Class XI student proposes creation of ‘Village Collector’ post

A Class XI government school student from Pudukkottai district earned praise from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday for coming up with suggestions to develop the villages in the State by utilising available resources.

The court was hearing the public interest litigation petition filed by V. Lakshman, the father of L. Gowri. The petitioner said his daughter was very much interested in developing their village, Kalvirayan Viduthy, bordering Pudukkottai and Thanjavur districts.

He said Gowri formulated a project and methodology titled ‘National Rural Development Research Project’. She had collected data on the village, its population and the hurdles they faced. She also offered solutions to the problems faced by the villagers, he said.

Impressed by the data collected by the student, who studies in Thanjavur, a Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and S. Ananthi sought her presence (via videoconferencing) during the hearing of the PIL petition.

During the course of their interaction, Gowri informed the judges that one of the methods to overcome the hurdles faced by the villagers was creation of a post called ‘Village Collector’ in each village to deal with the issues faced by the people.

The judges told her that the role of the Village Administrative Officer was similar to what she had suggested and asked if there was a need to create a new post called ‘Village Collector’. She said the Village Collectors should be one with knowledge to deal with rural issues.

The student told the judges that her father would submit petitions to the authorities for the welfare of the village and he would have to spend an entire day at the government office. A Village Collector could directly associate with the villages to redress grievances, she said.

The judges appreciated the girl for her efforts and suggested that she revise her report. The judges asked her to highlight the key points and submit it so that the authorities could take a look at the points and get back for the next hearing. The case was adjourned till June 16.

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