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2019 was about these 10 IAS officers. Here’s why

Form creating employment to stopping child marriages, these civil servants went the extra mile to perform their duties diligently and serve society
New Delhi: The IAS or the Indian Administrative Services is a line of profession which is often held in high regard by aspirants primarily because it gives people the chance to bring about social change. The job of an IAS can be so much more than an IAS. So, here’s a look at 10 IAS officers who stepped up and brought about social change by going the extra mile.

Raj Yadav, deputy commissioner, Gangtok

Raj Yadav was appointed the district magistrate of South Sikkim in 2004 and he has been the driving force behind the innovative ‘District Administration’s Adopted Village’ or ‘DAAV’ initiative. The initiative requires the district administration to adopt an impoverished village and take the mantle for its improvement. Nearly 7,500 lives in five villages have been transformed because of this.

Shashanka Ala, Deputy Commissioner of Lawngtlai, Mizoram

Shashanka Ala has played a major role in improving Anganwadi facilities in Lawngtlai, one of the most backward areas in Mizoram that is often cut off from the mainland due to heavy rains. Among the several visionary steps she took, the officer set up nutrition gardens at Anganwadis under the “Kan Sikul, Kan Huan” initiative.

Sandeep Nanduri, DC and Magistrate, Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu

Sandeep Nanduri launched an eatery called Cafe Able in Tuticorin district of Tamil Nadu, which is run exclusively by differently-abled personnel. The cafe helps at least a dozen employees to earn a dignified livelihood.

Athar Aamir Khan, SDM of Badnore sub-division of Bhilwara in Rajasthan

Athar Aamir Khan has worked tirelessly to fight one of the greatest evils still plaguing India — child marriages. He has personally counselled several parents and trained self-help groups that have now joined the good fight. He has also worked extensively on improving facilities in schools in Bhilwara district.

Awanish Sharan, collector, Kabirdham, Chhattisgarh

The moment Awanish Sharan arrived in the tribal region of Chhattisgarh's Kabirdham in 2018, he was deeply distressed by the lack of medical facilities. Due to geographical challenges, even reaching the nearest hospital, was a huge task for the tribal folk. He introduced bike ambulances that cut down medical expenses drastically and impacted nearly 5,000 lives.

Asheesh Singh, Municipal Commissioner of Indore

Indore has been taking first place in the Swachh Survekshan rankings since the last three years (2017-19). So, when Asheesh Singh was appointed the municipal commissioner of the city, he knew he had high standards to maintain. But he surpassed those standards by transforming a 100-acre dumpsite using bioremediation at a cost of only Rs 10 crore — far less than the standard cost — by changing the financial model for its implementation.

Jitendra Kumar Soni, Project Director

Known as the saviour of the barefoot, Jitendra Kumar Soni launched the Charan Paduka Abhiyan in 2015 which envisaged providing footwear to the underprivileged in Jalore district of Rajasthan. His initiative has been widely appreciated and mirrored across the state by the Chief Minister.

Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, DC, Srinagar

Growing up in Jammu and Kashmir, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary always knew poor connectivity has been a hindrance in the development of the region. So when he took charge four years back, he focused on building bridges. His efforts have resulted in the construction of 320 bridges so far, providing employment opportunities to thousands of locals.

Umakant Umrao, Secretary, MP state govt

Taking charge in Dewas, one of the severely drought-hit regions in Madhya Pradesh, Umakant Umrao knew fighting water scarcity would be his primary task. The IAS officer, who was posted as a Secretary with the Panchayat and Rural Development Department, developed a model where big farmers created ponds in their farms that proved to be beneficial for small-scale farmers, as well. He has played a crucial role in creating more than 16,000 ponds in the region.

A Sridevasena, Collector, Peddapalli, Telangana

A Sridevasena has transformed Peddapalli into one of the cleanest districts in the country. But matters were much different at the time she had arrived in the district, with open defecation being prevalent. She led the charge by getting a toilet built in each of the 263 villages of the district, actively engaging the locals in her endeavours.