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Bidar’s officers who became beacons for the entire State

NOG Team
04/08/19
Bidar district is fortunate to get good officers known for their out-of-the-box thinking. Munish Moudgil, Harsh Gupta, P.C. Jaffer, Anurag Tewari, Naveen Raj Singh and Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh, to name a few, were not only good administrators leading the bureaucratic apparatus but also people-friendly officers who ordinary folk continue to talk about even many years after they have been transferred.That many of their unique experiments in the district have grabbed the attention of the political class in Bengaluru who, in turn, adopted them for the entire State considering their effectiveness in improving governance is testimony for their outstanding performance.When Naveen Raj Singh was Bidar Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer (CEO) between 2003 and 2005, the district witnessed a successful experiment of watershed development through arch-check-dams. A civil engineering graduate, Mr. Singh studied the pressure enduring logic behind Idukki Dam, a double curvature arch dam constructed across the Periyar in a narrow gorge between two granite hills in Kerala, and built the first-ever inclined-buttress check-dam, as it was called, in Bidar applying the same logic.Considering the reduction of construction costs by half as compared to conventional check-dams and increased life expectancy to around 100 years, the arch-check-dams proved to be a successful model in watershed development at affordable costs. The experiment impressed the State government which issued standing directions to all district to adopt the Bidar model for building smaller check-dams.Munish Moudgil, who served as Deputy Commissioner in the district between 2005 and 2007, was the man who not only forced the mighty to respect and adhere to the law of the land but also significantly contributed to improving the administration. An M.Tech graduate from IIT Bombay, Moudgil was the one who first conceived the idea of time-bound public grievance redressal system.He began to hold Jana Spandana, a people-meeting programme, on Tuesdays to address public grievances and put a mechanism in place to see that every grievance is addressed within a stipulated time.Then, all the other department heads also followed him. Impressed by the initiative, the government adopted it for the entire State under a new name, Sakala.Then came Harsh Gupta. During his tenure as Deputy Commissioner between 2007 and 2010, Bidar saw multi-front development. He put men on task to identify and protect 96 little-known monuments of historical importance. It was during his tenure that around 1,100 acres of public land encroached upon by private parties returned to government’s possession. His groundwork is undeniable in the famous Bidriware getting geographical indication (GI) tag as he was the one who roped in Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium to train Bidri artisans and get their work globally recognised.Education was P.C. Jaffer’s cup of tea. During his tenure as Deputy Commissioner between 2012 and 2015, he introduced a series of programmes for improving the education scenario in the district. He selected one efficient teacher from each one of the 1,350 government primary schools and get them trained in English teaching training. Experts from English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, with whom he entered into an agreement, trained teachers in two sessions with multimedia teaching tools.Mr. Jaffer conducted a series of career counselling programmes for spreading awareness on UPSC examinations in the backward district. In one of his important initiatives, he conducted a preliminary test for those aspiring for civil services and selected 12 students — eight males and four females, whom he sent to Delhi for higher-level coaching. Two of them cracked the UPSC exams. His efforts to improve the district’s performance in SSLC and PUC examinations were unlimited.Anurag Tewari, who succeeded Jaffer as Deputy Commissioner and worked between 2015 and 2017, was Bidar’s waterman. In collaboration with Team YUVA, a civil society group of professionals, he identified hundreds of public tanks and wells that were crying for dredging. The collective efforts paved way for the dredging of 100 tanks and 300 open-wells resulting in increased water storage and groundwater table recharge. In 2016, the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who visited a lake in Aurad, locally known as Deshmukh Kere, which was freshly dredged, was so impressed that he extended the initiative to the entire State under the name of Kere Sanjeevini.Ujjwal Kumar Ghosh, during his tenure as the CEO of Bidar Zilla Panchayat, put a system in place for ensuring punctuality of teachers in government schools. The system inspired the Education Department to further develop it into an SMS-Based School Attendance Monitoring System and extend it to the entire State.Anirudh Sravan P. is another promising officer that Bidar could expect the furtherance of the legacy from. Transferred as Deputy Commissioner of the district by Election Commission during the recent Assembly polls, he got recognised as people’s officer within a short period. It is his repeated visits to the district hospital that made it a patient-friendly hospital. Known for his style of working more from the field than from office, he is still talked about in the rural areas of Kalaburagi where he had meaningfully implemented MGNREGA as the CEO of Kalaburagi Zilla Panchayat.Source: https://www.mpositive.in/2018/06/29/28167/
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IEEMA's timely intervention helped restoration of power supply in cyclone ravaged Odisha

Life is shuffling back to normal after Cyclone Fani leaves a trace of obliteration in several parts of coastal Odisha; massive restoration work across 10,000 villages and 52 urban areas happened in full swing.Around 10 million people in Odisha were grappling with the inconvenience of disruption in power supply in the aftermath of the Cyclone Fani which ravaged the state with wind velocity at a speed of 200 KMPH on May 3, 2019. As per the Government estimate, most of coastal Odisha, including the state capital Bhubaneswar witnessed uprooting of 100,000 electricity poles. Several towers, substations and low transmission lines were completely damaged. Sensing the intensity of the disaster caused by Fani, Shri Harish Agarwal, President - IEEMA visited Cuttack and Bhubaneswar followed by IEEMA writing to Odisha Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik and offered all possible help in terms of making available electrical equipment on a war footing to the disaster hit State. IEEMA's senior officials met Mr. AK Bhalla, Secretary - Ministry of Power and offered to rebuild the state machinery with the help of its membership. A nodal office was set up in Bhubaneshwar for coordination between various state agencies, providing timely assistance and feedback to its team