HT Scholarship Programme 2018: Winners suggest ideas for Maha change
The Class 5 winners of the HT Scholarship Programme 2018 write about what the top three priorities of the new Maharashtra government should beUpdated: Nov 22, 2019 16:09 IST
Let’s make state a role model
Bombay Scottish School, Mahim
If I am given the opportunity to determine the priorities for the new state government, then I’ll pick cleanliness, affordable education and traffic. There needs to be a concentrated effort towards developing a culture of cleanliness. We need to provide infrastructure to support it — toilet maintenance and garbage disposal. There also needs to be strict enforcement of the fines imposed on offenders.
Currently, affordability is a major roadblock to higher education. We have to ensure basic education for all.
My third priority would be taking care of traffic congestion. Potholes need to be fixed and some incentives need to be given for using public transport to ease the traffic.A sincere request to the new Maharashtra government — let’s aim to make our state a role model for others! Jai Hind Jai Maharashtra!
It must be a people’s govt
Beacon High School
Any new government must be a people’s government. The three top priorities of the new government must be transparency, approachability and futuristic solutions. Government officials must be transparent about projects, approvals and other agreements. They need to adhere to all rules and regulations to minimise corruption.
The second major priority is approachability — anyone and everyone must get a chance to meet and interact with officials and ministers and people must be involved in the decision-making process undertaken for the development of the city and the state. A lot of times, it is weeks before one gets to hear back from government officials about their problem. This must be eliminated with easy access and ease of appointments. People must have their own representatives in the decision-making process so that the needs of the common man are taken into consideration.
The third priority is to have a futuristic vision and take all decisions with the aim of conserving natural heritage and habitats, and focus on environmental building, smart living, and wellness. All decision must be taken keeping the needs of future generations in mind. Integrating these priorities is a must for progress.
Putting environment first
Darsh Ashok Punjwani
Jasudben ML School
This year, Mumbai has broken its 65-year-old record for the highest rainfall. It poured in many parts of the country and we had major floods in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh too. I remember seeing a train stranded for hours on the outskirts of Mumbai on the TV. People had to be evacuated by the Army, while many, including children, drowned. It was a frightening sight and I never want this to happen again. In Mumbai, several buildings also collapsed. In one such case in Khar, a fifth grader died, which saddened me immensely. This is happening because of global warming and deforestation. I would like our new government to put in efforts to save our trees and forests. Please save Aarey forest and let the birds and animals have their homes. How would you like it if some strangers came and lived in your house forever? Secondly, I wish people would be more kind to animals and not kill them for their body parts. I would like the state to enforce stricter laws to protect animals’ rights.
The state’s third priority should be to ensure all kids get education.
Education is the key to problems
Dhirubhai Ambani International School
So often, me and my family decide to go for a drive, hearing our favourite songs on the way or stopping by our favourite ice-cream parlour. And every time, we’ve felt so sad at the sight of young kids having to beg. I think people with power need to bring about a change and uplift our country. I think education is of prime importance. The state needs to equip all its residents with basic education and promote everyone to develop their skills. Free primary education drives need to be conducted more effectively. This way, everyone can earn a living, be independent and live a respectful, dignified life.
Secondly, cleanliness is very important. But there needs to be stricter monitoring and punishments imposed for littering.
This time, when I was in Gujarat for a national-level gymnastics competition, I realised that the state lays a lot of emphasis on sports development and infrastructure. I urge our state to create state-of-the-art facilities for sports, and provide a platform for champions.
Bridge rural-urban gap
Podar International School (IB), Khar
The development of any state is not only the progress of its cities, but also the development of the rural areas —providing them with basic amenities, such as drinking water, literacy, drainage facilities, healthcare, employment, etc. The government needs to develop cities such as Nagpur, Nashik and other small towns.
Secondly, agriculture is the mainstay of Maharashtra, but annual profit from cultivation in the state is the lowest among all Indian states. Farmer suicides have been increasing owing to water shortage, crop failure and pressure of money lenders and banks. As agriculture plays a major role in economic development, the government needs to work towards eradicating these issues.
Thirdly, forests are the lungs of our land — purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. Deforestation is a major problem. The recent cutting of trees in Aarey forest is an example of how the state is consciously moving towards a disaster.
We don’t need to protect the environment; we need to create an environment that doesn’t need protection. Let’s hope the new government is able to create an enriching and sustainable life for all of us.
