Patna: Manoj Yadav
and Sukhan Paswan, both daily-wagers working on government
sponsored development schemes for years, have reason to be upbeat.
They have been informed by a government official that their names
will be engraved on a stone plaque on the structure they have
helped build, along with the names of the minister, legislator and
Vijay Prakash, principal secretary, state planning and development
department, told IANS that labourers' names are also being
engraved on plaques at structures that have come up under the
Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) schemes.
"This is probably a first for the country. The Bihar government
has decided to experiment with this novel approach of engraving
the names of labourers on stone plaques along with top officials
and the minister or legislator who will inaugurate the structure
once it is complete. This gesture will offer confidence to the
poor labourers, and make them feel like their efforts too are
recognised," Prakash said.
Manoj Yadav and Sukhan Paswan are two of thousands of labourers
engaged in development works in different parts of the state.
"We heard that the government will engrave labourers' names on
stone plaques to honour us and recognise our contribution. This is
a unique way to encourage people like us, who hardly get any
praise despite our hard labour," said Yadav, a resident of a
village near Bihta, about 30 km from Patna.
Paswan said he was happy that the work of labourers was being
recognised and honoured, at long last. "Our contribution too will
be recorded. Never before has the state government done anything
like this," he said.
Vijay Prakash told IANS this was part of the government's move to
increase participation in development activities, and provide
labourers a sense of pride in their work. "Labourers will feel
proud, the quality of their work will improve once they feel
rewarded. More people will work with greater dedication," Prakash
Prakash said the names of those labourers who have toiled for at
least 100 days would be chosen for engraving. "Labourers who have
worked for a minimum of 100 days will see their names engraved on
stone plaques at the structure," he said.
Another official clarified that the idea is first being tried by
the state planning and development department, and would later
extend to structures that are put up by other departments as well.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)