and state entities at ground zero.Shri Harish Agarwal and Shri Sunil Misra, Director General - IEEMA, visited Bhubaneswar and conducted series of meetings with Shri Hemant Sharma, IAS, Commissioner and Secretary Energy - Govt of Odisha; Shri Md. Sadique Alam, IAS, CEO - CESU and Shri Bibhupasad Mohapatra, Director Finance - OPTCL. Shri Sunil Misra extended the offer of IEEMA member Supreme & Co. Ltd. in erecting the fallen transmission tower pro-bono. In order to accelerate relief and restoration works in the affected areas, IEEMA officials also assisted the State entities like OPTCL (Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited) and CESU (Central Electricity Supply Utility). All the necessary help was extended for restoration of electricity in affected areas of the state.Current Situation of Power Restoration Energy infrastructure gained pre-FANI status through major repairing and strengthening in all affected districts and more than 90% consumers were given electricity connection. In Puri, electricity restoration work was carried out in full swing. In such a scenario, IEEMA and its membership contributed its bit towards bringing back lives on track in the state. In the situation of dire need, all members of IEEMA stood with people of Odisha with a commitment to take up on priority any assistance which the State Government and Power Utilities were for faster restoration of the electrical infrastructure. 
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Inclusive Ethos at SBS: The Wind Beneath The Students' Wings

SHIVA DUTTAA childhood fraught with surgeries and major hospitalisations, founder student Shiva Datta found his niche in Step By Step school’s (SBS) Centre for Special Education (CSE). Born with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate, he underwent a total of thirteen reconstructive surgeries that have left him with a facial palsy on the left side along with speech and feeding issues. Though his adversities are many, Shiva continues to bravely tackle them head on. From Akshar in Kolkata to Step by Step School Noida, he was fortunate in finding a nurturing learning environment with caring professionals along the way. When he joined the academic program in CSE in 2008, he faced the daunting challenge of being part of a big school where he was the odd one out with a facial anomaly. But the inclusive ethos of SBS helped to equip him with the ability to hold his own and participate in whatever came his way. Creative teachers helped to spark an interest in jewelry making and fabric printing. Steady counselling support tried to bridge communication and social gaps. He honed his computer skills, and used it as a medium to successfully give examinations. With the support and guidance of the special educators he successfully passed his class X through National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). When he left SBS and moved on to a different arena in 2016, he could look back to a truly holistic school life. He joined Shaurya Vocational Centre in 2016. At present, he is studying for his Senior Secondary NIOS examinations, learning photography and developing his Photoshop skills. YASH SINGH Yash Singh joined Step By Step School (SBS) in 2008 and was admitted to Grade 1. He came with the diagnosis of Autism. Till Class 5 he continued to study in the mainstream classroom but then he began to find the academic pressures very challenging. Since this was affecting his learning, self-confidence and morale, the school and parents took a joint decision to shift him to a class in the Centre for Special Education (CSE), where students are in small group settings. This new environment, under the care of special educators, facilitated his learning, as he was now able to function at his own pace. Furthermore, he was also able to devote more time to his passion – swimming.Apart from excellence in academics, SBS also provides excellent opportunities to students in a plethora of extra-curricular activities like physical education, visual arts, performing arts to name a few. Here, the miracle of Sports happened to Yash. Sports played a major role in Yash’s life. Yash’s love for water and his potential to do well in this sport was recognised by one of the swimming coaches in school. It was a turning point in Yash’s life. He trained and practised with great zeal and enthusiasm. His sense of discipline, need to excel and his single-minded passion propelled him to give his best each time he went for a competition. The whole-hearted support of the school also motivated him to go on.Being the only differently-abled child competing in both mainstream and Special Olympics competitions boosted his confidence. At the age of 13, he represented India at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Los Angeles in 2015 and won India’s first medal of the event. Participating in such a huge sporting arena presented Yash with a myriad of social and cultural experiences, which enhanced his holistic development. This experience broadened his socio-cultural perspective by providing him an increased awareness of different ethnicity, diversity, culture, music, cuisine etc. There was a visible positive change in Yash. Giving interviews, attending felicitation ceremonies and being an “In-feature” on NDTV, exuberated his confidence level. School taught Yash to be independent through the various camping trips and excursions each year. Each camp took him a step ahead towards being independent and empowered him to become self-reliant and sports put him on the path to becoming a confident and independent person. Yash had a wonderful experience at SBS. He has grown into a well-rounded young man with strong character, self-discipline and high values. He greatly benefitted from the conducive and inclusive environment provided by the school. In 2016 his family relocated to Canada. The good base of skills, which he had developed at SBS, helped him in adapting to this change in his life. Being on the High School Swimming team and winning at various competitions at different levels gave him the necessary boost of confidence and respect from his fellow team members. He now swims regularly in a Swimming club and is being coached by Canadian National and Olympian swimmers. He is also on his school’s Cricket and Bowling Team. In 2017, his school cricket team was awarded the Mayor’s School Cricket Excellence Award. He also participates in the Track and Field events. He now wants to explore other avenues to learn new skills. His first step in this direction started with being a Volunteer at the local library. The dedication and sincerity of his work has earned kudos from his colleagues there. Presently, he is in Grade 11 and is majoring in Hospitality and Tourism. He wants to pursue a career in this field and lead a successful and independent life.In his words, “Pursuing swimming helps me to achieve my dreams by focusing on my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses. It teaches me an important lesson, to do my best as it is not about winning but being brave in the attempt...”
