When temperatures soar to the mid-forties, most government officials would not prefer to step out of their air-conditioned cabins. A young collector in Madhya Pradesh, however, got the AC removed from his office and installed it at a nutritional rehabilitation centre to provide succor to malnourished children.
“There is nothing great about it. There is no tyag (sacrifice) involved. As a government functionary, it’s my duty,” Umaria collector Swarochish Somavanshi, who began a programme called Sanjivani three months ago to address the rampant malnourishment in the district, said.
“When I visited an NRC recently, I found many malnourished kids with burns sustained from branding. I thought they might succumb to infection with temperatures hovering between 42 and 45 degrees Celsius. I tried to collect funds but it was taking time. It would have been wrong to ask subordinates to remove their AC,” the collector told The Indian Express.
“My only worry is the focus is shifting from malnourishment and branding to a person,” he said, trying to play down his gesture.
Somavanshi said he did not ask the government for new ACs because it would take some time but the immediate requirement was an AC at the NRC. The AC was removed four days ago but was installed only on Thursday because no technician was available nearby.