To ensure attendance at the weekly Gram Samadhan Diwas, government officers in Hardoi have been asked to take a photograph and share it on WhatsApp.
At the Gram Samadhan Diwas held in every panchayat of Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh (UP) every week, government and police officers mandated to attend the meeting take selfies and post them on a district WhatsApp group. They’re not selfie-crazed social media buffs, but are driven to do so by an administrative requirement to mark their attendance in the meetings.
Hardoi district magistrate Shubhra Saxena proposed conducting of the Gram Samadhan Diwas in every panchayat once a week to save people from rural areas the trouble of coming to the collectorate with their grievances. Now, they can attend the weekly Gram Samadhan Diwas in their gram panchayat where village-level officers redress their grievances on the spot.
With no other reliable way to keep tabs on their attendance, Hardoi district magistrate Shubhra Saxena asked the the officers to take a selfie or get a photograph clicked after every visit and share it on the district WhatsApp group
“Earlier, people alleged that we don’t attend the jan sunwaayi, but selfie attendance has taken care of this problem as officials upload selfies to the district administration group” — Rajeev Tiwari, panchayat adhikari of Peng village in Hardoi
Meanwhile, Saxena’s Gram Samadhan Diwas, where the focus is on samadhan (solution) of people’s problems, is slowly but surely finding takers among the villagers. Sukhpal Singh, 74, a resident of Durga Khera village in Sandila tehsil of Hardoi, told FactorDaily that the gram pradhan of his village had beaten him up and evicted from his own house a few months ago. He said he knocked on many doors for justice, but to no avail, until he took up the matter at a Gram Samadhan Diwas.
“The jan sunwayis were of no use as would listen to our complaints. But, I have seen the change since the Gram Samadhan Diwas started on June 22. My complaint is being addressed at the local police station level and I feel relieved. I am hopeful I will get justice soon,” he said.
Saxena said the government representatives attending the meetings have been given the mandate of addressing every complaint within 7-10 days. Issues that are outside their purview or are crime-related are duly passed on to the senior officer concerned or to the police.
Vijay Kiran Anand, director, Panchayati Raj, told FactorDaily it’s good to see senior bureaucrats coming up with innovative ideas to address public grievances. He commended Saxena for the WhatsApp selfie attendance idea since it’s effective and costs nothing. He said Saxena’s initiative can be replicated on a larger scale if it proves to be successful in the long run.
“I have seen the change since the Gram Samadhan Diwas started on June 22. My complaint is being addressed at the local police station level and I feel relieved. I am hopeful I will get justice soon” — Sukhpal Singh, a resident of Durga Khera village in Hardoi