It is sometimes, said that we depend too much on the state to deliver. It is an admitted fact that the state is all pervasive in our country and interferes in almost all aspects of our social existence.
The ordinary people also do not think that they have remedies in their hands, when they are confronted with issues related to the public utilities. But the provisions of the constitution when read thoroughly, clearly exhibit that the real power lies with the people.
|A view of the clogged drain at Rangirkhari. The citizens can certainly do better to keep these drains clean.|
Our constitution, in its preamble, loudly declared that “we the people of India-------“. What a piece of declaration with a lofty message ! But how far do we follow it our actual lives? Let us take for instance, our town Silchar, which is ruled by our benevolent rulers who falter on almost every step. The public money is squandered away with little work done. We raise our voice but the voice does not reach a sympathetic ear.
Hence the remedy lies in the public taking the responsibility themselves. When we talk about our town, we feel that every locality must have its own committee for development. A conscientious group of citizens can do a lot of work themselves.
The best thing they can do is the generation of public awareness about the public utility services, safety and security of citizens and the care for children and senior citizens. Perhaps, no locality in the town can boast of a public park where the citizens and their senior members and children can sit and relax.
There is an awful mental condition prevailing among the townsfolk that it is not the responsibility of the people to do something for themselves.
In Delhi, there is a compulsory arrangement called the Bhagidhari scheme, under which a Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) has to be formed in every locaility which works for the issues confronting the locality in cooperation with the civic authorities.
In this set up, the senior citizens also have great say in the welfare of the locality. It is a grand idea where the government and public come together for the development and welfare in the area. As mentioned elsewhere, the most neglected part of Silchar town are the children and the senior citizens who mostly remain uncared for and the town hardly bothers about their mental and physical needs.
Every locality must constitute a voluntary organization that takes charge of its own problems. I have first hand knowledge of housing complexes in the large cities which are so big that one very large complex looks like a locality. But the arrangement for recreation and health care is complete with nicely tended parks. I am surprised how meticulously these parks are maintained. A walking track is maintained within the complex and if one, adolescent, middle aged or old makes several rounds in one go, he is bound to perspire and it is immensely good for health.
The committee maintains everything themselves. A complex with three hundred flats is as good as a small locality of our town. This is about the complex but there are localities which have their own organizations. Let us be awakened to the idea of public participation in public affairs. It is better to depend on our own strengths. It is true that we pay taxes to the municipal authority and they are supposed to take care of our needs. But our initiative for our own matters may be exemplary for the civic authority which may then do the things which are beyond our means.
Every citizen has a thing to contribute to the society and he must be ready to do something. Even in our town, at least a few localities show some amount of social perception and it is praiseworthy. A little work done for the society, may be very little, contributes immensely to the perception. It takes away some scar from our social body.
A body in the locality may be considered a scope for us. Remaining aloof from all problems and thinking about oneself only leads to nothing. We fear this attitude is fast becoming a character for our people of the town. This has actually become the route to escape from the social responsibility and the escapists very soon find shelter in another city of their choice.