Hope govt is green at heart, actions
Neil Xavier Desouza
Lilavatibai Podar International School
New or old, I hope the government that comes is green in their heart and intentions, and not just in their words.
My wish list for them? Firstly, we need to save trees. Resistance from activists and school children before the trees at Aarey forest were cut reminded me of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg’s words, “Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have long ago.” Will the new government listen to the children?
This year, Mumbai received record-breaking rainfall. Most of that rainwater just flowed into the drains, but not before causing havoc and mayhem all around. Harvesting rainwater should not only be taught in schools; we need a government that takes its implementation seriously to take care of water problems in the future.
Finally, our honourable prime minister walks the talk on his premise about Swachh Bharat, but what about the rest of us? People think that my house is clean, so it is okay.
At every corner of the streets there is rubbish piling up and what do we do? Just walk past. We need a government that will focus on creating more Greta Thunbergs in each home.
Make streets safer for girls
The Cathedral and John Cannon School
Every time there’s a new election and the top post is up for grabs, promises are thrown around in the air. The goals, I feel the new chief minister should keep in mind are — clean air, greater safety for women and children, and adequate employment.
Clear air is basic for survival. We have harmed our environment and if we don’t fix our mistakes now, it might be too late. Citizens have started doing their bit, now the government has to make it a priority.
The safety of women must be a top priority of the government. It’s sad that it remains unsafe for a girl to even walk to the nearest grocery shop alone at time. Women also face different kinds of abuse at home sometimes. I feel a lot more can be done through better policing and civic awareness.
Thirdly, the state has a large number of young graduates, but only a few have enough skills to get proper jobs. Skill-based education is crucial as that would lead to economic freedom!
Today’s politicians need to leave the next generation a nice, clean place to live in, with enough natural resources. Compared to technology and vehicles, it’s the quality of life that matters and that’s what I think our next chief minister should focus on!
It’s time we said bye to craters
Dhirubhai Ambani International School
I think it is the right time to address the priorities of the newly elected government —repairing the huge number of potholes on the roads, keeping our surroundings clean, and preserving the remaining sections of Aarey forest.
In 2018, there were numerous deaths due to potholes. Many people fall into uncovered potholes or their vehicles get stuck, causing them to fall.
Fixing potholes will help save petrol as the drive will be smoother with lesser stoppage time. The roads will also be clearer and there will be lesser accidents.
Mumbai is one of the dirtiest cities in India, as well as in the world. It is extremely important to keep our surroundings clean, for they can cause several health problems. The government must address this issue effectively.
Mumbai is known as the business capital of India. There are so many buildings and offices being built at the expense of trees, and currently, there are not too many trees remaining. Cutting trees is not advisable as it leads to increase in carbon dioxide, soil erosion and other natural hazards.
Recently, more than 2,000 trees have been cut in Aarey forest, leading to massive outrage from civilians.
The new government must try to preserve the remaining parts of the forest as Aarey is the green lung of Mumbai. The government must add these three points to their list of priorities. After all, as the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, “Actions express priorities”.
1 family, 1 car policy needed
Saanvi Rahul Pandya
Ryan Christian School
I have seen many children not getting the time to stay with their parents as they are often dropped off at day care. So, the first priority of our government should be to ease work hours so that both parents get enough time to spend with their child.
I have noticed many children turn obese and want to get fit. So, I feel the government should open more recreation hubs so children will not sit idle. This also reduces their screen time. Physical activities help build concentration and confidence . Our government should implement a one-family-one-car policy as it will reduce pollution and will help family members spend more time with each other. The government should improve our public transport. I think the main objective of a good government is to take care of us.
Focus on creating smart cities
The new government should work on developing smart cities as there is too much dependence on Aamchi Mumbai. The city has become overcrowded and its infrastructure is no longer adequate to provide quality life to its inhabitants. Hence, new cities would reduce this burden, as well as offer many opportunities.
This will also lead to development of rural areas, the heart of India. Connecting these smart cities with good transportation will ensure job creation.
I think that compared to others states, Maharashtra has not focused on development of the information technology sector, which can be a great job-generating industry. If the government can design a Silicon Valley type area, it would benefit the state and its citizens.
Thirdly, I feel that education is an answer to majority of our problems. Online education is a medium which can reach people in villages too. If the denizens in remote areas are educated, they will have better job opportunities, which will eventually lead to financial growth of the country. If the government focuses on these top priorities, it would be beneficial for the state.