Pratyush Joshi, a 24 year old electronics and communications engineer from Jodhpur has solved over 100 issues by using the government portals. He portrays the power of one citizen.
After shifting from Jodhpur to the outskirts of the city at Chopsani Housing Board, he became an activist.
When Joshi moved there he saw that people were anyhow managing their lives, adjusting with the problems without solving them. Joshi had decided that he will not do the same. There were many problems there like no disposal system, poor water supper, no proper roads and broken streetlights. Joshi decided to take action and lodge complaints with Rajasthan Sampark. The problems got solved and this gave him the idea of tackling all the issues one at a time. He started solving other problems of the locality with the help of this online portal.
Rajasthan Sampark is an initiative of the government of Rajasthan only for the purpose of registering complaints. Under this initiative, the citizens of the state can us lodge their complaints online with the respective department. This portal comprises of a state level call centre attached with an integrated web portal, acting as a single point of communication between the citizen and government. By registering the complaints or grievances here, the citizens can bring the attention of the government towards their issues. Once the issue is lodged the department itself becomes accountable, and the collector will take action himself if nothing happens in the promised time.
Pratyush Joshi was awarded Jodhpur’s ‘Veer Durgadas Rathore Smrti Award’ for his public welfare work. He is currently working in the field of micro-irrigation systems and preparing for various government exams.
In an interview with Cocktail Zindagi, he talks about how it all began and what he intends to do in the future.
Cocktail Zindagi : Have you always been socially aware? What was the turning point in your life?
Pratyush Joshi : Everyone is socially aware, however few people raise concerns, and very few seek resolutions. Hence more being socially aware, I am socially committed. The optimism to do the right thing, coupled with collective energies of people has been the backbone for most movements that bring about change.
My pursuit for such social commitment started right from school. Along with my classmates at Bal Niketan, we organized a drive to clean the entire school campus on a regular basis. We called it the ‘Samuhik Safai Abhiyaan’ which included 700 students from the school, who cleaned classes and playground in 30 minutes, without losing our focus on studies. This ensured that our admin staff would be better equipped to manage their time and effort. This drive taught me how to manage and solve problems by taking things in my own hands and giving me a new direction, becoming a turning point.
Cocktail Zindagi : What was the first problem in your vicinity that you helped resolve? How many days did it take?
Pratyush Joshi : I lodged my first complaint on July 22, 2014, regarding the absence of a garbage bin in my neighborhood and for collection of garbage at fixed intervals. I was surprised when I received a call from Jodhpur Municipal Corporation, the very next day. Two days later, officials of the Municipal Corporation visited the area and within a week, the garbage bin was installed. This was my first successful experience.
I believe it is not just about noticing or cribbing but acting on the issues that encouraged me.
Cocktail Zindagi : How many issues have you helped resolve until today?
Pratyush Joshi : I have lodged 152 grievances for public welfare including roads, street lights, drainage system and other general civic issues. Out of which 115 grievances have been solved and 37 are work-in-progress. The grievances were of Jodhpur city, the rural areas around it and a few areas of Pali and Barmer District.
The cost of completing this work is nearly 4-5cr. The volume of work will determine the time taken to resolve a grievance. For example, when there is a need for government intervention like building roads, it will take more time, versus smaller tasks like repairs will be resolved sooner.
Cocktail Zindagi : You said that you don’t believe in dharnas and protests. Why?
Pratyush Joshi : Because I believe that the system in our country is efficient and equipped to deal with the issues. It is important to have faith in the system for the successful functioning of the same, anywhere in the world. Dharnas don’t display trust, but do the opposite.
Cocktail Zindagi : How important do you think is a civilian’s role in the success of a nation as a whole?
Pratyush Joshi : Outstanding question. The most important part of every successful nation, is that every person needs to take responsibility to build a prosperous country. For this to happen, we start by taking small steps – begin with your own community, your lane, your society. Small wins always give confidence to resolve and initiate larger tasks.
While I wish that everyone participates in their civic duties, I sincerely hope the youth and the educated come forward, to take matters in their own hands. I believe we have the strength of culture and knowledge and it’s time to leverage on collective intelligence, apart from learning from other countries.
Cocktail Zindagi : Have any of the citizens followed the example you set by lodging complaints on Rajasthan Sampark?
Pratyush Joshi : Yes, many people in Rajasthan use this website. According to govt, 12 lakh grievances have been lodged till date and a lot of problems have also been solved through it.
Cocktail Zindagi : Tell us about a few problems that the people around you faced and how it affected their lives.
Pratyush Joshi : People in Pali District were facing lack of water supply. For almost seven years, the villagers used to hire tankers thrice a month to get water. They had registered several complaints and made regular visits to the government offices but in vain. I heard about about this issue from one of my relatives and raised it on the portal. Just after lodging the complaint, a pipeline was laid, and regular water supply was initiated within a month. The pipeline is now benefiting over a 100 residents!
Even in Pahlodi Tehsil of Jodhpur, pipeline of Rajeev Gandhi Lift Canal was leaking since long but after registering the complaint on the portal, it was repaired soon.
The portal has become an accountable system for officials to act on issues and grievances raised. We thank the Government for building a portal for the benefit of citizens.
Cocktail Zindagi : Who or what has been an inspiration for you in your life?
Pratyush Joshi : My teachers of Bal Niketan school and my parents always inspired me. I am indebted to them. Since my childhood I’ve been made aware of being sensitive to people’s needs. Most people know what is it to have a better life but are unaware of how to reach there. I have also been taught to help those people who need guidance and direction to solve problems, indulging in constructive thinking.
Cocktail Zindagi : What are your views on ‘Digital India’?
Pratyush Joshi : Digital India is a great campaign and I think this is need of the hour. India is one of the biggest tech-hubs of the world. While we continue to build that brand, we need to maximize the reach and knowledge, to build better solution in India too using technology. Digital India is not just a concept of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, but this is an opportunity for us to make India completely digitized and there are a lot of advantages to it.
Cocktail Zindagi : What message do you have for other civilians like you?
Pratyush Joshi : Our Indian culture itself has a message in the taking. It’s my request to my fellow Indians, this is OUR home, and we should strive to do our best. When everyone contributes in building a community that is when we begun laying down bricks for a brighter future. Take action. The magic to bring about change is in collective efforts of all.
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