The first university of the world was situated near the sacred Badrinath shrine of Uttarakhand and its chancellor was none other than Maharshi Ved Vyas, the legendary author of epic Mahabharata. One should accept this fact without any iota of doubt in mind as this was narrated by none other than a scholar minister holding responsibility of the Union Human Resource Development ministry during a training programme for teachers held in Dehradun recently. The affection of the minister for Vedas and ancient Indian wisdom is well known. He incidentally is the person who some years ago had claimed in an international seminar held in Sri Lanka that the miracle herb Sanjeevani which has the potency to induce life back into dead is still found in Uttarakhand. These statements and his other utterances in past like “science is dwarf in front of astrology” made in parliament have also rubbed the rationalists wrong way but the minister continues to say what he believes in.
A Babu holding considerable clout in the affairs of the health department is said to be sitting over the proposal to purchase a new and highly advanced version of CT scan machine for the Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) hospital. It is learnt that the Babu is interested in handing over the important radio diagnostic service at the biggest government hospital of the state having a high footfall to a private player under the PPP mode. The love of the officer for private companies is spawning doubts as the PPP model has failed to provide desired results in the department. Further handing over the service at a centre where the availability of trained man power is not an issue like in the mountainous areas of the state, raises concern over the very intent of the plan. However the delay in the process of decision making- whether to go for PPP mode or purchase a new machine- at the highest level is creating problems for the patients arriving at the radio diagnostic department of the medical college hospital for CT scan. What more can reflect the dismal state of health services in the Himalayan state than the fact that an important machine like CT scan is non-functional from last eight months in the biggest hospital of the state.
The ongoing process of elections for the three tier Panchayati Raj bodies in 12 districts of the state has shown how the rural politics of Uttarakhand has undergone deterioration over the years. If one witnessed rampant use of the money and muscle power coupled with the free flow of booze to influence voters in the first stage, in the ongoing second stage where the Panchayat representative would choose candidates for the sought after positions of District Panchayat presidents and Block Pramukhs, stories of horse trading are flying thick and fast. Both the major political parties and their influential leaders are using every trick in the book to ensure that the candidates owing affiliation to them become Pramukhs and District Panchayat presidents. In sharp contrast to the helter –skelter going on for these positions, another interesting but disturbing fact is that almost half of the posts of member village Panchayats have remained vacant due to the disinterest shown by people. It clearly shows that rural folks are least interested in the positions where they can directly work for formulating plans and polices for their respective villages and are only concerned about lucrative positions like Pradhan and member of block and district Panchayat.
Friday, 01 November 2019 | Gajendra Singh Negi| Dehradun
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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