The Civil Services Day is celebrated in India every year on April 21st. The day aims at renewing their commitments to public service and excellence in work. It was on this day when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of Independent India, gave an address to the probationers of Administrative Services Officers at Metcalf House, Delhi in the year 1947. Since then, the day commemorates the special occasion. The first celebration of Civil Services Day was held on April 21, 2006, as Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
Civil servants work tirelessly towards ensuring the smooth functioning of the public administration. Which is why Sardar Patel aptly called the civil servants as the ‘steel frame of India’.
At this time, India is going through extreme crises because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has been in lockdown for more than a month, giving rise to a plethora of problems. At this time, the work burden has increased manifold on the administrative system of the country. India’s efforts of fighting against the coronavirus disease have been applauded globally. Major credit for this goes to the bureaucrats of the country.
Let us look at some notable efforts made by the civil servants of India to fight against COVID-19.
Civil Servants across services including IFS, IPS, IFoS, IRS (IT), IRS (C&E), IRPS, IRTS, IPOS, IA&AS, IDES, ICAS, IIS & IAS have launched a unique CARUNA Initiative to support the government in the right against COVID-19 pandemic. CARUNA stands for ‘Civil Services Association Reach to Support National Disasters, which is an association formed by the above-mentioned services. It is a unique collaborative platform that brings together civil servants, industry leaders, NGO professionals, and IT professionals, among others in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.
Through this initiative, Civil Servants can use their network to collect information and database of migration, essential supplies and medical equipment like masks, ventilators, PPE, etc. The initiative will prove to be highly efficient to map the district level progress of the government’s efforts to curb Coronavirus pandemic, as civil servants are spread across each district in the country. Furthermore, as they are directly working with people and social group, they will also be able to highlight the needs and shortages being felt at the district level.
IRS Officers in Bengaluru Providing Meals to Migrant Workers
While the lockdown is essential at this time in order to contain the spread of the virus, it has taken a major toll on livelihoods of the migrant workers and the fates of their families across the country. These workers who relied on daily wages to secure their daily meals are in a state of helplessness.
Understanding their plight, around 20 IRS officers in Bengaluru have stepped up to aid these vulnerable families. Nishant K, the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Bengaluru along with his colleagues have started distributing hot meals to approximately 1,800 migrant workers near Bommasandra. The food is prepared across almost five centres by three private contractors and also includes the Railway Canteen, Karnataka State Chartered Accountant Association canteens. Once cooked and packed, the NGO partners hand the food over to the Bengaluru police who then deliver it to the locations that have been picked.
Duty over Personal Life
A major chunk of the population of the country is currently practising isolation and is working from home, or not working at all. During such a time, there are some champion civil servants who are willing to risk their lives in order to fulfil their duty.
One of them is IAS officer and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Commissioner (GVMC) G Srijana, who returned to work just 22 days after giving birth, cutting short her maternity break. She also brought her nearly 1-month-old baby to work risking the child’s life too to fulfil what she deemed was her duty.
Young #IAS Officers leading #fightagainstcorona.
GVMC Visakhapatnam Commissioner, Ms Gummalla Srijana @GummallaSrijana
joined back on duty with one month old baby without maternity leave to serve the City.#CoronaWarriorshttps://t.co/DyP3s0uU2z pic.twitter.com/2HlpvZU9pC
— IAS Association (@IASassociation) April 11, 2020
Another officer who gave utmost importance to his duty is IAS officer and Odisha state health secretary, Nikunja Dhal who returned to duty within 24 hours of his father’s death. Considering the fact that the state is already on high alert over the spread of coronavirus, Dhal a 1993-batch IAS officer, who is a native of Jajpur district was back to work on Tuesday after losing his father on Monday.
Leading from the front. Nikunja Dhal IAS, Pr Secy Health, Govt of Odisha showed exemplary courage when he was back in his office combating the epidemic Coronavirus within 24 hours of his father’s death. #Rolemodels #IndiaFightsCorona@PMOIndia @mygovindiahttps://t.co/BTPzseQA7o
— IAS Association (@IASassociation) March 17, 2020
Applauding the efforts by the civil servants of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter congratulating the bureaucrats for tackling the COVID-19 outbreak with such great efficiency.
Today, on Civil Services Day I convey greetings to all Civil Servants and their families.
I appreciate their efforts in ensuring India successfully defeats COVID-19. They are working round the clock, assisting those in need and ensuring everyone is healthy.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 21, 2020
In the present times too, the steel frame of our country, the civil service, has shown its strength and resolve in handling COVID-19 situation, with sensitivity and professionalism. Confident that our civil services will continue to serve in the best traditions of public service.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 21, 2020