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Sonia, Azad, Chavan admit there exists Pain in Malegaon

Thursday, July 2, 2009 10:56:42 PM, Aleem Faizee


 Video: Urdu couplets recited by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad best describe The Pain in Malegaon

At last Malegaon gets a Government Hospital: Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the 200-bed General Hospital today afternoon in Malegaon. With this months of speculations over who would actually cut....Read Full

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Malegaon: June 15 onwards, we had carried a series on highlighting the actual woes in Malegaon that according to a senior journalist “were earlier hidden under the debris of communal riots and now being overshadowed by the terrorist attacks.” The series titled as ‘The Pain in Malegaon’ did help, though to a very small scale, in bringing these issues to fore in the bureaucratic circles. The quickest response was from the exuberant IAS officer S. Chockalingam who had observed, “Malegaon has very complicated issues. Needs whole-hearted efforts from all”. Chockalingam, now Additional Commissioner Sales Tax was Collector and DM of Nashik District few months ago. The next was a communiqué from the Textile Commission Office that said, “The Government is considering to approve a pilot project for the textile industry in Malegaon.” The project is under consideration since January 2007.


After the bureaucracy, on June 30, it was the turn of the top political leaderships, of the country as well as of the state, to acknowledge, the trauma people of Malegaon are going through everyday. That there existed pain in Malegaon was not only recognised by them but they just fell short of admitting the town had actually been neglected by successive governments ever since the independence.


“Though we have been successful in building a huge hospital for the people of Malegaon, we don’t want them to be admitted there in a large number”, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said while admitting there are serious issues in Malegaon that needed to be tackled on a priority basis.


Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was in Malegaon on the day accompanying UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and a host of other State Ministers for the inaugural function of the much publicised General Hospital in the town, under construction since 2006.


Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's comments reminded the people of the remark casually passed by a journalist who visited the town in 2006. “No matter if the town lacks in basic amenities and an equipped hospital. It is good it has a huge Qabristan to accommodate enough number of people”, she had said. The Qabristan in Malegaon, one of the blast sites that was rocked by the terrorist attack in 2006, is supposedly one of the biggest in the country.


Later when Mrs. Gandhi took over the microphone to deliver the inaugural speech, local issues found a detailed mention there as well.  At the same time she did not fail to remind the Malegaonians about the slum rehabilitation program under IHSDP scheme, for which the centre has already sanctioned funds for constructing homes for the poor people.


However, it was Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s speech delivered in chaste Urdu that stole the show. After terming the town as Mini Hindustan where people come from all across the country and earn their livelihood, Ghulam Nabi Azad concluded his speech with these Urdu couplets:


Zaher Milta raha Zahar Peete rahe, Roz marte rahe roz jeete rahe, Zindagi bhi hame aazmati rahee, Aur hum bhi use aazmate rahe, Zakhm jab bhi koi zahn o dil pe lega, Zindagi ki taraf aik dareecha khula, Hum bhi goya kisi saaz ke taar hai, Choat khate rahe gun'gunate rahe.


His speech, concluded by these couplets describing sufficiently enough the pain with which people in Malegaon are forced to live with, would no doubt remain in the memory of the people for days to come.


Caution Caution Caution

Though the admissions made by Mrs. Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Chavan helped in striking a chord among the Malegaonians, they are wary of the effective utilization of the funds if at all they come due to the rampant corruption and inept local administration.


"While touching the local issues, Mrs. Gandhi also promised to release special funds for the town. However, owing to the corrupt administration and the political leadership in the town, we are not sure if these funds would be of any help to the town", an insider said adding, "Recently the Central Government had released fund for the town but most of these funds were either used for renovating the government offices and rest house or vanished somewhere into the air. Its impact on the ground is almost a zilch."


There is no doubt the town urgently needs financial aid from the government, he said, but it has to be combined with an efficient administrator for its effective utilization.


Will the Media now follow suite

Meanwhile, having increased their TRPs by widely reporting the communal problem in Malegaon, most of the time exaggerating without limits, and terming the town as a Terror Hub, the pain of the Malegaonians is not a story for them. Neither is the peace with which people are living in the town despite their grievances. This is perhaps why, when almost whole of the town ahead of the visit by Mrs. Gandhi and other top leaders for the inauguration of the hospital was in a celebrative mood, a prominent English Daily was reporting about the communal tension in the town. After the bureaucracy and the political leadership changing the track and acknowledging the actual woes in Malegaon, should we expect a different approach from the media as well?






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The Scheme is a slap the to this highly victimised town of Malegaon. Its  going to be a great Example how you Create a New Slum by removing the Older one.
The 11000 homes !

For whom?
Of what quality?
With what social Justice?
With who's Neighbourhood concept?
What level of degradation?
....... N numbers.

Arif Shah - A r c h i t e c t
Sanveo Green Buildings.

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Malegaon has very complicated issues. Needs whole-hearted efforts from all.

S Chockalingam (IAS)

Former Collector Dist Nashik

now Additional Commissioner, Sales Tax (Maharashtra)


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