Monday, May 29, 2017

Open Letter to Dear People of Puducherry on completion of One year of my duties, as Lt Governor.

This is my Open Letter to Dear People of Puducherry on completion of One year of my duties,
as Lt Governor.

With best wishes.

Wish to Thank ALL ..who enabled and helped me Serve Puducherry.

Team Raj Nivas and Team Swachh Puducherry went biking around the city to see the overall state of cleanliness

This Sunday Team Raj Nivas and Team Swachh Puducherry went biking around the city to see the overall state of cleanliness.

The Team presented the Swachh workers with shawls of gratitude at several places.
Most of this work is being carried out by above middle aged women and older men.
The workers said while they clean, some people litter the place again in their very presence.
It is time for people to respect their services.

A while from now even their services will become difficult to get. Or not affordable as is the case in the West. Earlier we switch to source segregation and mechanised collection and then waste to wealth / energy/ manure/ creation, the  better shall it be.

Community and Municipal Agencies must learn to work together.
Community leaders need to lead this transformation.

Our PM is taking us to the right direction.

We all have to walk the path in all Municipalities and make it a caravan..of Swachh Bharat.
The Municipal Commissioners and Collectors have to get out of their cars and gym and bike their streets. Only then will mounds of garbage go and people's attitude towards sanitation, and swatchh workers change.

21 Batch of Visitors to Raj Nivas

This is the 21 Batch of Visitors to Raj Nivas . Every day, 12-1..30 PM, Mon-Sat, a group of visitors registering via Raj Nivas Website come to Raj Nivas to see this best maintained and most prestigious heritage building.

After their visit the group picture is placed on our website for them to share with their friends and relatives.

This was the 80th 6AM weekend round by Team Rajnivas.

This was the 80th 6AM weekend round by TeamRajnivas.

We went to a Market area in response to a representation received from the Industries association, regarding increasing incidents of extortion, road safety, public nuisance, and deficient civic amenities.

A mechanism for resolution of such complaints was put in place to respond.

A Whatsapp group of all key officials, including the Commune Commisioner, The SHO, Beat officer, PWD, AE/JE,Road Safety engineers, besides others, and active members of the Association and Residents of the Village, was formed to collaborate to resolve.

The Port visit led to identifying important points to be included in planning, well before port becomes operational.

This will prevent problems to surface later.
A detailed observation note is being sent to the concerned for examination and required time bound action.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

10 AM Team meeting at Raj Nivas

This is a synopsis of how we plan the day together as Team RajNivas daily @10 AM when we all meet, ideate, review, strategise, plan and implement.

It's people's time from

 @ 4PM as an Open House at Raj Nivas where anyone wishes to meet comes by an appointment 4-5 PM or at 5-7 PM, by a token given on first come first serve basis. to any person with a grievance.
All are addressed on case to case basis.

In the Raj Nivas team  are Para Legals, ( from LokAdalat, Family Counsellor, Police Officer, Secretariat officer, as a support systems to see the best way out. )

The slides shared are indicative of last nearing 12 months..

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Collector who STEPS OUT-- If he can why not others?

Imagine if all Collectors do?
If all Municipal commissioners do?
If Secretaries of land and development, agriculture, public works department, medical services, education, social welfare, transport, law and order, rural and urban development, environment and others do?
Why must they not be in the field to see implementation?
Why can they not be proactive?
And preventive? Rather than be reactive?
Why must they wait for people to complain? Why can't they sense people's needs for which they are and be self driven?
This is what we from RajNivas have been repeatedly advising.
Some have done, many have not.
By their not stepping  out we are losing time in the speed of change.
People are suffering needlessly.
Also corruption complaints will reduce by being at the spot.
Seniors will get to know their officers better. They too will have to show performance.
Seeing is believing. Field speaks.
There are today several funded schemes from govt of india for the people of india.
To ensure their full use unless officers step out these will remain mostly on paper.
Or remain under utilised.
Funds will get surrendered.
Money is precious.
It must be optimally utilised.
Once public officers realise the higher purpose of their privileges, they will step out.
This is exactly where RajNivas Team has done for almost the whole of last 12 months.
It has Stepped Out.
We are seeing, reviewing, correcting, guiding,  mentoring, training, collaborating, providing, and directing. Most of all listening and learning.
Because this is the higher purpose of being in high positions.
To serve and transform.
For that the more they step out the more they will achieve.
Like this Collector. He is proving it.
If one can do, so can all. others.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Every position is a responsibility to the degree one wants to..!

