The moment we say, ‘civil service officers’ the picture which inadvertently comes to mind is that of an IAS officer who simply cannot look beyond himself. Maybe its to do with the scores of movies which always painted them as villains and corrupt or news reports of many such IAS officers not doing their job. But thankfully, that is changing and changing fast.
The new crop of IAS officers are beacons of idealism and make us all feel proud; it is officers like these who show us the positive and impactful change they can bring about.
One such officer is Deputy Commissioner of East Garo Hills district in Meghalaya, Swapnil Tembe, who has taken significant measures to help the migrant workers in the far flung NE region of Meghalaya. There were quite a few migrant workers from Assam, stranded in the district indefinitely and their families not covered under any major schemes.
Tembe got them covered under the District Relief Fund, and through that has been providing rations after identifying where certain urban daily wagers are residing, and have engaged a Self-Help Group (SHG) which is going into these areas and delivering food. Tembe’ order, 5 kg of rice, 2-3 kgs of pulses, and 1 kg of salt is being donated per household, depending on its size and weekly requirement. Till date, his office has catered to more than 1,000 households, which means more than 7,000 people. For some households, they have reached out multiple times.
Apart from providing essentials, his administration is also working with NGOs like SELCO Foundation to help locals earn a living while sitting at home. Working with the state Govt, they have encouraged production of face masks, engaging women, who have been trained in stitching and sewing are making these masks enmasse. After procuring these masks, the government is distributing them free of cost to the general public while the women are earning some income.
Now this is the true power of a civil service officer!