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A Solution-Oriented Officer

Numerous initiatives by the 2015-batch, Odisha cadre IAS officer Mr. Amrit Ruturaj are helping in the development of several regions of Kendrapara and Rayagada district, making large number of people happy.
Indian Masterminds Stories

The recently posted Collector of Kendrapara, Odisha Mr. Amrit Ruturaj has his work cut out: upgrading rural workers and changing the faces of Anganwadis and schools in the district. And he is moving fast in this direction. His initiatives are taking the district on the path to development.

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Ruturaj talks about his initiatives for the betterment of people in Kendrapara, as well as Rayagada, his former district.

GENERATING EMPLOYMENT

While he was posted as the Project Director at District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in Rayagada, Mr. Ruturaj established mobilization camps at different Gram Panchayats to motivate the youth.

“We selected 10th and 12th pass students who had dropped out and trained them in different areas. Moreover, we motivated them by stating that after they complete their skill development course, they will be employed outside the district, and this convinced them of our offer,” Mr. Ruturaj told Indian Masterminds.

Skill up gradation program camps

He involved members from Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and people from local levels who could convince them at their level. Because of strong mobilization at the community level, women and youth came forward to upgrade their skills and get trained, which further gained them employment through which they are earning now.

SOLAR-POWERED DRINKING WATER

Rayagada is a scheduled-tribal district and Mr. Ruturaj focused on providing the locals with a better life. He resolved to find a decent drinking water solution for them.

He convinced the Panchayati Raj Members to guide the expenditure funds in such a way that there was holistic development of the people.

Solar powered drinking water

“Instead of going for the conventional mode of drinking water, we provided solar-based drinking water supply to 600 villages. Some of them didn’t even have tube wells, so within three months we covered all the villages and gave them solar water connection,” he told Indian Masterminds.

RAINWATER HARVESTING MODULE

Integrated with the NREGA scheme and with the help of beneficiaries, Mr. Ruturaj got Rainwater Harvesting Systems installed in about 2000 households in Rayagada.

“It has 2000 litre storage and rainwater can get stored in it during monsoons,” he said.

Rainwater harvesting module

This is a two-way system. One has recharge pits, other has storage. The runner could go inside Earth to recharge the groundwater and the water collected in storage can be used for all kinds of non-drinking purposes. The intervention was quite beneficial to the public.

“Also, we had built more than 300 Rural Bathing Complexes in Villages of Rayagada with water connection and shower so that the culture and trend begin in the tribal belt. It was an important intervention for the women, especially,” he told Indian Masterminds.

Bathing complexes

ANGANWADI & SCHOOL TRANSFORMATION

Since Anganwadis and the schools of Kendrapara lacked proper infrastructure and the issue of the power cut was extreme, Mr. Ruturaj went for Renewable Energy Solution and made all the anganwadis, solar-powered. Additionally, he installed aqua-guard facilities to ensure fresh drinking water for the children.

“We also equipped the place with proper furniture, clean toilets, and smart televisions so that the children could receive e-knowledge and their mothers could be made aware about nutrition and care during their time of pregnancy. We have converted anganwadis into smart-anganwadis,” stated the officer.

Classrooms are equipped with Smart TVs

He did the same with 900 anganwadis and 600 schools in Rayagada, by providing them with proper drinking water, good furniture, and making their place solar-powered. He also replaced traditional `choolahs’ with electric stoves to reduce smoke.

“These interventions increased the attendance of children in schools and anganwadis,” he said.

The officer has changed the face of Anganwadis

DINING HALLS

Schools and anganwadis provided students with mid-day meals but had no proper seating arrangement where the kids could eat their food with peace and dignity.

“They would take their meals in the verandah, or under a tree and sit on the floor to eat it. I wanted to give them an environment where they could eat and enjoy their meal with dignity,” Mr. Ruturaj told Indian Masterminds.

Dining halls for students

With the help of NREGA funds, he set up dining halls with proper facilities, benches, and tables, where these kids could properly sit and eat their meals.

He pointed out, “150 schools got dining halls made in Rayagada and by next two months, 500 schools in Kendrapara will also get their dining halls. These will also act as learning centers where they could gather and discuss together.”

Dining halls enable the children to properly sit and eat their meal

Mr. Ruturaj’s initiatives are truly commendable and are paving way for his people’s betterment.


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