By using Government portals for the quick redressal of civic issues, 24-year-old tech graduate from Jodhpur is setting new standards in serving people digitally
Nishant Kr Azad
Mostly when we see that the street lights in our lane are not working or our water supply is erratic, we generally curse the Government and then make few calls to the concerned Department, but a 24-year-old engineer from Jodhpur named Pratyush Joshi opted for the different route. He decided to take up the responsibility to help his community and get rid of civic discomforts. This Electronics and Communication Engineer has redressed as many as 100 grievances pertaining to roads, street lights, sewage, and drinking water in Jodhpur and nearby areas.
“Instead of making rounds of Government offices, staging dharnas and protests, a citizen can easily make use of the web portal of the Government to solve civic woes. The only way to deal with the Government officials is to follow the procedure and be persistent,” Pratyush said.
While sharing his experience, Pratyush highlights, “I lodged my first complaint on July 22, 2014, regarding the absence of a garbage bin in
the neighbourhood and collection
of garbage at fixed intervals. I got
surprised after getting a call from Jodhpur Municipal Corporation very next day. Two days later, officials of the Municipal Corporation visited the area and within a week garbage bin was installed. This was my first
successful experience. Later I realised that this can be a remarkable method not only to echo civic issues, but also to get them redressed on time and make the Government accountable to effectively serve the citizens.”
Pratyush and his family used to live in the Walled City of Jodhpur for decades but in 2014, they moved to Chopsani Housing Board, Jodhpur. The new location confronted him with many civic discomforts which the people had been facing. Civic amenities were in shambles but surprisingly the people around him were not interested in fixing the issues.
“While visiting the areas, I faced problems on daily basis like poor roads, broken street lights and much more. One day I got myself
determined and decided that I will raise my voice against all this. I have heard about the portal ‘Rajasthan Sampark’—a portal for addressing such issues being run by the Government of Rajasthan on the State’s official website. That website helped me to get my work done
easily,” Pratyush said.
“The street lights in my area were in worst condition. One day I sent the details of the broken street lights to the Municipal Corporation. Soon all the street lights were fixed and assurance for regular maintenance was offered. I soon realised the importance of this portal.” His initiatives are just not
limited to one locality, rather, he has
successfully addressed issues in the neighbouring areas of Pali and Barker. After realising the effectiveness of the Sampark Portal, he regularly visits tehsils of Jodhpur, identifies issues that need to be raised in remote villages, and uploads the complaints on the
portal. These grievances are promptly sent across the respective Departments for a solution.
Mentioning an interesting incident, Pratyush said, “One of my relatives lives in Pali District. His name is Manvendra Vyas. They were facing the problem of the lack of water supply since long. For almost seven years, the villagers used to hire tankers thrice a month to get water. They had registered several complaints in the concerned department and made regular visits to the Government offices for years but this all bore no results. One day I raised this issue on the portal; just after lodging the complaint, a pipeline was laid and
regular water supply was started within a month. The pipeline is now benefitting some 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.
Talking about Rajasthan Sampark, Pratyush informed that Rajasthan Sampark is an initiative of the Government of Rajasthan to register public complaints. The citizens of the State can avail its services to lodge their complaints to the respective Departments on this portal. The addressing of various citizen-centric queries and grievances related to Government services are done here.
“This portal helped me a lot. I have used the portal to get roads built, street lights installed, to fix water supply, Public Park developed, and many more. It takes hardy five to ten minutes to lodge a complaint on Rajasthan Sampark. You get a message on your mobile the moment you lodge a
complaint. The departments become accountable once the complaint is
registered. The Collector himself takes action if the redressal does not take place within stipulated time,” he said.
Mentioning about PM Shri Modi’s Digital India campaign, Pratyush said, “Digital India is not just a concept of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi but this is an opportunity for us to make India completely digitised. By adopting digital medium, we can get rid of long paper works. It can be a medium to make the Government accountable and transparent which results in
making India corruption free.” Not
surprisingly, Pratyush is also a
volunteer for Digital India’s Rajasthan Campaign, and his approach towards digital medium for solving socio-civic issues has been influential.
According to Pratyush, “Citizens must have to understand their
responsibilities. One cannot leave the things on others to be done. Being a
citizen you have to take up the issue knowing your rights. What we only need is to collaborate with the Government for making a better framework for
governance. Small changes are the key to big success.” What he feels is, “If someone goes to the Department in person to register complaints, junior
officials deal with the complaint and they linger on the things as long as they can and nothing comes out of it but if you register your complaint on the
portal, the chances are very high that your problems will be resolved soon as the senior most officials takes note of the problem. Once a complaint is
registered online, the departments become accountable.”
Inspiration for Many
Pratyush informed Organiser that out of the 150 grievances raised by him, about 100 have been resolved and the rest are in the process of resolution. Recently, Pratyush instigated a
complete work report for the
restoration of four main roads in his District that amounted a cost of around Rs 320 crore. He was awarded with Jodhpur’s ‘Veer Durgadas Rathore Smriti Award’ by Durgadas Rathore Smriti Sansthan for his public welfare work.
Speaking about his dreams, Pratyush remarked, “Many people ask me if I have some political pursuits or intentions but I just want to add that my aim in life is to work for society through a disciplined approach. I also want to work in field of micro irrigation so that I can help the farmers and encourage them for use of micro irrigation.” n