Updated: January 25, 2021 8:50:29 am
On Sunday, when all offices were closed in Dehradun, police personnel and government officials stood outside room no. 120 on the first floor of Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha building where 19-year old Srishti Goswami was reviewing the work of over a dozen departments.
After a detailed presentation on crime records by DIG, Law and Order, Nilesh Anand Bharney, Goswami asked him to ensure the safety of women in public transport and prohibition on the sale of drugs in a 500-m radius of schools.
The student of Agriculture Science was the symbolic Chief Minister of Uttarakhand for a day. The initiative was taken by Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to mark the National Girl Child Day. Officials said they took the cue from Bollywood movie Nayak in which the protagonist, played by actor Anil Kapoor, became CM for a day.
“That was cinema…this is real. You can guess the excitement. I am thankful to CM (Trivendra Singh Rawat) and the Commission for providing me this golden opportunity,” Goswami said after her four-hour tenure. She added that if she gets a chance to become “real CM” for a day, she will work on priority to address issues related to children.
During the review meeting, Goswami asked officials to prevent child abuse and ensure that privacy of women is maintained after natural disasters at any place.
Responding to the presentation on the country’s longest motorable single-lane bridge, Dobra Chanti bridge across Tehri lake, she asked officials to renovate dilapidated bridges across the state. The recommendations she made will be forwarded to the government for consideration, officials said.
Earlier, when Leader of Opposition in Bal Vidhan Sabha, Asif Hasan, remarked that there was no engine in the “double engine” government, Goswami responded by listing decisions the state government has taken for the public.
Goswami belongs to Daulatpur village in Haridwar district where her father runs a grocery shop and her mother is an Anganwadi worker. She was chosen to be CM for a day as she was elected Chief Minister for three years in Bal Vidhan Sabha in 2018.
Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat welcomed Goswami on her arrival to the Vidhan Sabha and also attended the review meeting as a representative of Chief Minister Rawat, who was in Haridwar to inspect arrangements for Kumbh Mela.
Usha Negi, chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said the Chief Minister approved the idea of Goswami as CM for a day to send a message of encouraging leadership capability among girls on the occasion of National Girl Child Day.
“Anil Kapoor did such a role in Nayak. So we thought Uttarakhand can present it in the form of a ‘nayika’ to send a message of girl empowerment by making a child who is already CM of Bal Vidhan Sabha the CM for a day. The review meetings were aimed at developing administrative quality.”
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in 2014, along with an NGO and a social organisation, started Bal Vidhan Sabha to help children understand governance and democratic processes. Students apply to be selected as legislators. After interviews, the commission selects one legislator from each of the 70 constituencies and those selected vote to elect a CM, ministers and a Leader of Opposition from among themselves for three years. Meetings of Bal Vidhan Sabha are held on issues related to children and the recommendations are sent to the state government.
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