AN IAS OFFICER: IN THE SERVICE OF THE POOR YOUTH

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IAS OFFICER: WHO WORKS FOR THE POOR YOUTH

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Doctor turned IAS officer E. Ramesh Kumar is a workaholic. In charge of Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, he feels that his job is a Godsend to help people. “I feel bad if somebody goes unhappy after meeting me; I try to help him in every possible manner,” says Ramesh, who gifted a sapling each to all petitioners who met him during the monsoon season when he was district collector of Khargone.
Ramesh was born in a middle class family of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. His father worked for the Railways and his mother was a Port Trust employee. He studied in Korukonda Sainik School and Andhra Medical College.
A strict disciplinarian, Ramesh does not claim to be an extraordinary bureaucrat. Instead, he believes in implementing routine development schemes extraordinarily.
When he was collector of Chhatarpur in the Bundelkhand region, he realized that young men were migrating as construction laborers because they were unskilled. With support from Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (ILFS), he started a residential coaching school were the youth were taught basic skills to find jobs in the Textile industry.
In order to train the youth for the armed forces, he started the Shaurya Sankalp Project. “ We take youth in the age group of 17-23. Those belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and below poverty line segments get free training while others have to pay for the food, which roughly comes around Rs. 1500 per month. During the three-month course, they are trained in English, Mathematics, General Knowledge and Reasoning. Plus, they have weekly tests, and two hours each of physical training and games every day.
According to Ramesh, “One poverty alleviation scheme cannot change lives of the poor. It has to be in a complete sense. I always target a few families instead of going after the whole village and then saturate them with all schemes in order to pull them out of the poverty web. I always do things from the available government resources so that these initiatives have sustainability and are institutionalized. That is why I believe in bringing all government schemes together.”
Ramesh was also invited to give a talk at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy in Mussoorie, where IAS officers are trained.

Source: The Week

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