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This IAS Officer led a team of 800 Volunteers to Save the People during a Devastating Landslide in Puthumala

Team of 800 volunteers led by Wayanad sub-collector Umesh retrieved bodies and relocated people to safer places.The battle to save the people hit by the devastating landslide at Puthumala in Wayand was led by Wayanad sub-collector N.S.K. Umesh.For 18 days from the time the calamity struck on August 8, Mr Umesh struggled hard along with over 800 workers and volunteers and relocated over 3,000 people and retrieved 11 bodies facing adverse weather and danger to their lives.In the process, the IAS officer of 2015 batch, witnessed moving scenes like the retrieval of the body of a four-year-old amidst sobs from the crowd and a pregnant woman being rescued from the hills and taken to a hospital.Mr Umesh and his team set out to the spot during torrential rains on the first day and reached there after over two hours whereas normally it takes only 45 minutes. On the way at Kalladi, the road was blocked by a landslip. Kalpetta MLA C.K. Saseendran, members of Meppadi panchayat and forest officials also came there by 6 p.m. They took a detour to the hills and reached the Mundakkai forest station where about 200 people from Puthumala were relocated, he said. “When we returned to the spot where our vehicle was stopped, it was around 10.30 p.m.,” he said. “The 200 people were saved due to the premonition of the panchayat president and the local residents,” he said.The ‘Mission Puthumala’ started on August 9 with the personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Army, police, fire and rescue, health workers, volunteers and 14 earth movers. “I was the team leader, incident commander in disaster management terms,” Mr Umesh recalled. “We divided the volunteers into groups with each group headed by a trained expert from the forces. There were fears of recurring landslides and I had to look up to the skies and warn the volunteers to stop operations and move to safety ahead of rains. As there was no connectivity, we used wireless sets for communication.”The slush was spread over 20 to 30 acres area with 16 to 20 feet thickness.  In the first six days, the team was able  to  retrieve ten bodies.Later, they decided to extend the area of search up to Nilambur, trekking down 25 km. “I cannot forget the day when a crowd wailed as the body of a 4-year-old baby was retrieved. At another spot, over 60 people created a human stretcher across the slush and water to carry a pregnant woman who gave birth the same day,” he said.Mr Umesh was busy on Friday also at Puthumala to identify a location to rehabilitate the stranded families. A native of Madurai, he had not contacted his wife Vigneswari,  sub-collector of Kozhikode, for many days. “She knew that I was with my team and felt happy over it,” he said. 
