Hazaribhag district in Jharkhand saw a young IAS officer, Garima Singh, being posted there in 2016. It was Singh’s first posting after the civil services exam brought her to the helm of administration. In addition to all her duties, she was assigned the extra work of social welfare.
It was a very disillusioned officer who was pained by what she saw around her. The pathetic state of the anganwadis disturbed her. Was this the place where kids had their first lessons? This was supposed to be their first school. Garima Singh could not believe it. Anganwadis were to be spotlessly clean and centers where kids could be heard chirping merrily. But the reality was something totally out of sync with the avowed mission of anganwadis.
The first decision she took was to take over the anganwadi along Mathwari Masjid Road. The officer set about working. She was determined to give the place a total makeover and declare it as a model anganwadi. Maintenance was done to the building which was given a fresh coat of paint. The walls sported the alphabet in colorful hues and a totally new entrance was set up to usher in kids to the building. Garima Singh, happily shelled out Rs 50,000 from her savings to revamp the whole place. To lure in more kids, charts, paper, and toys were lavishly provided at the anganwadi.
Garima Singh’s commitment made the district administration sit up. It was like an awakening. The authorities concerned are now bringing about a transformation to around 50 anganwadis in the locality in a bid to turn them into model schools. Work is already in full swing and by March 31, the district administration hopes to throw open these clean and fully equipped facilities for children who live around.
Garima has moved one step forward. She has appealed to all the affluent, influential and philanthropic folks around to chip in and help build more such facilities which could draw more kids to schools and basic education.
The young Garima cleared her civil services in 2015. But she was already in the police force then as an IPS officer. Behind the famous 1090 helpline number lies the perseverance of the young officer who set up the facility solely for women and children to be used when in distress. The officer was also part of the police team which probed the infamous Mohanlalganj rape-murder case. As a police officer, she was known for her integrity, honesty, and sincerity. Garima realized that her IAS win would mean more responsibilities and more commitment towards society. And she was more than happy to shoulder all additional responsibilities.
It would only be in the fairness of things to rate Garima Singh as a model IAS officer. The young officer and all those associated with renovating and restructuring the model anganwadi are waiting for district collector Ravi Shankar Shukla to inaugurate it.