Be a Deputy Commissioner for a day: this is how higher secondary level students were involved in administrative matters to motivate them to take up civil services in south Kashmir’s most militancy-affected district of Pulwama on Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner Baseer-ul-Haq Choudhary, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, vacated his chair for an hour to allow several students to listen to the grievances of residents and think of possible solutions.
“It was unbelievable to don the role of a deputy commissioner. I acted as a DC for 10 minutes and heard public grievances,” Riffat Sarwar, a Class 12 student of the Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, said.
Another Class 12 student, Khusboo Nabi, said she was moved to hear the tale of a poor father with unmarried daughters at home. “I heard him patiently and referred the case to the social welfare department with the hope that they will address it,” she said.
Several students said the initiative of the Pulwama administration has motivated them to dream big. “When I sat on the DC chair, I had only one prayer on my lips. One day I will occupy this chair and work hard for that,” another student said.
Around 40 students participated in the initiative and six were allowed to “function” as a DC. The Pulwama administration has decided to include the suggestions of the students in the official records and implement them.
The Pulwama administration is focusing on multiple projects to offer guidance to students who aspire for civil services in a district that has seen increased militancy since 2016.
“The initiative is aimed at making these students aware and igniting in them the belief that they too could occupy the chair in the future. This also gave them a sense about the society and its needs. They can now think of what kind of development area needs focus when it comes to education, tourism etc.,” DC Haq said.
He said the move was also aimed at infusing positive energy among the youth in Karimabad.
The area has seen a number of local youth turning to militancy since 2015. At one point, Karimabad became a no-go zone for the security forces due to raging militancy and frequent street protests.
Source: The Hindu