The road less travelled was the one I chose instead of spending my entire tenure in plush comfort which spelt mouthing pleasantries in an endless round of receptions and ceremony. Although in recent times few constitutional offices in our democratic polity have been subjected to a rigorous scrutiny by the media, the courts and the political class, as the office of the Governor, it has in no way deterred me from establishing my own sensibilities, beliefs and convictions about the power of the common man and the civil society.
The initiatives I had taken in my tenure in Uttarakhand are simply a deep and abiding faith in the decency and dignity of the ordinary citizen. More than 5000 children and adults have undergone cleft lip and cleft palate surgery free of cost; 450 home toilets have been constructed in village homes at a total cost of Rs.22 lakhs. Dehradun today has India’s most modern centrally air-conditioned four storeyed Blood Bank. 160 Tsunami affected children have received financial support for their sustenance and education for three years. These are some of the projects undertaken and accomplished.
The economic compulsions on account of abject poverty have drawn the attention of women away from providing moral strength and courage to their daughters turning to mundane responsibilities like tilling the field, gathering fodder and collcting precious drinking water. The girl child is looked down upon as a service provider rather than a potential bread winner. The priorities of education in such a scenario diminish, very often shutting out opportunities even for the best girls.
Is it fair to crush a bud even before it has had an opportunity to blossom ? Should economic needs deprive young girls from finding a rightful places in a progressive society ? Who will take the onus of providing the girl child the position she rightly deserves in the 21st century society ?
The Him Jyoti Boarding School for girls is a bold initiative aimed at providing opportunities for value based quality education to bright girls from economically disadvantaged families. Unarguably, the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.’ These girls are merely waiting for their latent energy to be tapped and Him Jyoti School’s sole endeavour is to help them emerge vibrant, dynamic, compassionate, caring and well equipped to face the world. The onus lies on the civil society to make a difference in their lives as the role given to women in society is a measuring road and true index of its civilizational attainment.
Three girls are in Lady Shriram College; two in I P College; Delhi, six girls in Govt. College for Girls at Chandigarh with two girls at the Asian Women’s University, Chittagong (Bangladesh). We have conducted Bhumi Pujan of a Vocational Training Institute for girls on March 4, 2014. We shall admit 100 girls each year for a 2 year course in 4 disciplines from the academic session starting in April/May 2015. This is our new project to empower women.
Him Jyoti School is receiving support from all who believe in the magic of education to empower women. It will be a matter of great joy when some day, a girl from the Him Jyoti School rises to the office of the Governor of a State. The Him Jyoti School and the proposed Vocational Training Institute are our humble contribution towards empowering the women in Uttarakhand.