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How Two IAS Officers put Odisha on the Global Stage with Sports

Odisha is increasingly being referred to as the 'Sports Capital of India' which is fair enough. The state is putting exemplary focus on sports and has organised events such as Asian Athletics, Hero Super Cup, ISL matches, Asian Rugby, Hockey League, FIH Series Finals, Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship and the biggest of them all – the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018.The successful hosting of Men’s Hockey World Cup has put Odisha on the global map and the State since then has received global recognition and plaudits. Odisha Sports also signed MoU's with industries and eminent sports personalities in November 2018 - Athletics is in partnership with Reliance Foundation, Football and Swimming with JSW Group and AIFF, Badminton with Dalmia Bharat Group and Pullela Gopichand, Weightlifting with Ahluwalia Group and TENVIC Sports( Anil Kumble), Shooting with Aditya Birla Group and Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation, and Hockey with Tata Steel and Tata Trusts. Odisha is now poised as a powerhouse of sports with many such international events lined up in the upcoming months.Two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers who are leading and executing the vision of promoting sporting culture in the State are Mr. Vishal K. Dev and Mr. R. Vineel Krishna. Mr. Vishal K. Dev, a 1996 batch officer currently serves as Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Odisha Sports and Tourism.  An alumni of IIT and IIM, he has held several other important portfolios in the state. About his ongoing stint with sports, he says: “From the very beginning, after seeing our athletes do well in both national and international events and especially in Hockey, we knew that sports was something we really needed to give a facelift in the state. We decided to work on a good policy and the first thing which came across was the Asian Athletics Championship.  We executed the event in 60 days from scratch as the original state which volunteered to execute it backed off. That was the starting point of our bonding with sports as we knew we could pull off anything related to it. We became the first state in the country to sponsor the National hockey teams as hockey is the most popular sport of the state. We sponsored training of our athletes like Dutee Chand and Shrabani Nanda to train abroad. And the world now knows about their achievements. We have further provided them with jobs. Post the Hockey World Cup, Odisha for sure has become one of the top choices for any international sporting event. The state is a preferred partner for various sporting clubs and Federations too.  To achieve these significant milestones, we had to step up our executions as per world standard and we did. We had to think out of the box and travel and explore. For the Men’s Hockey World Cup , we drew inspirations from the Women’s Hockey World Cup in London and Commonwealth Games at Goldcoast. One thing was sure from the beginning – that we wanted to host the most spectacular and engaging Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018.  And today I can proudly say that we managed to achieve that goal.  Hosting high profile events also demanded coordination and synergy between different creative agencies and Government Departments. However, in spite of all odds, collectively we have been successful in putting up great tournaments; be it the HWC 2018, FIH Series Finals or the recently concluded Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. Now the next big thing for us would be the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup next year in Bhubaneswar.” As per tentative figures collated by Odisha's tourism department, the state received 1.61 million and 2.22 million domestic tourists in November and December 2018 respectively, upto 60 per cent higher than normal. Foreign tourists also arrived in higher numbers in the two months with an average monthly arrival of 15,000, higher by around 50 per cent. Whether the sporting events, contribute to tourism, he says, “Tourism is the direct beneficiary of sporting events. The statistics speak for themselves. Besides that, it is Odisha that has pioneered the concept of ‘Sports Tourism’ in the country and our campaigns have been received well globally." Mr. R. Vineel Krishna, a 2005 batch officer and also an IIT alumni, serves as Director-cum-Additional Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha. On the growth of sports in the State, he said, “We have successfully hosted sporting events of national and international repute. These platforms besides promoting a culture of sports in the State, inspire budding and aspiring talents to pursue their dreams and achieve their sporting goals. Collectively, we have created an ecosystem that will enrich our athletes and further our sporting endeavours. We have many event and infrastructure projects underway which will further strengthen our position as the Sports Capital of the country." He further stated, "We are aware besides hosting big events, we need to build the grassroots and build a pipeline from grassroots to HPC. For example - Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance (ABTP) is a part of the seven to eight initiatives we have taken. It’s a unique effort where we have tried to bring in a sportsperson or a management agency and a corporate because many corporates want to be involved in sports but don’t know how to do it. While the government has an advantage of creating infrastructure, we are not good at running coaching programmes. We are trying to get all these three factors together.”"The state strives to find promising young athletes, train them efficiently, and help them build their skills by accumulating a wealth of experience in domestic competitions. Further, with the evolution of a social media-savvy world, it is also essential to align our social media campaigns with our sports initiatives to garner higher traction and engagement with fans and followers and the overall sporting community. Combining creativity with content across our platform have enabled our athletes and events to reach a wider audience across the globe", he added.Odisha Sports boasts of one of the most digitally forward government sports department in the country. It has 63.3k followers on Twitter and 476k on Facebook. Interestingly, bike riding has also become the focus of attention as an environmentally friendly sport, and the number of cycling clubs has increased accordingly. A vast network of bike paths has been established across the state and some are work under progress. A glimpse into the sporting achievements of the state –-Odisha is the only state to sponsor all the National Hockey teams.  Odisha’s name don the jerseys of both the men’s and women’s teams. The state was also the sponsor of Hockey India League team Kalinga Lancers, which won the tournament in 2017- Odisha Sports signed MoU's with Industries and eminent sports personalities in November 2018 - Athletics is in partnership with Reliance Foundation, Football and Swimming with JSW Group and AIFF, Badminton with Dalmia Bharat Group and  Pullela Gopichand, Weightlifting with Ahluwalia Group and TENVIC Sports( Anil Kumble), Shooting with Aditya Birla Group and Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation, and Hockey with Tata Steel and Tata Trusts.- Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre at the Kalinga Stadium is already operational just months after the State signed the MoU - Odisha Sports has also signed a MoU with All India Football Federation. As per the MoU, the Government of Odisha will act as the host of the AIFF national team camps as well as of the home of Indian Arrows.- Odisha Sports organised India’s First Tribal Sports Meet in 2017-Odisha Sports organised Asia’s First Sports Literary Festival – Ekamra Sports Literary Festival with star sportspersons in presence like Ben Johnson, Ajinkya Rahane, Aakash Chopra, Rick Charls worth, Dhanraj Pillay, Dilip Tikray, Stephanie Rice among others. DSYS support to athletesMeritorious sportspersons are conferred with cash award considering their level of performance/achievements at National and International level. During 2018-19, 157 sportspersons have been felicitated with cash award. Financial assistance is also given to sportspersons of the state for undergoing long term coaching course. During the year 2018- 19, financial assistance has been sanctioned for 47. The state's highest sports award, the Biju Patnaik Sports Award is given every year in five different categories. The quantum of cash award ranges from INR 0.50 lakhs to 3:00 Lakhs. Financial assistance is provided to sportspersons seeking financial help for their participation in International Competitions & these are considered at Government level for grant of assistance. During the year 2018-19 financial Assistance was sanctioned to 12 sports-persons.Sports PolicyDepartment is developing a basic framework based on our mission, vision and specific targets. We'll conduct stakeholder workshops to details each aspect of the policy. Aim is to create a practical and implementable sports policy. 
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KantLearning – A High Engagement Learning Process

(KantLearning – An example of great possibilities, when public and private sectors come together) Hridayesh Kant, US based NRI and software expert, thinks that he has the answer to ongoing crisis in government run education systems. He has engineered a low-cost, video game like classroom environment using cheap TVs. Idea is based on group practice in a supervised setting by harnessing the energy of students to perform all tasks while making the system as a fun learning environment.Idea did not evolve overnight, it took four years of research effort in faraway places like Bastar, Alwar, Baghpat, Bulandshahar and many other cities. After multiple iterations, he has arrived at a simple solution which students love, and learning happens at students’ competence levels. System also removes the subject knowledge burden from class administrators.Presently this system is being piloted at more than 100 schools in NDMC, KV and SDMC including few private schools.Start of a public private relationshipKant process was designed to be implemented by school staff with minimal initial training. The first government school implementation (Started in 2018 with permission from Mr. Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC) turned out to be its strong validation as Ms. Simmi Sachdeva (HM, Primary School, Netaji Nagar) took the idea and ran with it. She not only implemented it at her school but is now coordinating ‘Kant Process’ implementation at all 45 NDMC schools with great success. She is now one of the biggest proponents of the system, having watched it over a year from closed quarters.Since then, system has grown to cover more than 100 schools at NDMC, KV and SDMC schools. Similar success stories are being reported by school principals and teachers involved. Students are enjoying the system because of its gamified nature.Initial tests conducted by KantLearning staff at some of the schools are reporting 60-80 percent improvement in learning levels over as little as six months.It is hoped that the simplicity of the process, low-cost, easy replicability and the capacity of school staff to adopt good ideas, will allow it to spread quickly across education systems. 
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Mana Kosam Manam - ushering in community sanitation through collective participation

Mana Kosam Manam – ushering in Community Sanitation through Collective Participation Challapalli village in Divi Seema region in Andhra Pradesh is now known as “Swachha Sundara Challapalli”. Thanks to the unceasing efforts of the doctor couple T. Padmavathi and D.R.K. Prasad and their team of committed volunteers, a clean and green drive is going on non-stop in the town for over 4 1/2 years now! –be it keeping the drainages clean, road side jungle clearance, solid waste management, road side plantation, beautification of local parks, construction of pay-and-use public toilets.....the list is endless. And it all began with a simple belief that clean environment and good health are essential for a productive life.  Prior to 2014, lack of sanitation and unhygienic conditions was a way of life here. Although, the Padmavathi Hospital established by the Doctor couple had a steady stream of people coming for various health consultations, the surrounding roads and lanes were always unclean with slush and garbage all over. Open defecation was rampant. This led to spread of diseases. Dr. Prasad gave the matter a great deal of thought..... ending open defecation could be one major solution to the problem. How can this be done?This is where the opportunity lay in doing things differently. Every morning from 3.30 am to 6.30am with the help of local people both Dr. Prasad and Dr. Padmavati stood with folded hands at the entrance of the lane that led to their hospital. It was a silent appeal to the people not to defecate in the open. This they did at a stretch for 11 months without a single day’s break! Slowly the people started understanding. Open defecation reduced to Zero. But that wouldn’t suffice. Something more needed to be done to improve the over all sanitation in the village. He browsed through “Preventive and Social Medicine”. A sentence caught his attention, “Systematic garbage collection, cleaning the drainages and scientific garbage management, were equally important measures that require immediate attention.”In 2014, the Government of  Indialaunched the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan programme, and it was followed by Government of Andhra Pradesh setting up the Swachha Andhra Mission. Dr. Prasad took a pledge to sweep the roads in Challapalli 5 days a week for a period of 1 year. Initially, Dr. Padmavati was not convinced with his idea, but after just few weeks,  she plunged headlong into the sanitation drive undertaken by her husband. Together they began an anti-filth crusade. To begin with 15 like-minded friends joined them daily to take up cleaning of roads and drains from 4.30am to 6 am.It came as a ‘great sanitary awakening’ and had a tremendous impact in modifying the behaviour of people. Buoyed by the success, Dr. Prasad and his team decided to integrate the community with a “sanitation revolution” that would add up much needed dynamism to the challenge of meeting the millennium development goals! Soon 200 people joined the voluntary work. Thus the Swachha Sundara Challapalli movement commenced on 12th Nov. 2014 and four years hence, is still going on non-stop. Since the scope of work increased, Mana Kosam Manam Trust was formed to sustain the work. This way money could be voluntarily pooled in to promote the activities. It also became a body for professional-voluntary  work. The work began with strongly held beliefs: everyone counts, everyone has a role to play, and  all do better when they work together.Each