Ahead of Assembly election 2021, Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government’s massive flagship outreach programme “Duare Sarkar” or “Government at your doorstep” was rolled out on Tuesday in West Bengal. People can enjoy the benefit of at least 11 schemes under the programme which is meant as a rebuttal to PM Modi’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
On the first day of the programme, which is being held across 20,000 camps in the state, hundreds queued up to register their grievances. Meandering queues were seen in Amta Balika Vidyalaya in Amta Block 1 of the Howrah district.
72-year-old Taruni Hamir, who came to collect the card shared her pain and said, “We did not get any Pension because of some mistake in my card. Even after writing an application, it was returned without any appropriate action. Therefore, I am going to get this corrected.”
Many like her are reaching these camps to get their problems sorted via one window programme of the government.
Mukta Arya, District Magistrate of Howrah explained, “We are offering 13 sets of services in this programme. First, there is a grievance counter. For any kind of grievances, you can submit your application or those who cannot write, there are people to help them to write the application. Then for the SC, ST, and the backward classes, we have services like the Caste Certificate, Sikshashree, Joy Johar pension, Joy Bangla Pension for the SC population.”
FOCUS ON HEALTH COVER
Arya also told India Today how the focus is on providing healthcare to all the residents of the state. “The Swasthya Sathi has been opened up for every woman guardian of the family. Anyone who is not enrolled in any other health scheme can avail the benefits of this card.”
Pinki Pramanik, a local resident who visited the camp to collect the Swasthya Sathi card, explained, “We had earlier contacted a lot of people to be able to access these schemes. Now since the camp is held near our house, we came to get the card.”
The health scheme, officially launched by Mamata Banerjee in December 2016, is a basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family.
One of the women while collecting the health forms said, “Till now we haven’t submitted anything. I have come here to just collect the form. Since my mother-in-law is the head of our family, I have given her name first and after this will write the names of other family members in the form.”
THE DUARE SARKAR CAMPAIGN
Announcing the details, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said, “I would like to request everyone from panchayat and ward-level people to join the ‘Duare Sarkar’ campaign. Try to understand the SOP and submit the papers accordingly.”
The flagship schemes include the globally acclaimed ‘Kanyashree’ (a cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and preventing their early marriage), besides ‘Khadya Sathi’ (for ensuring that almost 90 per cent of the population comes under food security), and ‘Sikshashree’ (a one-time grant given to SC and ST students from class 5 to class 8 to go to higher school).
Other government schemes like ‘Rupashree (one-time financial grant of Rs 25,000 for economically stressed families at the time of their daughter’s marriage), ‘Jai Johar’ (for the betterment of ST people), ‘Taposili Bondhu’ (pension scheme for SC people), ‘Akhyashree’ (a scheme that provides scholarships to students of minority communities in the state) and MGNREGS will also be included,” said Bandopadhyay.
“Other applications for schemes including social pension, old age, widow, persons with disabilities implemented by any government department would be received during the course of this outreach programme for appropriate action,” he said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had last week announced the setting up of ‘Duare Sarkar’ camps in the state for redressing grievances of people. While camps in the first phase are scheduled from December 1- 11, the second one will be from December 15-24, the third from January 2-12, and the fourth from January 18-30.
According to the plan, benefits of government schemes and services will be delivered to eligible beneficiaries through camps organised in each gram panchayat and municipality area.
GOVERNMENT AT YOUR DOORSTEP
“The priority is the grievances counter wherein the person come and can be helped by us. But there are both classes of people here one qualified and others non-qualified. For those who are non-qualified, guidance will be provided by us. So, we are trying to resolve as many grievances as we can,” Mukta Arya further added.
Dr Esha Ghosh, BDO of Panchla said, “The first round of Duare Sarkar programme is being conducted from December 1, for 11 days. In the five blocks, we are covering 11 Panchayats in 11 days. Every day we will visit a different Panchayat as part of the first visit round. Then in the second round, which will again start from December 15, and once again we will cover every Panchayat. Until January 30, there are going to be four rounds. We will visit every Panchayat four times.”
Arya also added, “Since you know and we all know that the whole world is going through the coronavirus pandemic, the topmost priority is to obey Covid-10 protocols of physical distancing, thermal screening, and so on to make the people attending these camps feel safe. As you have seen already there are markings, people wearing masks and enough space to accommodate everyone yet be physically distant. Plus, the service is named Duare Sarkar – which means the service can be availed at the doorstep, government is at your doorstep to help you.”