I applied for PMRDF out of sheer curiosity. I told myself, “let me throw another challenge to life and see how it goes”. I being a construction professional with management background, development sector was a totally new thing for me. Despite all my apprehension this experience has turned out to be an exceptional learning experience. The attributes which I have developed are patience, understanding of other’s perspective, humbleness and determination to name a few. No book, no teaching could have taught me these things if I did not see what I have seen. When you go to a village and see a young boy working in the paddy field and still he has laughter on his face, that is something difficult to understand. We city dwellers think of ourselves superior to rural folks but in reality there is a lot that can be learnt from them. Most important thing that can be learnt from them is to be happy. We cry for small things like there is no water in our tap today, there is no electricity in our house but when one sees these people who have to struggle day in and day out even for the most basic needs of the life -my God – in my mind I say, “they are more evolved than we are and there is a lot that we can learn from them”.
Initially when I joined the district, I knew almost nothing about government functioning but I knew one thing that the government works slow. So I too started working slow. I started by acquainting myself with the mindset of people around me. At first I took up some small-time study in education and skill training in a remote block. This study had some positive impact on the education department. Thereafter I took up the reallocation of the outpatient department of sadar hospital. In this, we planned everything – right from doctors’ sitting arrangement to crowd management. This improved service delivery to the patients to some extent.
After that I undertook the social audit campaign by the name of “Swasth Sanwad” for the health department. It improved the service delivery of the health department on a larger scale. I also carried out a social audit campaign by the name of “Shiksha Sanwad” for the education department. It drew a lot of public appreciation as the issues raised were solved then and there. The above mentioned points are the tangible outputs of our efforts. But in addition there are a lot of intangible outputs like change in the working atmosphere.
Though the steps I have taken are small baby-steps, I can feel the change in the air.
Avinash Tiwari is based at Kaimur, Bihar. Avinash is a B. Tech (Civil Engineering) from Cochin University of Science and Technology and completed Post Graduate Program in Advance Construction Management from National Institute of Construction Management and Research. He worked for 3 years in the infrastructure construction sector before joining PMRDF.