day, early in the morning before dawn break, with the head lights on and with brooms, shovels, crowbars and other implements in their hands, the team of committed volunteers clean the roads and drains, take care of garbage disposal, plant trees in and around the village and so on. The efforts are directed entirely towards general cleanliness, garbage and refuse disposal. Hitherto, as per the norms laid down by the Panchayat, garbage was collected daily from the main roads and once a week or once a fortnight from the wards. As a result, the garbage bins were perennially overflowing and people were habituated to throw garbage on the roads. To regulate this, in May 2015, Mana Kosam Manam Trust obtained permission from the Grama Panchayat to adopt 5 wards to undertake sanitation work. Each ward has 200 houses. A plan of action was drawn for garbage collection from 5 wards i.e 1000 houses, and its disposal. To do this, tractors and a trucks were purchased and drivers, coordinators, sanitation workers and Grama Deepikas were appointed. The Grama Deepikas visited each house in the ward and collected the names and phone numbers of the residents, and informed them about the garbage collection date and time in their respective lanes. Garbage collection went on in full swing. Gradually, the scenario in the 5 wards changed.  The team membersstarted sensitising people about garbage collection and disposal. This was meant to focus the attention of the people and government on the urgent need to improve public health. The Trust went a step ahead and adopted the main road for cleaning twice a day. The trust employed 12 sanitation workers. The Panchayat decided to pay for 6 people. By now the expenditure at the Trust rose to Rs.5 ½ Lakhs per month. Originally this arrangement was for a period of 2 months – from Dec.2015 to Jan. 2016. But stretched for 3 years! till March 2018.Realising the fact that until daily jobs like garbage collection and disposal are undertaken by professional sanitation workers voluntary work can not be sustained,Dr. Padmavathiorganised a meeting with the Panchayat sanitation workers to understand their problems. She found their monthly take-home was woefully low. She came forward to pay them regular salary out of her pocket, and also took care of their health needs. This came as a boon to the workers. They worked with renewed vigour.Challapalli is a fairly big village and has a sizeable floating population. The lone bus stand in the village was bereft of basic facilities like drinking water, toilets, etc. Besides it wore a dilapidated look. Dr. Padmavati took up the initiative to remodel the bus stand. To do this she sold her jewelry. The money thus raised was utilised to redo the bus stand, construct toilets, provide drinking water facility and develop a four small gardens in the premises. An underground drainage was also built. The toilets are maintained by the workers appointed by the Trust, and so is the surrounding garden. By now, under Dr. Padmavati’s supervision, tree plantation and beautification of the village was in full swing. The Trust constructed road side gardens, beautified electric polls, laid paver tiles all along the sidewalks and planted more than 5000 plants in Challapalli. Road side garbage heaps have transformed into small gardens with flowering plants. Water Tankers are being used for watering the plants daily. By now, the Trust had a retinue of staff - Supervisors, Drivers, Gardeners, Choukidars, sanitary workers, etc. All inclusive, the expenses steadily grew to the tune of Rs,5 Lakhs! per month.Choukidars work 24x7 on  an 8 hrs shift – to restrict people from defecating in the open in different pockets in the village. As a part of social process, collective action played an important role. On 29.4.2017, Challapalli was declared an ODF village.The Trust approached the local bodies to identify from the Government  4 spots to construct “pay & use” toilets. Rs.5 Lakhs was sanctioned for this purpose. Out of these, one “pay & use” toilet has come up in NTR park and another in Nagayalanka road. RTC built the other one. Rs.5/- is charged towards this that is utilised for purchase of cleaning material, supervisor’s salary etc.Challapalli has a Dump Yard & Grave Yard on a 4 ½ acres piece of land. A few years ago the garbage collected from the village got dumped here, resulted in not only ecological concerns but also health hazards faced by the residents of nearby areas. Mana Kosam Manam team took upon themselves to clear the dump yard. Together, they cleaned, spruced up and transformed the dump yard into a beautiful garden,and built a grave yard and constructed a vermi compost unit with the money allotted by the Panchayat which became the admiration of the rest of the region. As a result, Swachha Sundara Challapalli has placed  the community centre stage. The emphasis on the community  has been the most important factor in the success ofSwachha Sundara Challapalli.In just over 4 years, they ushered in exemplary ideas and followed them to fruition -  be it cleaning roads and drainages,  constructing public use & pay toilets, remodeling the village bus stop, tree plantation, promoting solid waste management, cleaning the village dump yard and transforming it, setting up Solid Waste Management unit  … the list is endless. Drs. D.R.K.Prasad and T.Padmavathi have done it all. And done it well.All these activities had a rippling effect. Soon the neighbouring villages Ghantasala, Avanigadda and Nagayalanka the Challapalli model. Dr. Prasad's goal is to:Further sensitise the people to segregate garbage into dry and wet and hand it over to the Panchayat vehicles. This we have achieved to a great extent.To implement scientific management of garbage so that the village becomes litter free. ”Thanks to the band of committed volunteers and the good will generated over the years, Mana Kosam Manam work continues non-stop.... 
