West Garo Hills is trending. Headquartered in Tura, it is not trending because of militancy, it's trending because of a change that has been witnessed - one that is desired across the country.
They say, to bring a change, be the change. But hardly do we act on it. But there are people who really work on it. Meet Ram Singh, the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills in Meghalaya. He is a bureaucrat, acting as an agent of change.
Ram Singh, IAS (2008 batch), walks out of his residence every Saturday morning along with his wife who carries their newly born baby in a baby carrier backpack. They walk straight to the weekly market around 4-5 km away from their residence to get the vegetables for the week. This has been a routine practice for the couple for the last few months since March. Every week he visits different weekly markets, all situated around 4-5 km away from his official residence in Tura.
The Deputy Commissioners (not all) normally get everything through their orderly to their residence. They hardly walk out of their residence to get vegetables for the kitchen. So, the unique approach of Ram Singh is getting a lot of attraction in Tura. Recently many netizens wrote about this Deputy Commissioner on Facebook. Republic TV decided to get in touch with Ram Singh and bring you a detailed story.
It all started with a meeting at the Deputy Commissioner's Office in Tura, chaired by Ram Singh. To curb the traffic menace and also pollution in the market, Ram Singh suggested that the public and officials should try to walk as much as they can and also carry the bamboo basket to the market instead of relying on plastic bags. "After the meeting, I thought, why not I act on it first? Then one day I walked to the market with the bamboo basket and it all started from there," said Ram Singh. "It was in March, ever since, I have been practising it every week," Ram Singh added.
The Deputy Commissioner further added that it has inspired many other officials and the public as well to walk to the market. He said that if everyone practised it, the traffic will be at ease and will have less impact on the environment. Moreover, the use of traditional bamboo basket will help in making the district plastic-free.
According to Ram Singh, his regular visits to the market on foot has helped him understand the problems of the district much better apart from keeping a check on the issues being faced by the public. "It helps me to keep a check on the prices of the items available in the market. If someone is overpricing or is there any loss being faced by the farmers, I get to know all," he said.
"The best part of walking to the market is, it's a workout, you get the fresh vegetables, everything is organic, you are being a change yourself," added Ram Singh.
He is also hopeful that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Fit India initiative, many people will join him in his walk to the market.
Till the first part of 2018, West Garo Hills was notoriously infamous for militancy, but now even though militancy has been wiped out, there is a need to build confidence among the public. The Deputy of West Garo Hills is particularly hopeful that his movement on foot every weekend with almost no extra security cover as he is entitled to, will instil a sense of security among the public.