Deputy Commissioner, zilla panchayat CEO, MLA, join shramdaan in two villages of Belgaum taluk
In a rare occurrence on Sunday, it was an officials’ day out in Belgaum with Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram and chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat Deepa Cholan leading a substantial number of senior and young officials of the district administration to perform “shramdaan” (donation of labour or free voluntary labour) in the Dhamne S. Bailur and Dhangarwadi villages of Belgaum taluk.
Dressed in casuals, all the officials left their air-conditioned cars back at their office/house, travelled to the village in a NWKRTC bus and also paid for their own ticket.
The villagers accorded a warm reception at a makeshift stage readied for the occasion. They distributed uniforms to school children and an umbrella every family in the village. Saplings of various plant/tree species were also distributed among the villagers to motivate them to grow more trees in their habitat.
Later, the officials took brooms and other implements to clean streets and drainage lines, and plant saplings along the streets.
Information about hygiene, the importance of the environment and ecology and how to protect it, and about various development and welfare measures initiated by the State and Central governments were provided to the villagers as well.
The day ended with sinking a borewell in Dhamne village, which was entirely paid for from the personal earnings of the officials.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jayaram said the shramdaan should not go to waste and the residents should keep their village clean and pollution free.
He said that the shramdaan efforts would be carried out to other villages in the days to come.
However, though the villagers welcomed the gesture, they said the officials need not do a shramdaan if the workers of gram panchayat carried out their cleaning work sincerely on a regular basis, even as they did not deny their contribution/role in keeping their locality clean and pollutant-free.
On spotting the BJP’s Sanjay Patil (who represents the Belgaum rural Assembly constituency), some villagers wished that the day’s exercise not end up as a publicity stunt by politicians or officials but continue as a campaign for some time for people in other villages to emulate.