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How an IAS officer in Kerala used Facebook to help flood victims

New Delhi: First, as the district collector of Kozhikode, IAS officer Prasanth Nair won the hearts of his home state, earning the moniker ‘Collector Bro’ for his citizen-friendly and participative approach in governance. Now, a few years later, at a time when Kerala is battling the worst natural calamity it has faced in living memory, Nair has inspired a volunteers’ movement to help the hundreds of thousands in need.Nair, now deputy secretary in the union ministry of new and renewable energy, wrote a Facebook post on 16 August, imploring the participation of volunteers in rescue and relief operations.Within minutes, a Facebook group called ‘Flood Technology Support Kerala 2018’ sprang up. It was started by IT professionals to gather information of those stranded and in need of rescue. At the time of publishing this story, the group already had over 600 members, and had made over 500 posts with information on victims and missing persons.It has now spun off to include 14 WhatsApp groups – one each for every district in the state – plus an app on the Google Play Store, and many other Facebook pages. (See list of WhatsApp groups below)How the group is helpingThe group was created by a Facebook user named Richin R. Chandran, who was one of the first people to comment on Nair’s original post.When contacted by ThePrint, Chandran replied via email (reproduced here with minor edits for clarity): “I just started 14 groups for each district and through that, we collected data of victims and volunteers. We found active members from USA, UK, and the Middle East too.“Now we are team of administrators. Each group is monitored by an admin, to verify the data. We tried to collect data through a Google form initially. Later, with the support of team members, we created a mobile app for the same.“Without even stopping to sleep, a lot of members abroad created a team to verify the data – Riya, Sanjay, Jaydev, Aji, Anand, Sooraj, Mini, Divya are some of them. There are a lot of unknown active members too.”“After sorting, we shared the data to district collectors, hoping for the best to happen. We are still verifying data and updating the sheet.“We then found volunteers from areas and created rescue groups. We are sharing verified data to those groups.”When ThePrint reached out to the group directly, member Jaydev responded on its behalf, and explained how it is functioning. First, the information is collected with the Google document, the app, WhatsApp group or messages on Facebook. This information is then forwarded to each district’s rescue teams. The page also posts how many victims need rescuing or the need for rations by way of Facebook events.Most of the entries are for rescuing multiple people from areas like Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur and even capital Thiruvananthapuram – some entries are for about 30 people, some for about 100, or some even for 300. The worst affected region, said Jaydev, is Chengannur in Alappuzha district. The greatest need is for food and water.Jaydev said the volunteers try their best to verify whether the request for assistance is genuine before passing it on to the rescue teams. Sometimes people post or forward a message for assistance when it’s no longer needed. There may also be some fake campaigns raising funds or donations, which people should be wary of, he added.Jaydev also confirmed that the inspiration behind their effort was ‘Collector Bro’ Nair’s Facebook post, but Chandran clarified that they weren’t associated with any official; that they were just trying to help by collecting and providing information to officials.“Please note, we are not official people. We are trying to gather data of victims and volunteers and providing that to official people,” he said.Source: https://theprint.in/india/governance/keralas-collector-bro-inspires-volunteers-around-the-world-to-help-flood-victims/101142/
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A Mother to the Needy

Shanti Niketan Social Welfare SocietyHundreds of helpless, destitute men line the streets of Delhi,  braving the heat and cold, often rendered immobile due to disease or starvation.  Several are mentally challenged, or are old, sick or infirm and are abandoned as they are a burden on their families.  Some are accident victims, left in an unimaginable condition covered with pus-filled wounds, with flies and worms eating away at their putrefying flesh.Ancy Johnson is an extraordinary woman, who decided to take on the daunting task of not only rescuing, but also taking over the full responsibility of these hapless souls. She is a single mother with three daughters devoted to the cause of serving the poor and helpless. Since 2007, Ancy, single-handedly moves around Delhi rescuing disabled men from the roads and housing and caring for them in a building that she has taken on rent in Chattarpur, Delhi.  For this purpose she has founded Shanti Niketan Social Welfare Society, registered NGO. Ancy lovingly tends to the inmate's wounds and provides basic medical care which very often involves removing maggots from their long-ignored open wounds and cleaning the urine and excreta from their bodies. She cooks, cleans and washes their clothes and provides for all their day to day needs.  She also takes them to the hospital, arranges for consultations and treatment by doctors and even arranges to handle the legal matters of some hit and run victims. The inmates are looked after lovingly till the end of their lives with no monetary or any other expectation from them other than their delighted smiles whenever they see their "Mummy" (as Ancy is lovingly and innocently called).Ancy lives in the building with 38 male inmates, some of whom are violent, due to their mental illness.  But her courage and determination keep her unfazed despite the most trying of circumstances.Ancy has no formal sponsorship and relies solely on the generosity of the local community who has supported her till date. She is always cheerful, eternally optimistic and an amazingly humble woman.  She never turns away a needy person even if she is down to her last rupee.  Her firm belief is that “God Will Provide” since her mission of caring for those abandoned by society, is truly “God’s Work”. 
