Implementing Schemes Is His Forte

2011 batch IAS officer from West Bengal cadre As a well-known corona warrior, Mr Nikhil Nirmal is raising local awareness to reduce adolescent pregnancies.

The government frequently announces various programmes aimed at helping the populace, but what counts most is how these are carried out as effectively as possible in the regions. Mr Nikhil Nirmal, the district magistrate of Dakshin Dinajpur, West Bengal, has successfully carried out these programmes. He has started programmes that are very beneficial in improving the lives of his people.

In the second segment of his exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, he discusses his efforts to improve the lives of young females in his district and his work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 WARRIOR

Dakshin Dinajpur is a very underdeveloped district, so there were no suitable hospitals to handle COVID-19 cases. They had an enormous volume of cases and two small specialist hospitals. Mr Nirmal decided to turn a sizable government facility into a Covid special hospital after considering the circumstances.

Before migrant labourers were prohibited from travelling across states during the lockdown, the District Magistrate made arrangements for food and lodging for stranded migrants from his district by contacting the DMs of other districts, particularly Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Haryana, and Telangana.

Additionally, kits containing medication were provided to the homes of COVID-19-affected individuals who were in home isolation between May and October 2020 and were asymptomatic or only mildly ill. Regular visits by ASHA staff and phone calls from concerned doctors from the district helpline centre were also given to the affected individuals.

Thanks to the officer’s diligent screening and testing, the district’s COVID-19 situation has significantly improved. “We started COVID-19 vaccinations in the district, which is going well, and we have already vaccinated about 11,000 frontline healthcare workers,” Mr Nirmal notes. “We haven’t had a new Covid case for two consecutive weeks.”

With just 42 current cases, a discharge rate of 99.95% (higher than the state’s 97.06%) and a death rate of 0.90% (lower than the state’s 1.78%), Dakshin Dinajpur is quickly becoming a district free of COVID-19.

Paridarshan Abhiyaan

Every month, the district administration began inspecting various government programmes every two weeks. The assessment aimed to evaluate the public service delivery and the infrastructure’s quality, including housing projects, roads, restrooms, MGNREGA sites, educational institutions, hostels, ICDS centres, ration shops, hospitals, and rural health centres.

He has designated one official to oversee each of the district’s 66 gramme panchayats. This officer visits each panchayat, maintains an eye on things, and gives the report to the magistrate by the end of each month. Following this, any faults found are addressed by taking the appropriate action.

Uttaran – Alipurdua

While employed in the Alipurduar district, well-known for its tea gardens, Mr Nirmal started the “Uttaran” initiative. In the district, roughly sixty tea gardens have their schools. To keep an eye on them, Mr. Nirmal assigned an officer to oversee each school, who examined the facilities, teacher and student attendance rates, curriculum quality, etc.

In addition, he allowed kids to tour government buildings to give them an understanding of the political system and how it operates.

Uttaran – Dakshin Dinajpur

Another effort of the same name was started in Dakshin Dinajpur, under the joint responsibility of the District Administration and the Civil Administration, to reduce adolescent pregnancies. The early marriage of young girls is the cause of the state’s high rate of adolescent pregnancies.

He discovered through the poll that some girls had left school. To resolve the matter, the magistrate called a gramme panchayat meeting, where he spoke with the girl’s parents and educated them on the need to educate girls. He informed them that adolescent pregnancies should not be encouraged because they might be implementing Schemes Is His Fortee fatal for both the mother and the child.

“We asked them to enroll their girl child in school and ensured they received Kanyashree benefits as well. Later, we discovered that 90% of the girl children who had been dropped out had resumed attendance,” Mr. Nirmal added.

Due to this initiative, the district’s infant mortality rate dropped from 19 to 14, and the percentage of institutional deliveries climbed from 97% to 99.3%. Maternal fatalities also declined from 21 to 13.

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