Why Biking as a Lt Governor?

Because it makes such  a position give a message of accessibility and accountability.

One of simplicity and integration.
Also one of proximity and communication.
What if more senior positions do this wherever it is possible.
In rural areas with roads or small towns in early hours of the morning when traffic may be low.
We as TeamRajnivas choose 6AM every weekend. (we are now on 80 th morning round coming Sat)
Much before the traffic picks up and return by 8.30 AM.
It sends a message to all that cities have to be clean and obstruction free for people to walk and drive. It also helps greet people as one pedals..
The common man becomes a part of the governance.
He feels he is related and can reach out.
What if all Municipal Commissioner bike early hours of weekend/s or choose the days they wish and drive past heaps of garbage.
Will it remain or vanish.
It will vanish.

Instead of going for a morning walk to a gym or a Public Park or a beach at least once a week bike around the town and see the change.
It will make grass root staff work and deliver and display their good work. People too will cooperate.
Once appreciated a positive change will come about. It will bring in shared responsibility.
This happens only when persons in top positions are committed by act not word..

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For Grievance Redressal...

This is a practice which was adopted way back in 1982 during DCP traffic days in Delhi Police.
It worked. It empowered commuters to complain.
We already have police control rooms to respond.
There is always a possibility of a response. But this has a restraining impact on the driver. ( as seen)
It gives the passenger a tool to check. ...
Even appreciate. We have rewarded drivers too.
Such like solutions come when public officials stay close to the ground level and remain sensitive to people's needs.
This must be available in hard copies as well as on social networks down loadable with assured response.
It's a serious grievance which must be addressed on a regular basis.
Make whatsapp numbers available where people can photo send it too.
This is being done in Puducherry.
Hard copy can be contributed by CSR active community social groups.

Social media has empowered people in real time.

Social media has empowered people in real time.

They need to value and use this better. School lessons on how to use it best need to be given in class rooms, and training halls for public servants to take them out of a time warp. (those who need).

It breaks monopolies.

It makes systems vibrant and participative.

Enclosed is the piece worth reading..

We in Puducherry have used social media it to the best of our ability, sometimes to the annoyance and respect, at the same time.

But that is not the purpose.

Larger objective always is respecting people's right to know and help them make informed decisions or choices.

To be free to form their own perspectives.

The demographic dividend to be truly a reservoir of human energy has to be engaged in citizen responsibility beyond casting a 'trust' vote

The demographic dividend to be truly a reservoir of human energy has to be engaged in citizen responsibility beyond casting a 'trust' vote once in five years. ( which many still do not go out to vote).

The lead must be given by leadership at key levels to ensure people willingness to participate and contribute.

The key levels are

--Elected representatives.

And the Appointed Public officials.

First the elected representatives. ( all levels).

They can be the real social reformers. After winning the votes they need to return to people to organise them in social reform. Make leadership groups of them for environment, women's dignity, value systems, skills development for youth, care for elders. Ensuring rule of law so that people feel secure in mobility and visibility.

Just as they hold political meetings for seeking votes they must return to people with social reform agenda. Time to time. And their performance assessment be not what they gave away free but what transformation they brought about in quality of life of the people.

One which is inclusive and not divisive.

Creating self reliance  and not dependence and expectations for free lunches.