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These IAS officers are scripting stories of change across India & making lives better

New Delhi: Hari Chandana Dasari, zonal commissioner, Hyderabad, is a recycling crusader.From beautifying over 120 parks in the city with discarded plastic bottles to making furniture out of used tyres and oil drums, Dasari has been showing the way in waste management.“I noticed that some unused tyres are lying in the municipal corporation’s office. I got them cleaned and painted. Later on, I got them installed in parks. Today, furniture made out of tyres and oil drums are installed in many parks in the city,” Dasari told ThePrint.Dasari, however, said she didn’t receive much encouragement when she went ahead with her ‘recycling’ plan. “The engineers in my department said it will not change things much. But I accepted it as a challenge and the result is here for all of you to see,” she added.Besides waste management, Dasari also got a dog park constructed in Hyderabad — claimed to be one-of-its-kind with over 24 installations meant for dogs. Facilities such as vaccination are also available there.Dasari’s recycling initiatives assume significance as India is battling plastic and garbage menace. According to a 2017 report of the Central Pollution Control Board, India generates around 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste annually. Data collected from 60 mega cities show that almost 90 per cent of this plastic waste is dumped into drains or on the streets instead of being recycled.Dasari is, however, not alone. There are several other IAS officers, who in their own ways, are working towards making people’s lives better across the country.Indore cleared of 13-lakh tonnes of garbageDasari’s classmate Ashish Singh‘s endeavours in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, have been much talked about.Singh, who is currently the commissioner of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), has managed to dispose of 13 lakh tonnes of garbage within just six months. No wonder, Indore, for the third time in a row, was judged the best city in terms of cleanliness this year.“Previously, only 2 lakh tonnes of garbage were processed in two years,” said Singh, an MP-cadre IAS officer of the 2010 batch. When Singh was appointed the commissioner of Indore civic body last year, he took it upon himself to clear the city of its garbage.The IMC disposed of dry and wet waste separately. Singh said wet waste was recycled to extract methane gas, which in turn was used as fuel for the city’s buses. And the fertilizer, which was collected as a by-product of this process, was handed over to the farmers.Asked if he received the state administration’s support in his initiative, Singh said: “As far as cleanliness is concerned, I had the full support of Indore’s mayor.”Singh’s new challenge is now to restore the city’s dying rivers. Two of the city’s rivers — Kanh and Gambhir — have turned into drains with sewage flowing into them.Outlining his plan for restoration of the rivers, Singh said 434 sewage points of these rivers have already been identified and he hoped that by December the rivers will get a new lease of life.If Singh is taking care of Indore, another IAS officer posted in Bhopal now has made a positive contribution in a unique way.Pankaj Jain, additional commissioner in the District Development Authority, sent his daughter to an anganwadi school when he was posted in Khandwa.“The anganwadi school was a very clean place and their staff got very excited after I sent my daughter there. My daughter also enjoyed a lot,” Jain said.“My small gesture encouraged the staff at the anganwadi to work towards improving the school,” Jain said, adding that the anganwadi is ISO-certified now.Transforming villages in SikkimRaj Kumar Yadav, commissioner of east Sikkim, has gone the extra mile.A state-cadre IAS officer of 2009 batch, Yadav and his colleagues have “adopted” five villages and made lives of over 7,500 villagers better by renovating roads, supplying  electricity, water, among others.Yadav said he asked his colleagues to fan out across the villages and talk to the residents about the problems they faced.“Implementing the concept of ‘Model Village’ is not possible without constant dialogue and active support from the villagers,” he told ThePrint.After continuous work, Yadav said, the villages now have electricity, water, concrete roads. Even schools have teachers in regular attendance, he added.IAS officer who pasted his mobile number on hospital wallsAvnish Sharan, collector of Kabir Dham district in Chhattisgarh, is popular on social media for his social work.Sharan, a Bihar native, has pasted his phone number on the walls of schools and hospitals so that people can reach him at any time with their issues.“The villagers and students keep me informed about everything – from lack of teachers in schools to missing facilities in hospitals,” he told ThePrint.The collector also examines and eats mid-day meals in schools and sometimes also teaches students. His idea of motorbike ambulances has become extremely popular in the district.“Today everybody wants a government job, but nobody wants to go to a government school or a government hospital. Little bit of motivation and some positive work hold the key to completely change the society,” said Sharan.Source:https://theprint.in/india/these-ias-officers-are-scripting-stories-of-change-across-india-making-lives-better/272440/
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