Patna, March 13: 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 engineers.
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 said.
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 email@example.com)