Amaravati: In sharp contrast to the previous government, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is all set to launch the Village Secretariat system which will turn a new leaf in public administration and set a new precedence in governance in the country.
Given below are the few indicators that gives an impartial look comparing the two governments of the State and judge the issue under the barometer of prudence:
In a single initiative of mass recruitment, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Government has created 1,26,728 lakh jobs through Village Secretariats which will come into effect from October 2 and nearly 2.8 lakh jobs through village/ward volunteer jobs which are already active.
Chandrababu Naidu who had coined the slogan that ‘if Babu comes, Jobs will come’ failed to create a single job and went back on the unemployment stipend.
Village and Ward Volunteers will be the face of governance and will strengthen the public delivery system of welfare schemes.
Chandrababu Naidu has no respect for dignity of labour and spoke ill of village volunteers comparing them to manual labour and used indecent language which is unbecoming of his stature.
There has been a comparison between Village Secretariats and Janmabhoomi Committees, but there is lot of difference between the two.
In the first place Janmaboomi Committees were acting as decision-making bodies and were interacting with people on party lines showing discrimination, corruption was rampant which every nook, and corner of the state has come to know.
Village Volunteers are dedicated people who will be voluntarily working with service motive and are not the sanctioning authority but they are only part of the delivery mechanism of welfare schemes of the government.
Experience has shown that in the previous government, works were done on nomination method and the approval of Janmaboomi Committees was necessary even for acquiring a simple certificate, let alone the benefits from major schemes.
Under the Village Secretariat system, everything works like a clock like precision, every Village Volunteer will service 50 houses in rural areas, and every Ward Volunteer will take care of 100 areas in urban areas.
During the previous regime, Janmabhoomi Committee members played havoc, the delivery system of public policy was done on party lines, and there was discrimination, threats and attacks.
Under the new order, the system works on saturation method where caste, creed, party affiliations are not seen but only eligibility will be the criteria and the volunteers are trained to carry out the task with utmost restraint.
People had to go to Party offices where the Janmabhoomi Committee members usually park themselves and try to resolve issues at will and not based on policy, eligibility, need and urgency. The discrimination was so severe that many times people who do not support the ruling party feared for their lives and they were denied of rightful benefits, even from central sponsored schemes, deprived of their simple rights of monthly ration, pension, in the name of biometric system not accepting the fingerprints and the like.
All this was happening as the Committees were the deciding authority and were behaving like extra-constitutional authorities as they had the patronage of party leaders, MLAs, Ministers and people who mattered.
The mandate of Village Secretariats is quite different and it is set up only to facilitate the people from getting the government welfare schemes.
During the 3,648 km Praja Sankalpa Padayatra YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was told by the people about their plight on various counts from the corruption of Janmabhoomi Committee to the difficulties they were facing to draw the pensions, ration, getting caste and other certificates and the like. As a one-stop solution to their mitigate their woes, YS Jagan has given a deep thought and formalized Village Secretariats, which will look alike across the state and will have the same functions, facilities, duties and responsibilities.
The volunteers will deliver the monthly ration to the doorsteps of the beneficiary as many had complained that they were losing one day’s wage if they were to stand in the queue at ration shops to get their monthly quota and the quality of rice.
Though Chandrababu Naidu had passed a comment that Village Volunteers will be doing the manual jobs of carrying rice bags from house to house, it is a voluntary service which they have offered and it is part of the job which they were willingly accepted and dignity of labour has to be respected.
The volunteers will also be the active link between the Village/Ward Secretariat and the 50/100 houses they are allotted and will apprise, bring awareness, given them a participatory role and see that the fruits of welfare schemes are delivered directly to the households.
The rampant corruption of Janmabhoomi Committees and commissions will come to an end by the Village Secretariats coming into force as the former had an attitude with a commercial and authoritarian tone while the latter is service oriented and has the motive of taking governance to the door step of the people.
Social audit is the keyword in Village Secretariats, which will bring accountability and credibility to system.
It makes it very clear that Village Secretariats are for the people, by the people and of the people.