattended for a long time for fear of police case. As a medical doctor, Saravana, after fast aid and initial treatment, brought the seriously wounded person to the hospital and got him admitted there.

Shri Bondar Siddeshwar Baliram, one more young 2016 batch IAS officer, officiating as Sub-Collector at Gunupur is not left far behind in the context of going beyond the role of a traditional bureaucrat. He held 124th rank out of 1078 candidates who succeeded in getting through these creamy but challenging jobs. Interestingly enough, he scored highest rank in essay. After a short stint of taking up the assignment of the post of sub-divisional magistrate at Gunupur and getting settled, Siddheswar, who comes from a tiny village of Usmanabad in Maharashtra with an agrarian background, has started reaching the unreached. By focussing most interior villages bordering Rayagada-Kandhamal districts of the farthest Chandrapur block of this district.

Siddheswar, a medical doctor by education, has been able to synthesize his professional qualification and administrative portfolio in the context of community development. During his last visit he, as a doctor, could diagnose nutritional deficiencies in tribal children and recommended proper treatment. Several on the spot decisions were taken such as construction of Anganwadi Centres, regularisation of ROR(Record of Rights), opening of Bank accounts, etc. He ordered to withhold the salaries of irregular Headmasters of two residential schools. As he himself walked for miles together through the rolling hills and almost dried streams, he could empathise with the impoverished persons complaining about the almost non-existing roads and drinking water facilities, which are his prime agenda for action.

He visited inaccessible tribal villages namely Kurumaguda, Brahaguda, Bhapura, Badrisahi, etc. Local BDO Mr George Dungdung, Chairperson Smt Sangita Pratinga, Tehsildar, Asst Engineer, APO(MGNREGA), Asst Collector Sri Sukanta Pradhan and other officers accompanied Mr Baliram. After the village visits, he reviewed the activities in Tehsil office and warned the officials of stern action if there is a dereliction in duties.

“Mr Baliram might have come from a small village, but his dream and vision are great. As he started his career as Assistant Secretary in Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GOI, he also has a passion for environment conservation through very many innovative forms. Perhaps this is first time after the formation of the district the IAS officers are walking miles by foot or traversing by a scooty to meet the villagers, listen to their agonies, feel the pinch of difficulties themselves, halting at nights, taking decisions at the spot. This will certainly have far-reaching effects. And this is time for these young officers to learn, reflect and act”, said Sri Pramod Kumar Sahu, a social activist and a journo from Gunupur.


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