Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Spirit of Desperation - I

The Bihar Economy grew by 11 per cent in the last five years, so I hear. Phrases like "Growth Miracle" and CM Nitish Kumar's "From No-Governance to sincere Governance" have clogged my head in much the same way as a monstrous Sinusitis. Bihar is making progress, sorry, continuous progress. Relevant authorities are working day-in and day-out towards building roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Significant reforms are being brought up in important sectors like Education, Public Health. Just a few minutes ago, I came to know a new Cyber Crime mitigation (& redressal) cell has been set up where one could make a complaint online. There are innumerable imponderables that may seek one's attention. But, what about me? I hail from the state of Bihar, did my schooling there and then left for Mumbai to further my education, my knowledge, my understanding of the world. Did I succeed? Yes. Did I fail? Yes. "Yes" in acquiring it all and "Yes" in losing the intent behind acquiring it all.

I pursued a five-year integrated MBA (Tech.) program from an elite business school here in Mumbai and am currently working with an MNC quite well compensated. It's a bank and is a good enough platform to kickstart my career. But, my mind is elsewhere. I also wish to be a part of the "Growth Miracle" and not indirectly. I have always wished to work somewhere where I could directly influence people's lives in a positive way. I could console myself by thinking the whole of India is mine and it, indeed, is but my heart is here, in Bihar and at my village in particular. I am not saying all this because of homesickness. I have been homesick for as long as 6 years now, so that is, indeed, not the cause. the cause of this horrible terrible disturbance is Desperation. I look towards the Idiot Box, flip through the channels vigorously only to stop at Mahuaa TV and I look at the Villages being shown, the cows, the oxen, the buffaloes, the tractors (the red ones, especially), the grasses, the crop-fields, the canals, the people, the dialect, the people's ensemble, the trees, the ponds, the wells, the huts, the kachcha homes, a couple of primitive pakka homes, the schools, the techers, the bicycles,the paan shops, the small rickety grocery shops. I am desperate to embrace them all to never relinquish them. I wish to contribute to their growth by assisting the government with better governance, better execution of programs, employment schemes; I wish to look after the functioning of schools, to leverage my knowledge to better the mode as well as the content of education being imparted to children, to ensure every child goes to school and every person (mothers especially) is well educated about the positives of family-planning, birth control measures and significance of education. I wish to work towards producing many Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) who could then contribute towards the Common Services Centre (CSC) or the e-Governance project initiated by the Government of India, I wish to help people work in cohesion and initiate many Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that could help the Government with better execution of its flagship schemes and also keep vigilance on the same. I wish to totally utilize my skills, competencies, and knowledge to harness the huge potential that villages have to offer. For example: I wish to work towards making villages a bio-gas hub, a solar-energy hub, etc. I wish to  create a virtual market for agriculturists (marginal farmers, especially) so that the hapless bread-growers needn't travel miles to sell their harvests for a meagre sum. Instead, they would only focus on their work i.e. growing crops, the rest would be taken care of by the virtual market. More on this later for I do not wish to digress from the point I wish to make.

I wish to do a lot many more things but I can't. I just CAN'T. I have a humongous loan to repay which has already amounted to almost INR 10 Lacs which requires me to work away from home for at least a couple of years more. I know I shall return one day but I wish that day was today for I wish to become a part of the process, the transformation, the growth, the miracle so that I could do justice to the humongous sum I invested in acquiring all that I intended to utilize to influence my people's lives directly. This is the spirit of desperation that questions me every now and then when shall I start and I only wish I could say - Today !