For the first time in last 15 years, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh took a unique initiative by using 'Akashwani'- a strong medium of mass communication - as a platform for expressing his views and concerns in larger interest of public.
Generally chief ministers of states recite message to public on Akashwani and Doordarshan, on the occasion of Independence Day (August 15). But Dr Raman Singh is the first ever Chief Minister of the country, who has decided to connect with public through radio by addressing them on second Saturday of every month on regular basis. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has already taken the initiative of sharing 'Man Ki Baat' with public through Akashwani. This regular radio programme of Prime Minister, which started a year ago, has become quite popular among masses. Taking inspiration from his initiative, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh has also decided to connect with public through Akashwani. With Akashwani, nearly 99 per cent of the population in India have access to radio. In Chhattisgarh also, there are five Akashwani centres, reaching nearly 99 per cent of the state's population. Certainly, Akashwani has become a popular medium of information, education and entertainment for people in India. Long back, during his first address to public on Akashwani after independence, Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi had considered radio as a powerful medium of mass communication. And now India's Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh have adopted this power of Akashwani for having dialogue about public welfare. This has given a new identity to Akashwani and has also elevated the status of radio in this modern era of electronic media.
In the same sequence, Dr Raman Singh shared his views with public on the first episode of his regular monthly programme- 'Raman Ke Goth'- organized by State Government's Public Relations Department, aired from Raipur centre of Akashwani. From capital city Raipur to 27 District Headquarters and 146 Block Headquarters, as well as in all the cities, hamlets and villages of state, people enthusiastically gathered at various places to listen to 'Raman ke Goth' on radio. Youngsters and students also showed keen interest in listening to this radio programme. In his first talk on 'Raman ke Goth' programme, Chief Minister mentioned about traditional festivals of Chhattisgarh and also emphasized the importance of women power in state. Audiences could feel the essence of culture and aroma of state's traditional values in this address of Chief Minister. Dr Singh extended special greetings to sisters and mothers of state on the occasion of 'Teeja' festival. It is noteworthy that flowing with the trend of modernity, new generation of the state and the nation is gradually dissociating with its culture, values, traditions and important festivals. Perhaps many officials and employees of government-administration are also unaware of the importance of 'Teeja'- a festival which has such deep connection with lives of people in this state. It might have been an enlightening moment for many of the citizens today, especially youngsters, when Chief Minister dedicated an entire paragraph of his speech on 'Teeja' festival, during his first talk on 'Raman ke Goth' programme. Many intellectuals have said that this initiative of Dr Raman Singh is a beginning of new Cultural Revolution for Chhattisgarh.
Chief Minister extended wishes of 'Teeja' festival in advance and said in Chhattisgarhi dialect हमर राज के बहुत खास तिहार 16 सितम्बर के, आज ले तीन दिन बाद आही, जउन हमर महतारी-बहिनी मन के सबले बड़े तिहार ए। मैं तीजा के बात करथवं। अउ मोर ये विश्वास हे, के हमर महतारी बहिन म चाहे कतको उमर के हो जायं, तीजा बर, अपन मईके जाए बर, भाई अउ ददा के लेवाल आए के, साल भर अगोरा, करत रहिथे। तीजा उखर मन के, भाग अउ मंगल से जुड़े हुए, तिहार ए। ए बेरा म, मैं अपन सब्बो तिजहारिन बहिनी अउ महतारी मन ल, जउन मन, ए परब म, अपन सुहाग के रक्षा बर, निर्जला उपास करके, भगवान सो प्रार्थना करथे, अपन डहर ले मंगल कामना, अउ बधाई देवथव। अउ संगे संग, भगवान ले ये प्रार्थना घला करथव, के मोरे दाई-दीदी मन के, सुहाग अम्मर राहय। मोर महतारी बहिनी मन, सुख म नई रहिही, तव मैं कईसे सुखी रहि सकिहंव ? (English translation- An important festival of our state is falling on September 16, after three days. It is one of the most important festivals for our mothers and sisters. I am talking about 'Teeja'. I believe that no matter what age they reach, our mothers and sisters always wait for this festival, on which their brother or father comes to take them to their parents' house. This festival of Teeja is a festival associated with their sentiments, destiny and fortune. On this occasion, I extend my hearty wishes to all those ladies, who have observed 'nirjala' fast of Teeja for their spouses praying for their long life and good fortune. I also pray to God to bless their spouses with long life. How can I prosper, when my mothers and sisters are not in peace?) These words of Dr Singh had a great impact on the mothers and sisters of state. In the same way, Dr Singh also mentioned about various traditional