In almost a Bollywood-ish sting operation, a Pune IAS Officer has begun to weed out corruption and illegal practices being carried out in government offices.
Despite the transparency, corruption and illicit doings have been a stark reality for most of our government bodies. And although we all talk at our chai tapri about how things should change and what should be done, very few things actually change. Albeit the power isn’t in our hands, but in this case, the rightful use of power was properly exercised by one conscious-stricken and alert IAS officer. He took things in his own hands and how!
Most of the times, it’s very hard to screen government officials in an office. The assured and proven way is to observe how things run in your absence, and this is exactly what Suraj Mandhare, the CEO of Pune Zilla Parishad did.
He had begun to secretly visit PHCs (Primary Health Centres), schools, villages, and offices in order to check out how they are being operated. He also started to suspend corrupt and inefficient officials on the spot- something which all of us have only fantasized about. How he does so is by arriving at the offices in his private car to observe things and to keep everything a secret.
What he saw was a shocking affair- bribery, locked offices, and red-tapism, which is directly hurting the reputation and efficiency of our state affairs. It started with an IAS officer named Pratibha Dongre, who claimed to have forgotten to maintain official records for about a year. After cross-checking the records, he discovered that although she was paid, the villagers never got a receipt. She was suspended on the spot.
Afterwards, he arrived at the Ketkawle village where he found out that another officer named Sujay Poman had locked up his office and had left for a holiday. No official holiday application had been filed, so naturally, he too got a suspension letter on the spot. PM Lonkar, another officer was caught red-handed while taking a bribe for illegal construction and was immediately suspended as well.
In this unique way of cross-checking ground-realities, Mr. Mandhare said that he wants to ensure that citizens get administrative services. This new and bold act of sacking corrupt employees on the spot is something which should hopefully awaken those who think they can get away with any illegal activity. This zero-tolerance policy ensures that most corrupt officers get weeded out, and that the immediate supervisors take responsibility for the rules and regulations which will later follow.
However, not everything is a lost cause. Upon visiting schools, especially primary schools, he found out that school teachers were putting in extra efforts and renovating teaching patterns for most of the students. Hopefully, even in the future, illicit practices will continue to be punished, and those who work hard will be rewarded and promoted throughout the ranks.
This report was first published on The Better India.
All images via Suraj Mandhare/Facebook