It's about creating opportunities of social,political and economic empowerment.

Next leadership is by the public servants.

After getting appointed they must step out daily to see and review implementation.

They must go to people rather that wait for them to come.

This is will ensure sensitivity, quality performance, integrity in governance and financial prudence.

Both currently are in serious deficit.

What is being achieved to an extent is through NGOs supported by CSR.

Or by missionaries and activists on their own.

These have a limited reach.

To ensure comprehensive citizen engagement it has to be an alignment of intention to serve by elected leadership, appointed public servants and social workers.

'New India' will be fast forwarded by this synergy.

Friday, December 02, 2016

On preventing jailbreaks-Think before you wink

Are audacious jailbreaks, setting militants and gangsters free, preventable? Yes they are, provided the prison management work is done diligently, 24x7 by all ranks, 365 days a year, from warder to chief warder.
Prison security is a case of sustained red alert and can brook no weakening. There is no moment even for a wink. Because prison is a place that houses inmates of all levels, most critical being the dangerous and unsafe to be allowed in the open society. Some are a known threat to society and therefore need to be kept within bounds, under a hawk’s eye. Prisons need to be guarded every second, by people who are trained, trusted and are equipped with weapons.
I have used three key words. Trusted, trained and equipped. Let me address the first. Trusted: For those entrusted with trust have to be worthy of trust. Are they? Can they be? If so, who? And how?
Prison environment (unless heavily reformative and transformative, which is rare) breeds contamination, deceit, corruption, violence and mistrust. It’s all stealth and falsehood. It’s an institution of depraved who are only waiting to get away by hook or crook. They cannot do so without assistance from within. Which means breach of trust is the way from within the jail staff. Therefore, more vigil, not only on inmates but on the staff is critical by superiors.
Prison environment being highly negative rubs on people who serve there. Hence such an environment keeps the institution vulnerable to lives at risk. Like the killing of the head warder in Bhopal jail by intruders in the recent jailbreak there. So how does one ensure that the entrusted remain trust worthy? By placing vigil over the vigil. But by whom? By the chiefs.
The chiefs have to constantly be on the move. Use all possible means to remain abreast of goings in prisons with best use of technology. They need to deploy all kinds of drill scenarios, doing mock exercises and laying surprise traps. Any one falling in the cracks must be ruthlessly dismissed from service under Article 311(2) of the Indian Constitution, as a threat to security of state. Unless this unsparing rule is followed, we will, at reasonable intervals, continue to threaten safety and security of the state.
All levels of supervision must be held accountable. It is their responsibility to ensure vigil over the vigil. The strategy has to be theirs, accountability is theirs. There is no place for any political interference. If the leader allows it, he does it at his own peril, but at a huge cost to the safety of people as whole.
Trained: Who trains those deployed? All levels of leadership are duty bound to do so. Mock drills are a test of reflexes. It’s just one of the many strategies. Internal intelligence systems with intelligent use of technology and eavesdropping are others.
But training is essential. It’s like the infantry in readiness. This will enable warders to ward off negativity and passivity as well. Also instil respect for the responsibility being performed, which many are seen to be losing over a period of time. It must be kept intact.
Equipment: Who equips them? Again, it’s the leaders. The top man has to ensure the staff is provided with technology and physical equipment required to safeguard and protect prison. This reduces pressure on human limitations.
Without proper internal management prisons slip into further decay. Lodging is in the hands of jail superintendent, but it should be reviewed by top leadership.
Never keep all gang members together in a jail. This is the basic mistake being repeated. While being conscious of depravity and threats of deceit, the prison must strive to incorporate all possible reform programmes to reduce collateral damages, including conspiracies from within.
Leadership then can embed sources for information in order to prevent and thwart any such audacious attempts of escapes or internal sabotage by enabling ears and feet closest to the ground. There are no shortcuts to high security. Constant vigil is the only prevention, with leadership which is rule bound, uncompromising and strongly professional.
India should lock up those who by connivance or neglect let state security be compromised. Prisons are both guards and guardians.
 Published on 02, 2016 ( HT Chd Edition)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A date with innocence and real education

