A Diligent Collector
Seeing is believing. When one travels through the hinterland of Jajpur district of Odisha, one can see the smiling faces of poor farmers, women and children, who, after long years of negligence on part of the administration, are now sharing a pie of development through proper adoption of government schemes. The development has been done not in a day, but it can be altributed to the determined efforts of the government machinery in the state. And a young officer Anil Samal, who has proved himself to be a successful man today, is part of it . Anil Samal joined the office as a Collector of Jajpur district in Odisha just one year ago. But he has proved his mark with great efficiency and honesty in such a short span of time.
Jajpur has an area of 2899 sq km and a population of 1.82 million which has been well managed through the policies of Mr Samal. In last one year, the district has improved a lot in the health and welfare sector. It has a sex ratio of 972 females per 1000 males. In spite of being one of the less urbanised districs, in Jajpur the female literacy rate is 73 per cent which is more than that of the entire state which is 64 per cent. He has promoted the Panchayati Raj Institutions and NGOs to carry out awareness programmes in rural areas.
While talking about various policies that benefit the poor people, he said that NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) was extremely important. He further said that ‘Mamta Scheme’ provided the privilege of providing Rs 5000 each in four instalments to poor families. He also informed about the ‘Janani Suraksha Scheme’ which provides free medical care during the time of delivery of pregnant ladies who fall in the category of BPL. Besides promoting the NGOs and implementing the policies at the grassroots level for their timely propagation, he also makes sure that there is no unskilled delivery in the district. When asked about the impact of industrialisation in such rural district as Jajpur, he favoured industrialisation, saying, “Industries like POSCO, Vedanta and TATA steel plant (Jajpur) and mining activities in particular have brought about huge improvements not only for the Jajpur district but also for the surrounding districts by providing employment. He firmly emphasises the importance of the NGOs in inculcating the awareness programmes among the masses which have helped him fulfil his responsibilities.
The Collector’s excellent service was acknowledged recently at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, when he was awarded the 5th JRD Tata Memorial Award for his outstanding service in the field of population control in Jajpur district. His win was not just dependent on current levels of performance but also on the change factor and speed of progress achieved over a period of time. The district-level awards were selected on the basis of 13 indicators which included parameters like family planning, reproductive health, gender equity and others. Out of these 13 indicators, 11 are from DLHS (District Level Household Survey) and two are from Census. 584 districts were surveyed and the Technical Advisory Committee decided six district-level awards, three each from high focus and non high focus states.
Jajpur ranked second in the category of high focus state under Medium Population Category. The substantial improvement in child immunisation and antenatal care has reached DLHS 3 from DLHS 2. The percentage of ‘Fully Immunised’ children has risen from 35 per cent to 83 per cent which shows the rate of progress. The Collector felt very proud while telling us that the percentage of women receiving ‘full antenatal care’ had gone up from 4 per cent to 28.2 per cent. All these milestones signify that he is going to leave no stone unturned for the uplift of the people of his district.
By Monalisa Biswal