MATF members vow to continue their work

Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: Claiming that public representatives and government officials are against the Mysore Agenda Task Force (MATF) as they fear that it will expose them, members of the task force on Thursday pledged to continue their role as concerned citizens even if the task force is wound up.

Addressing a press conference here a day after district in-charge Minister Tanvir Sait declared that MATF has made no contribution to the development of Mysore and, hence, should be abolished, MATF members S.G. Vombatkere, H.A.B. Parpia and Lakshmana listed out the achievements of the task force in the areas of water supply, education, heritage conservation, roads and traffic management, civic administration, environment and health.

He sought to inform the public that even if the task force is scrapped, its members will continue to perform their role as concerned citizens.

Dr. Parpia, former Director of the Central Food Technological Research Institute, said MATF has adopted schools to improve the quality of education. The task force's Working Group on Education has kept in touch with the Education Department, monitored the functioning of School Development Monitoring Committees, recommended to the Government to provide drinking water and toilets in schools and arranged for private donation of Rs. 12.5 lakhs to construct and equip classrooms in a government school. He said MATF has introduced a process of self-learning for teachers and created the State's first Teachers' Resource Centre with private donations of Rs. 10 lakhs.

On Mr. Sait's remarks that the MATF has done little to improve tourism, Dr. Parpia said the Tourism Department did not even have a booklet of its own to distribute it among tourists. "Thanks to a private donation of Rs. 1 lakh from MATF member Aroon Raman, a good booklet was published," he said.

Mr. Lakshmana questioned Mr. Sait's right to wind up the task force, which has been constituted with the consent of the Cabinet and the Governor's consent. "If it has to be scrapped, the Chief Minister has to pass an order. Until then, the MATF will continue to function," he said.