This is one conversation that must be shared for the innocent and original views. Of the kind we all want to see in our children (aged between 8 and 12), but do not get it easily.
It was my conversation with over 120 children at Raj Niwas, Puducherry. The children had come from Samskriti School, a residential school run by Isha Foundation, Coimbatore. They came as part of their annual tour that included a visit to the Raj Niwas. This is when I got to meet them and had this rare conversation.
This was not a planned one. It sprang up instantaneously.
The children were all settled in the main Durbar Hall after having been served dinner. As soon as they finished and were seated, I got the message to join in. I knew the background of the school. I had visited it during my visit to Isha Foundation in Coimbatore when I went to do a course in Inner Engineering.
But, I had not had the kind of exclusivity and the length of time I was about to get now with them. As I walked into the prestigious Durbar Hall, used so far only for political or social dignitaries, I saw curiously expectant faces of our special child guests on Vijaydashmi. It could not have been more auspicious for Puducherry.
As I walked in, they expressed their innocent applause in abundance. It was pure and authentic excitement and touched me deeply. I felt blessed. The vibrations were very different. Instinctively, I felt the urge to know how were these children different (if at all) from the rest studying in other schools. Instead of asking their teachers, I decided to ask the children directly. For a while they were quietly surprised. There were a few innocent giggles and a shuffle...
But after an affectionate and persuasive prod, small hands started to crop up. They never looked back to seek their teachers’ approval.
My first and followup questions with their answers are as follows:
What differences do you feel when you go home to be with your parents, siblings and friends?
How do you think you are different from other schoolchildren?
The answers to several of questions were, recorded verbatim here...
“We are different. Because compared to us, our friends are always studying, not enjoying what they do”.
“They carry school bags, we take home no school work”.
“They have to find dance teachers and we always have them with us in school”.
“We are healthy, they are always visiting doctors.”
“They don’t get healthy food”.
“They don’t get to do Kalari (an ancient form of dance craft)”.
“Outside they say ‘namaskar’ only to God whereas we do it to all”.
“They don’t get a platform to perform instantly as we get it in Samskriti”.
“They don’t hit us, while they hit each other”.
“They take us for a trip every year”.
“They (our teachers) don’t want us to mug up. They teach us the what and whys of learning”.
“Here, we give respect everyone. We speak softly and kindly”.
“We get blessings from Sadhguru but others don’t”.
“It’s a great school that my parents found for me”.
“We have forests near our school while others don’t have them”.
“In the library, the fan changes the page and that disturbs me”.
“Here, we love nature but outside people don’t even look at it”.
“Here, we have no exams and therefore no scolding from parents”.
“We have tests but don’t have exams...” I asked... What is the difference between a test and exam?
A child said, “Test is easy, exam is difficult.” I asked... What is difficult and what is easy?
“Whatever we know is easy and whatever we don’t is difficult”.
What is it that you don’t know? I asked.
“Something that we did not read”.
What is that you did not read?
“Big books — the ones that are higher than our (intellect) level and have difficult words”.
I asked, what happens when any one of you makes a mistake?
“When we do something wrong, we get punished. We have to write sentences”.
How do I assess this purity? This truth? This simplicity? This authenticity? This value system?
I told them, each of you will grow up to cleanse the world in whatever is around are what humanity ought to be...
I am sure they did not get the depth of my conclusion. But, I said it because in the audience were seniors too, listening to them, who were as awestruck as I was by the spontaneity of their natural expressions.
This is what residential schools are for and more... this is real education what we are wanting to see, but perhaps wondering how do we do it, or our children and parents accept it?
Or were these children in Samskriti school born with the ‘samskaras’ to get it? Or were they creating them? We need to ask Sadhguru...