Thursday, 7 July 2011

Focus BMDC: Vigilence is must

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

The way the developmental work has been undertaken by BMDC, it is my endeavor to remind people to understand the very purpose of its existence. Recent years, we have seen that overall rural development in the country is very negligible, especially Assam. Therefore, the Government of Assam had granted the councils to decentralize its power at the village level, so that they can decide the developmental work priority-wise. Most of them do not have any land-ownership or economic independence and are mostly farm hands or menial labour, or derive income from self employment on caste dependent skill (like phuti-bunani) assignment. They live mainly in rural areas and perform hard physical labour such as agriculture and janitorial work. Even though they have rich culture, many of them live below the poverty line. Economic development must infuse additional income, employment, technical know-how, optimum utilization of available resources etc. but not merely issuing hand sewing machines in Metro cities and in district towns.

We live in an amazing society. We have started the costly scheme for the rural poor in metro cities that would never reach them in the village level because the administration can not or will not deliver them (the poor) their share of development and middle man runs away with most of their share. We ignore poor. We think, we are doing enough for them by giving them the sewing machines. What is worse, no one would notice, no one would care, no one has the time to find out really these poor are earning with this machines or just rotting at homes. There must be proper training/marketing required to earn their lively hood by these sewing machines.

About Auto Rickshaws, I do agree, the youth of the society to be given a platform that equip them to bring alive their dream and ideas to take the society to greater height; but not by Autos. If we can ignite the imagination of young minds, we can find deep resonance in their heart. Of course, knowledge or education without values can not help in the building of a secure, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive world of tomorrow. These developments remind me a Chinese proverb: 

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".

Let us understand the basic need of councils as far as the fund is concerned. It says : The state Govt. would provide an amount to be decided every year on population ratio basis, as grant in aid in instalments to the DC for executing development works. In addition, the council will be paid suitable amount of plan funds & non plan funds to cover the office expenses.

Council authority shall prepare a plan with the amount likely to be available for developmental works both under state and central share, covering any or all activities of the department under their control.

Govt. of Assam will provide necessary one-time financial assistance for development of administrative infrastructure in the newly created H.Qrts, subdivisional H.Qrts. Here, I would like to quote a news published in the past:

When the TIWA council was floated, the then Assam Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia announced that it would be full-fledged body to which 29 state government departments would be handed over. For the five years, Dispur avoided the responsibility by paying just five to ten lakhs to the council every year. Now it has reached to 18 crore a year; but handing over the government departments remains a nightmare for the community. As more funds come in, corruption increases many-fold. Lack of manpower and infrastructure makes the council dependent on outside official. All govt. programs are carried out by the deptts without even taking the council in to confidence.

It should not happen to our BM council. We should be united to fight such odds. And at the same time we should be vigilant and at the same time we must demand for the infrastructure to accommodate the offices to run the council.
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