Udhagamandalam: A grievances redressal mass contact programme with a difference called `Your Government at Your Doorstep' which was introduced a few months ago in the Nilgiris district has gone down well with the people here. A brainchild of the Nilgiris Collector Santosh K Misra, the programme, which was launched by the State Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran at Thummanaty a couple of months ago, had generated considerable interest. While about 510 persons had submitted petitions at the first programme, the second organised at Pandhalur a couple of days ago reflected the growing popularity of the concept with over 2,500 petitioners thronging the venue.
Mr. Misra told The Hindu that the good response to the scheme was not unexpected. People, especially in the far-flung parts of the district, found it very difficult to visit the district or taluk headquarters frequently to obtain certificates and other records pertaining to nativity, income, community, patta transfer etc. Since computerisation had simplified many matters, it was possible to collect details and issue certificates on the spot. The presence of officials at the venue ensured that the petitioners did not return disappointed. There were about 30,000 primitive tribals in the Nilgiris and the scheme was particularly beneficial to them. While the number of administrative villages in the district was 85, there were about 2,000 hamlets. With doctors forming part of the caravan, it was possible to sanction orders for old-age pension to illiterate destitutes without asking them to produce certificates for proof of age. This was one of the most satisfying aspects of the programme, Mr. Misra added.