As if renaming old cities and constructing humongous statues worth crores of rupees wasn’t enough, the government has passed yet another order to add to the fury of the citizens.
The Railway Board has directed all A1 category stations (railway stations whose annual earnings exceed Rs. 50 crores ) to install 100 feet long national flags in their premises by the end of the next month.
The cost that will go into installing these flags will be around Rs 9 lakh inclusive of the lights and other decorative pieces. A senior government official said the latest directive is a part of the government drive to project “symbols of nationalism”.
If nationalism constitutes installing tricolors worth lakhs of rupees while conveniently ignoring the primary issues that the country is facing, then I’m sorry but I don’t think that counts as being nationalistic.
Isn’t the Railway Ministry facing comparatively more serious issues like unhygienic condition of washrooms, unhealthy and stale services of food, long delays in train schedules etc, than the apparent need to install national flags?
Netizens too had a similar opinion about the latest directive of the Railway Board and back lashed the Railway Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal on Twitter for his approval of such an order.
So let us talk about the issues that are actually in dire need of such kind of funding and support from the government.
1. Safety Of Women
There have been uncountable times when the government has tried to introduce a safer environment for ladies on the road and on public transports but have failed miserably.
None of the women help-lines and safety centres actually proved fruitful. If anything, the number of rape and sexual harassment cases is on an alarming rise. Maybe, the government could utilize its funds in building better ways to tackle this issue which needs urgent attention.
A third of the world’s poor live in India and 37% of the total Indian population is below the international poverty line. These people have no homes to live in, lack proper sanitation facilities and remain hungry for the most part of the day.
42% of children under 5 years of age are underweight in India. I wish the government would’ve focused on these statistics instead of focusing on becoming the greatest infrastructural economy.
Where would we stand in the world with 180 ft long statues and grand highways if our most basic human needs are not being met?
3. Standardized Education Facilities For All
We’re all aware of the deplorable condition of government schools. The lack of well-trained teachers and the absence of basic school facilities adds to their misery.
So maybe, the government should invest its funds on such technology that could democratize education for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
Maybe, they could enter into collaboration with the private institutes so as to bridge the gap between the kind of education the two sectors provide. This would also help in eliminating poverty and inequality in the country.
The whole country bowed its head in shame when Delhi was declared the most polluted city in the world, post-Diwali.
Therefore, instead of installing statues worth 3000 crores of rupees, I wish the government had focused on the installation of an air purifying mechanism for the entire national capital region around the festival time or as an alternative, implemented stricter laws to curb pollution from crackers.
5. Protection of Public Property
The government should install CCTV cameras and should even appoint guards at places of public interest to protect its property from being stolen or damaged.
In a recent case, the street lamps and solar batteries from the newly inaugurated eastern highway in Uttar Pradesh were stolen. In other news, the railways lost over 200 sheets and towels they had provided in the AC compartment of trains.
Therefore, to curb such incidents from taking place, the government should adopt stricter policies of control that need a good amount of funding.
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Find the blogger at @MoulshreeS