festivals of Chhattisgarh, including 'Akti' celebrated on commencement of agricultural works, 'Savnahi' observed at the time of sowing of crops, 'Bhojli' at the time when crop begins to grow, 'Hareli' when crop grows luxuriantly, and 'Pola' festival that is celebrated on 'Bhadra Amavasya' on completion of second stage 'Nindai-Gudai' of kharif crop cultivation process. He said that Pola festival is celebrated by farmers by worshipping bullocks and expressing gratitude for their contribution in agricultural works. Because of scanty rainfall in state, the threat of drought is intensifying with each passing day. Chief Minister, on his programme 'Raman ke Goth', consoled farmers and labourers of sate and assured them that they do not need to be afraid of drought-like conditions building up in state, as State Government is there for them. State Government is ready with the action plan to start employment-oriented works in all the villages of state. Dr Raman Singh also promised the farmers that he will chair cabinet meeting on September 15 and take several important decisions for dealing with the drought-like condition in state. Within two days of the broadcast of 'Raman Ke Goth' programme's first episode on September 13, Chief Minister convened cabinet meeting on September 15 and kept his promise. On the basis of rough estimate, Dr Singh declared 93 tehsils with crop of less than 50 paise as 'drought-affected', and gave instruction to release water from Gangrel dam, to provide temporary electricity connections, to give subsidy of Rs 2000 per hectare on diesel pumps to farmers, and to facilitate employment of 150-days under MNREGA to needy people of rural areas. Action on aforementioned decisions of Dr Singh has already begun. It was a pleasant co-incidence that on the day when so many decisions in farmers' interest were taken in cabinet meeting, heavy rainfall started in several districts of the state. In this way, September 15 turned out to be a great relief for the farmers of Chhattisgarh. Common people of state have given positive and exciting response to 'Raman ke Goth' programme. Glimpses of these responses are as follows:-
Feedback of Intellectuals and Common People of State
Mr. Hasan Khan, Retired Centre Director, Akashwani Raipur- "Raman ke Goth programme is a great effort and an important initiative in public interest. This programme should be continued broadcasted." Film Actor Mr. Anuj Sharma- "It is a good initiative for connecting directly with public". Mr. Keyur Bhushan, Freedom Fighter and Ex-Member of Loksabha- "Raman ke Goth programme has been presented in an interesting style. Chief Minister talked about culture, festivals and authentic cuisine of Chhattisgarh and emphasized their importance. He congratulated mothers and sisters on Teeja and also brought relief to farmers of state, while talking about agriculture insurance. People could relate to the words of Chief Minister. Dr Singh also presented government schemes extensively."
Padmshri adorned Dr Mahadev Prasad Pandey, (Freedom Fighter) Raipur- "Raman ke Goth is a constructive effort of State Government's Public Relations Department, with noble intention of welfare of each and every section of society." He congratulated Chief Minister saying that he would be eagerly waiting for next episode of this programme. Mr. Baban Prasad Mishra, Veteran Journalist Raipur- "It signifies the multidimensional vision of Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh that he chose radio as a medium to establish dialogue with public and emphasized that he will continue to make efforts for upliftment of poor and needy section of society. He expressed his views on various topics including measures to save kharif crops from effects of drought, to prevent migration, religious and logical commitments and also about importance of education and hygiene.
Mr. Ramesh Nayyar, Director Chhattisgarh Hindi Granth Akademi Raipur- "Raman ke Goth programme comprised several important points, which touched the hearts of middle class people like me. But according to the time and circumstances, his address was mainly focused on those farmers, who are terrified by the intensifying threat of drought. Chief Minister boosted morale of these farmers by assuring them that State Government will extend every possible support to bring relief to drought-affected families. In his assurance echoed the feeling of commitment. I feel first episode of 'Raman ke Goth' programme covered all those problems, which have become issues of concern among public of late. Mr. Daaneshwar Sharma, (Durg) Ex-Chairman Chhattisgarhi Rajbhasha Ayog- "It was great listening to Dr Singh in his programme 'Raman ke Goth'. THis initiative of Chief Minister is heart-touching. Chief Minister has made an effort to empathize with the pain of common people of the state. In this programme, Dr Singh mentioned about traditional festivals of the state, giving an important piece of information for young generation. "He suggested that Chief Minister should include topics like environment conservation and self-employment opportunities for youth in his upcoming talks on the show.
