“I want to be a member of every household in my constituency”
Vaishali Dalmiya is the spirited, young and vibrant candidate of Trinamool Congress for its upcoming assembly elections. She is contesting from Bally assembly constituency in Howrah district of West Bengal. Hardworking and enthusiastic Vaishali is the daughter of the former President of ICC, BCCI, Asian Cricket Council and probably the most loved and longest serving President of CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal), Jagmohan Dalmiya. Till recently Vaishali was a little-known face in Bengal, as she was busy in her own sphere of Social work and family business. But now is much sought after politician for her warmth, charisma and personality.
As elections are fast approaching Vaishali now is busy in door-to-door campaigning in her constituency, where she lays emphasis on meeting individual member of her constituency and listening to them. Joydeep Dasgupta meets and speaks to Vaishali Dalmiya at length and Vaishali too shares her missions, visions and plans before and after the elections.
Q What inspired you to join politics?
I am into social work from the age of 14 years and have been working in the areas of old age, orphanage, education and transgender issues. We are working in villages and rural areas and run various awareness programs.
Mission Ullas is a pioneering initiative, which I have initiated along with others. The main idea behind this initiative is to bring joy and happiness into everyone’s life.
Mamata Banerjee has been my ideal, as she herself has initiated so many projects dedicated to girl child, health care, rural artisans, farmers and to promote small scale industries in the state.
So when the offer came directly from her to join politics, I readily agreed. As under political structure I can give concrete shape to my social ideas and to implement them for the benefit of the people.
Q Why not sports politics, why mainstream politics?
I am very much into sports bodies. I am in the executive committee of the National Cricket Club (NCC). It is one of the important cricket bodies with powers to vote for candidates in BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).
As I said my forte is social work and to work for people, so remaining in mainstream politics can do a lot. My constituency is also known for sports personalities and have many people and youth with sporting spirit.
So by staying in politics, I can be into sports. We would be doing sports work in my constituency by starting Sports complexes, cricket academies, swimming clubs, kho kho clubs. My constituency also has girl cricket enthusiasts. I have many sporting plans.
Q You come from a respectable family, your father Jagmohan Dalmiya is known for his integrity and administrative skills. Thus people have expectations from you. How do you see to it?
I’ll certainly carry forward the legacy of my father. I have learnt and have been trained in many skills by my father. The integrity and commitment towards people is always there from my side and I am here for good work.
Q Now that you are a candidate from Bally assembly constituency. What are the five keys issues that will come up as priority in your constituency?
My first priority now is to understand what people want from me. Till date I am meeting people from all spheres of life and trying to understand what they want and expect from me. I am collecting datas now and accordingly I’ll plan my action.
The road to work is done so far by my predecessors in the area; my work is planning and implementation in more structured way.
I am trying to reach people more and more and noting down everything and trying to understand and feel the pulse of my people.
First I want to be a member of every household in my constituency, only then can I give maximum to constituency.
Q You are now fully into public life. Do you feel any difference of your life before and after politics?
Public life is not new to me; I have been living in public life since childhood. I have travelled the whole world with my father from the age of 7 years.
Q From a businesswoman to a politician now, how do you see your journey and the experience to help you in future course of time?
I have been into business for more than 20 years. Marketing, administration and after sales service are three components of my business agenda, as basically I am responsible for mainly these 3 elements of our family business like promoting and marketing our leather complex in Bantala, near Kolkata.
I believe this experience of mine will come handy in politics too, as I want to market my constituency to the world and bring investment from big business houses and market leaders. My administration, includes proper planning and execute pending projects and feedback mechanism to know and understand whether people in my area are happy and if needed, it will improve with time.
Q I know you are very hardworking and dedicated and now during elections, you are working very hard.
Yes, I get up at 6am everyday and work till 12 midnight. I sleep for 6 hours a day. So, it is not that I am working hard only now after coming into politics. I am a single mother, I look after my son, his studies and needs. I do my own household works and then move to my office, which is my regular schedule. We are a very close-nit family, which now includes my mother, my son, my brother and his wife. My father is always there with us.
Mamata di is also our family. My mother and all members of my family supported my decision to join politics, when the offer came. Everyone in my family is confident that where there is Didi, there is always scope for good work.
Now after the declaration of election, every day is indeed hardworking. Apart from everyday campaign. I meet people from all sections of the society, as I do door-to-door campaign, to reach directly to the people.
Q You representzyouth, with youthful and vibrant ideas. What is your advice to those educated and sensible youths who want to join politics?
My advice to everyone who wants to join politics is first to fix up your mind. It is not a forum to show your power, but to serve people. You are coming to do good works, it is only then you are going to sustain in politics. Always know that people of your constituency are your own children and their welfare is your first priority. If you think like this, only then are you welcome to join politics. If these concerns are there, you can put others before yourself for their well being.
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