Excerpts from the book ‘Work Ethics’ by PM Narendra Modiji.
(Timba Village, Umrala Taluka, Bhavnagar District. January 18, 2004)
Once the American President Bill Clinton visited a village near Jaipur during his trip to India. He was amazed seeing veiled women using computers to manage their dairies.
He was surprised with the level of development.
Though I roam across Gujarat
and visit numerous villages, I was as surprised as Clinton was, when I saw a signboard for a beauty parlour in a village called Timbi.
It was an example of modern lifestyle.
The State Government is also trying to spread modernism to every village, albeit not of the powder- lipstick, hair-dye variety, but the modernism of scientific advancements.
We want villagers to live their lives in the same way that the rest of world does.
The word ‘e-governance,’ is not new to Kathiyawad. In western Gujarat, e is a pronoun used instead of him, her or it.
We say that e had come, e had gone, e was eating and e was sitting. At every step we use this ‘e’. Now, there is a new connotation to this ‘e’.
What was previously an endearing pronoun is now being used by science.
E-gram has come from e-governance. Our slogan is: ‘E-gram Vishwa- gram’.
We facilities wherein you can talk want to create to your son in Mumbai from the panchayat office computer.
Any facility which is available in the world should be available in Timbi village, and gradually to every village in Gujarat.
The computer is not a toy; it has the potential to become your life- partner in the coming years.
Many villagers tell me they will not mind a bad Chief Minister, but they need a good talati (chief village officer).
A talati is effectively the Chief Minister of the village. But who will be the talati’s Boss? So far that post was vacant, but now the small box called computer has taken that place.
The computer is so powerful that it can help me to monitor the activities of your talati even if I am sitting in my office. You will be surprised to know that initially all the talatis opposed this move. But I am thankful to them for reconsidering and accepting this proposal.
I thank them for understanding the need to make Gujarat modern. Real progress is possible only when we understand the requirements of changing times. Let me tell you how many improvements can be brought about by this small change.
Recently, I saw your entire program in the panchayat office and even gave a few suggestions.
For example, we can add a new folder that will maintain records of Timbi residents who have shifted elsewhere, their addresses, whether they are alive or not?
If you want a groom for your daughter from your community, you can request the panchayat office to provide you with details of suitable boys from a particular community or group of villages.
The computer will also greatly benefit teachers generally overburdened.
They need not go from house to house every time who are someone asks for details of handicapped persons in the village – this information would already be present in the panchayat office.
Teachers will not need to do a count of voters every three months.
The computer will maintain records of births and deaths in the village so that it is easy to find out the list of eligible voters. Children who have turned eighteen will automatically be transferred to the voters list.
Such systems can be established to collect all types of required information.
We can find out which boy secured highest per cent marks in the 2003 examination, which girl scored the highest marks.
We can collect information spanning a hundred years too. Some people understand that it is not too difficult to operate a computer; on the contrary, it is more tedious to collect data by hand. You only need to learn to press a few buttons and you can easily manage many things with the help of a computer.
If an enthusiastic lady wants to make dosa, she can look at the website of dosa and learn how to make it.
If your child is preparing for his exams and wants to obtain information on the Taj Mahal, he can use the panchayat office computer and know everything about it.
The sheer convenience will lead to a revolution.
Three and a half crores people of this state are living in villages.
Many governments have ruled in the past and left the villages to their fate.
Is this situation acceptable to you? It is definitely not acceptable to me.