In my childhood I always dreamt to do something for the real needy people of our country. In 2012 I came across PMRDF. I thought it will give a proper platform to me to do something for the poor people of our country and applied for PMRDF. Many of my friends and relative opposed me telling that I am a doctorate from a prestigious institution and should not apply for a post to work in an LWE affected area. But I applied and fortunately got selected.
Being a Science student I had very less knowledge in social science but after a vigorous training of two months I got to know many things about development sector. Thanks to TISS and my district (Mayurbhanj) administration for that.
I describe below the activities I am undertaking as a PMRDF.
Planning for MGNREGA proposals to help Palli Sabha/Gram Sabha
I was assigned to do seasonal (Monthwise) planning of MGNREGA works which will make it easier for people to know what type of work they can take during what season or month. I along with my colleague Mr. R. R. Rout categorized the permissible works under MGNREGA on monthly basis based on geographical and seasonal condition of Mayurbhanj. Later it was published in Odia language in a book meant for Palli Sabhas and Gram Sabhas of Mayurbhanj district during the Gram Sabha Sashaktikaran Karyakram (GSSK) undertaken by Govt. of Odisha in Oct. 2012. We got a huge number of different kind of MGNREGA project proposals in addition to road and ponds viz. contour bunding, trench, compost pits, soak pits, check dams, recharge pits etc from each revenue village. As per official record as on 30th Oct,2012, Mayurbhanj district has 8,77,682 records of MGNREGA proposals from 3887 revenue villages, which is the highest in the whole state.
Conducting Palli Sabhas and Gram Sabhas
I was assigned as nodal officer for Kaptipada Sub-division for proper conduct of Palli Sabhas and Gram Sabhas. I was also in charge of one block (Moroda) for GSSK in 2012. So I stayed for 15 days in the concerned area during the GSSK process. I have conducted and attended more than one hundred Palli Sabhas. I also coordinated with police, BDOs, APOs, PEOs, GP nodal officers and PRIs for making the process successful. I along with my team under used to mobilize the public to attend Palli Sabha by reaching the village a day in advance.
Introducing Rapid Monitoring System (RMS) in the District
After joining of our new District magistrate Mr Rajesh P. Patil we introduced a rapid monitoring system in our district. In this I along with my team developed a format and made 25 teams of officers. Nowadays the DM is instructing one team every day to visit a GP and see all the developmental work going on in that area. They are also supposed to collect the data in a format given to them. It is a random tour and no GP is assigned till a day before the district visit. This programme is helping us to know how the developmental activities are going on in our different GPs.
Monitoring the Mid Day Meal (MDM) programme of the and make strategies for hundred percent enrollment and retention
I was assigned to monitor how the MDM programme is running in our district. For that I have visited more than 200 schools till date and am ensuring the quality of food. Language problem is a major cause of school dropouts in our district. So my team introduced Shiksha Sathis in our interior pockets of the district. A Shiksha Sathis is a 10th class pass local boy/girl who can teach the students in their local language. When visiting the school I am interacting with the parents, motivating them to send their children to school and trying to make them understand the value of education in today’s world. I was an active member of the team that organized workshops for teachers and introduced a programme “MU BHI PADHIBI”. There is a massive enrolment drive for this educational year (2013-14) because we realize that without education no developmental scheme can reach the people.
Monitoring public grievances
I am dealing with all public grievances by conducting personal enquiry into the matters.
Presently I am responsible for proper implementation of MGNREGA scheme in our district and am looking after all the issues related to Education sector and dealing will all the public grievances. My thanks to MoRD for giving this wonderful opportunity to me to do something for the poor. It is very easy to criticize the government but is it very difficult to understand the difficulties of the field.
Dr. Kumar Shubhashish is based at Mayurbhanj, Odisha. He is a Ph.D. Botany (Ecotoxicology) from Banaras Hindu University. Shubhashish worked for six years in Banaras Hindu University where he was involved in teaching and research as a Junior Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow.