Day in the life of a bureaucrat: Government school girls learn finer points of governance
For Class 11 student Kashish Sharma, Tuesday was a day well spent. She got to learn about the city’s Master Plan and Metro projects, and even got to read about the long-pending cases of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) — valuable lessons that went beyond her school textbooks.
Sharma was one of 10 students of the Government Girls’ Inter College in Vijay Nagar who were selected by the Ghaziabad district administration to work with IAS, IPS officers for a day to understand the intricacies of bureaucracy.
“My dream is to crack the civil services examination and become an IAS officer. I wish to serve society. My interaction with GDA vice-chairperson Kanchan Verma was fruitful as she motivated me to pursue my dream. She even gave me two books to read and made me understand the basics of the city master plan. I also got to read about two long-pending cases of the authority,” Sharma said.
“The vice-chairperson also sought my suggestions on the two cases. She told me about the workings of the GDA with respect to housing and Metro projects and how to deal with public complaints,” she said.
Officials said the students were selected for the ‘Meri Udaan’ programme of the Ghaziabad administration from 23 girls who were initially shortlisted.
The girls were then sent to the district magistrate’s office, the SSP’s office, the offices of the GDA, the chief medical officer, and the chief development officer(CDO) on Tuesday to watch them at work.
“Sana Siddiqui of class 12 was at my office. She is a very confident girl and was concerned with the status of women in society. I briefed her about the government policies and how various works get done. The students were also guided by officials about how to prepare for competitive exams,” Asmita Lal, Ghaziabad’s chief development officer, said.
“The ‘Meri Udaan’ initiative is inspired by the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme. Students have also been asked to write a letter to the respective officers within two days and provide their feedback on what they observed,” Lal said.
“Since private school children already have ample opportunities, we selected government school girls for the project. These students have a lot of talent and confidence and can do wonders if they are given more opportunities,” she added.
Class 11 students Khushbu and Mohini spent Tuesday watching the police in action at the office of the superintendent of police (rural).
Khushbu said, “The exposure gave me a lot of understanding about how the police work. It is generally a trend in this country that daughters should not be too educated. But I wish to break the rules and become an IPS officer. The lesson I got from my interaction with the SP (rural) was how to deal with different situations and to decide cases on merit.”
Sakshi from class 9 got an opportunity to share her day with district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey, who asked her to officiate in his place as he had to attend meetings.
“Before leaving, he briefed me about the functioning of different departments and also showed me how records are maintained. He told me, ‘aaj aap meri chair sambhalo (today you officiate in my place)’. He also told me how important files and public complaints are handled and his office sees dozens of people every day,” she said.
The other girls who aspire to become doctors were sent to Women’s Hospital, MMG Hospital and to the office of chief medical officer to understand hospital administration.