Mr. Shyamlal Chaturvedi (Bilaspur) Ex-Chairman Chhattisgarhi Rajbhasha Aayog- "Dr Raman Singh touched hearts of people with his thoughts and views. It is a great initiative." Mr. Sudheer Saxena (New Delhi) Veteran Journalist- "Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh's radio programme 'Raman ke Goth', broadcasted from Akashwani Raipur, is the first initiative of its kind ever taken in any region of the country. Mahatma Gandhi had said "I see Akashwani as a great power."" He added that this programme will prove useful in raising the issues of public interest. He suggested that soon after completion of Chief Minister's interview during this programme, audiences should be given opportunity to ask questions. This will make the programme even more beneficial for public.
Mr. Mannulal Yadu (Raipur) Language Scientist and social worker-- It is Chief Minister's novel way of knowing the pulse of the people. Chief Minister spoke on various people's problems. Dr. Pratap Narayan Agrawal (Jagdalpur) Senior Advocate- Chief Minister's move should be appreciated. The administration will be strengthened. Mr. Narendra Padi (Jagdalpur) Senior Stage artiste--The timings of the programme should be extended and it should be conducted on a regular basis. The programme has touched a special chord among the various sections of the society. Literature and Arts should also be added to the programme. Mrs. Mohini Thakur (Jagdalpur) Litterateur -- The programme speaks of issues relating to farmers and students. The problems of the farmers should be reduced. Mr.R.P.Mishra (Durg) Senior Educationist-- Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh gave glimpses of true Chhattisgarhi-dialect, language, simple. He is working on the total development of the State.
Mr. Sanjeev Tiwari (Durg) Blogger and Senior Advocate-- The traditions of Chhattisgarh are followed by Dr. Raman Singh. He respected the sentiments of women. Mr. Babulal Sharma (Senior Journalist Raipur)- Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh addressed the concerns of the farmers and urged them not to worry about the drought-like situation. Mr. Ashok Bajaj Coordinator Chhattisgarh Radio Fans' Association-- 'Raman Ke Goth' will be the pain reliever of the citizens. Mr. Hidma Podiyami (Dantewada)-- The dialogue has gladdened the hearts of the listeners. He spoke of the festivals of Chhattisgarh which is heartening. Mr. Latel Sahu of village Mohatra Balodabazar-Bhatapara- Dr.Raman Singh's dialogue with listeners has touched hearts of the masses.
Miss Anju Dhurve-Kasturba Gandhi Girls' Boarding School Kawardha- The students came to know the efforts being made to improve the quality of education. It will be beneficial to everybody. Mr. Nandlal Yadav farmer Surajpur- These words of Dr.Raman Singh have brought comfort to farmers. Mrs. Poornima Dev, Devdongar, Rajnandgaon-- Dr.Raman Singh has expressed his sympathies with the farmers. Mrs. Malti Devi Ratre Chairperson Nagarpalika Janjgir Champa- Chief Minister honoured the women of Chhattisgarh by speaking on Teeja-Pora and Chhattisgarh dishes Tetri-Khurmi. Mr. Rajendra Kumar (Student) Livelihood College, Janjgir-Champa- The Skills' Development programmes will improve the chances of youth getting employment. Mr. Puran Chauhan, Mr. Malakar (Raigarh)- The standard of education will improve with the determination of Dr.Raman Singh.
Mr. Rajkumar Vyas, Corporator Budhapara Ward Municipal Corporation Raipur- It is definitely a healthy message for the citizens. It is a good move to reach the masses through the medium of radio. The thinking of Dr. Raman Singh will be conveyed to the listeners. Mrs. Kiran Dilip Sarti, Corporator Raipur- It will be a milestone in the development of State. The ties between the rulers and the ruled will be strengthened. Mr. K.P.Pandya, Devendranagar, Raipur-- During the times of natural calamity like drought the message is clear from Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh. Mr. Leeladar Chandrakar Corporator Raipur Municipal Corporation-- Dr.Raman Singh is the first Chief Minister to use radio as a medium to reach the masses and convey his thoughts.