The politicians and bureaucrats should remain open to accepting ideas even from “ordinary, illiterate and semi-literate” people while discharging their duties, Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons said today. He urged the government officials to reach to people and listen to them as they could have “fantastic” ideas. “Bureaucrats and politicians do not have all the wisdom in the world. We need to listen to the ordinary, simple, illiterate and semi-literate people, who have fantastic ideas. Bureaucrats, those who govern must keep their eyes and ears open, learn to listen to people and meet them,” he said addressing an event.
He recounted how an 80-year-old woman inspired him as a District Collector to embark upon a programme to resolve the problems of the people residing in the villages in his jurisdiction. “The 80-year-old lady walked into my house and shouted at me. This is the third time I have come to your house, last couple of times you were not around. It is so difficult to reach you. The government has given you a car why can’t you come and see me in my village,” Alphons said. After which, the Minister said that he along with 2,000 district officers decided to visit the villages.
They selected two panchayats and a venue and announced on television, radio, churches, mosques and temples that the collector would be visiting there in two months. He also sought petition on issues pertaining to the government at the Panchayat office. The minister recalled having received 5,000 applications, which were then marked to departments concerned and many problems of the villagers were sorted out. He also said that during his tenure as the Commissioner DDA, his office demolished 14,310 illegal mansions and not one illegal brick was laid in Delhi and not an inch of land was encroached upon. He said that the bureaucrats and government functionaries need to be committed to the citizens.