It is evident that a serious communication gap among these important stakeholders of the polity is leading to a situation where 80 % of the public grievances are neither getting resolved on time nor are they getting resolved completely. The reason for this painful situation is that these stakeholders are not coming together on a single platform. Since, one stakeholder does not effectively communicate with the other on matters of public grievances, a lot of time and effort is wasted in just trying to understand the dimensions of those grievances and coming up with relevant solutions.
We are highlighting a few ways where common grievances can be resolved by bringing the stakeholders on a common platform.
1. Public Benefits
Being a citizen of a country is no small thing. Citizenship bestows upon us our identity. As a citizen, we are connected with the culture and development of the country. We also have the power to bring in the development of our country because of the power of our vote.
Our country, India, is the second most populous nation on this earth and given the rate of the growth of population, we will shortly get the distinction of being the largest country in the world in terms of population.
The scale of the problems that our citizens face is in the same proportion as our population size. These problems are mainly related to roads and their quality, distribution and supply of electricity, availability of clean drinking water, matters related to the security of women and children, law and order problems and availability of gas and cooking fuel.
A vast majority of citizens , approximately 80 % of them, is unaware of the manner of redressal of these problems. They are also unaware of the agency- whether it is the local corporator, MP or MLA – which is best placed to solve the local problems.
Often , it so happens that a concerned citizen takes time off from his busy schedule and visits the local opposition leader – who also happens to be the local MLA- to take up the issue of bad roads or other local problems. If the area is represented by an MP of the other party, then , one can imagine the difficulty in getting that problem resolved. While, the local MLA will assure the concerned citizen of all his cooperation in solving the issue, it is not difficult to imagine the obstacles because the MP belongs to a rival party! The poor citizen is also left high and dry because he does not know whether the responsibility of fixing bad roads etc lies with the MLA or the MP!
In the Indian context, it is nearly impossible to ensure that all the representatives of an area from all levels- corporators, MLAs and MPs- belong to the same party so,this becomes one important barrier in solving the problems of the common citizens.
ProbFire.com is trying to address these major problems of lack of coordination among the various stakeholders and the lack of awareness of the responsibilities of the various public representatives.
The first step is to encourage every citizen of a given constituency to register himself with ProbFire.com. Upon registration, members of ProbFire.com can upload the problems of their area on the website with photographs of bad roads etc. These problems then reach the various local representatives such as corporators, MLAs and the MPs. These problems are later communicated to the stakeholders via E-mails by the website.
Upon publication of these problems on the ProbFire.com , the website will remind the stakeholders about the status of the problems after every 30 days. This means that if the complaint regarding a bad road has not been addressed/ solved within 30 days of its publication, a reminder E-mail shall be sent to all concerned. Depending on the status of the complaint, the concerned stakeholders will get a maximum of 60 reminder E-mails. We hope that this exercise will encourage the concerned stakeholders to take meaningful action.
Another thing that ProbFire.com has in mind is that all the registered voters of a given area will be encouraged to rate the performance of the local corporator, MLA and the MP every 6 months. So, if there are 1,80,000 registered voters in a given constituency , in all, there would be 1,80,000x10 rating points for each of the stakeholders. Needless to say, the local electorate will be able to make up its mind as to which representative is good for his constituency and which one is to be voted out.
The third major initiative of ProbFire.com is to inform all the voters about the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders . The website will also disseminate information on the amount of the developmental funds sanctioned by the State and Central Governments and also the manner of its spending.
2. Leader Benefits
The local representative , whether he is a local corporator, MLA or an MP comes to power because of the voting right of the local citizen.
Once he is sworn to office, the local representative is bound to solve the local problems. In our experience, we have seen that the standard way for the local representatives to begin solving the problems is to write letters to the concerned agencies. It is also common knowledge that the local corporator, MLA or the MP is pressed for time.
But, what happens after the letters have been written to the concerned agencies? Very little, because again there is a serious communication gap among the concerned citizens, the relevant agencies and the local representatives.
In order to plug this gap, Rissaachi India and ProbFire.com will make available Login Details to all the pre –registered local representatives. This will create a database of all the relevant problems and issues and it will be visible to the representatives and the local citizens alike. Depending upon the action taken by the concerned representative, he/she will get reminder emails from Probfire.com. Of course, the status of the action taken will also be available to the local citizens also. This is a tremendous step taken by ProbFire.com to ensure that there is minimum communication gap among the citizens, local representatives and the various agencies related to development and law and order.
It is also probable that some developmental work is very big and large in execution and quick solutions may not be possible. In such a case, the representatives can keep updating the progress of such projects on the website.
3. Political Parties Benefits
This methodology also ensures that these political groupings are kept abreast of the performance of their corporators, MLAs and MPs through individual login details. Party A will be requested to register itself on the ProbFire.com website .Party A will be able to monitor real time the work done by its elected representative in a given constituency. Non performing leaders can be removed from the election process in the next polls and the better ones will be retained.
We believe that involving all the three kinds of major stakeholders in the development process will do away with the communication gap that is a barrier in nation building.