Doing the Rounds
Residents of remote areas in Orissa’s Nayagarh district were surprised recently when they encountered a t-shirt-clad man who was cycling around and asking them how they were. Some recognised him as Arindam Dakua, their district collector. Dakua cycled 80 km to visit forested, hilly regions to interact with villagers to get authentic information about how government schemes were being implemented. Although he tried to remain incognito, people who did recognise him presented him with grievances and petitions regarding infrastructure, utilities, community problems and sanitation. Noting them down, Dakua promised action. “I love to mingle and interact with people as it helps me understand the ground situation better. I see it as an opportunity to reach out to the people at the grassroots, know their grievances,” he says.