Introducing people to power
A septuagenarian echoed the sentiments of the gathering when he stopped MCD councillor from Trilokpuri Harishankar Kashyap’s speech and said, “We are not here to listen to you… Swaraj kya hai jaanane ke liye aaye hain (To know what is Swaraj).”, reports Nivedita Khandekar.delhi Updated: Aug 29, 2009 23:46 IST
A septuagenarian echoed the sentiments of the gathering when he stopped MCD councillor from Trilokpuri Harishankar Kashyap’s speech and said, “We are not here to listen to you… Swaraj kya hai jaanane ke liye aaye hain (To know what is Swaraj).”
As the elderly gent, whose name could not be confirmed, said this, similar demands came up from the gathering, which comprised residents from Preet Vihar on Saturday.
It was a public meeting on the launching of Mohalla Sabha (meetings of people of the locality) as part of the Swaraj Abhiyan. Sportingly agreeing to the demand, Kashyap said, “This is Swaraj… wohi hoga jo log chahenge (what people want will happen).”
Kashyap with Sonia Vihar councillor Annapurna Mishra was sharing the experiences about how people’s meetings under ‘Swaraj’ have started improving the civic scenario in their areas.
Arvind Kejriwal, who has spearheaded the Swaraj campaign, intervened, “It means you decide what is to be done in your area. We met the Lt Governor and he said, ‘You have fulfilled my dream. I want that the people should be directly involved in the governance.’ People take the responsibility of any work in that area.”
Mishra said, “In my area, we gave one month’s time to the officials concerned to improve the situation… and lo! It worked. The government employee can no longer escape, as he has to be present during the next mohalla sabha. This way, we built roads in Sonia Vihar and several old and deserving persons got pension.”
Telling about similar experience in Mayur Vihar pocket 3 area, Kashyap explained, “Each person who attends this meeting is asked to write what he thinks the main problem is. The people then prioritize.”
The organisers wanted that the two pioneering examples be shared with other willing councillors. Preet Vihar councillor Ravi Prakash Sharma agreed readily.
Sharma announced that people’s meetings would be held in Preet Vihar every Saturday from now on.
Manish Sisodia, one of activists from the campaign, said, “A mohalla Sabha is basically empowerment of the people. People get the power to decide about what needs to be done and ensure that the work is done properly.”
Hindustan Times had run a series of articles on the
Swaraj Abhiyan during the recent Lok Sabha poll coverage in Delhi.