INDIA. Mumbai: While National tricolour flags are being distributed by Government agencies in every household, as part of the “Har Ghar Tiranga” campaign (national tricolour flag in every household), in rural areas, the authorities are worried over the lack of flag poles and the condition of the houses.
The tricolour flags are distributed as part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” (75th year of Independence celebrations). But in some rural areas, the houses are in ramshackle condition.
In Jawhar taluka in the Palghar district (near Mumbai), nearly 12000 tribal families have been living in mud houses or huts made of hay bales for the last several years. The authorities must ensure that the flags are hoisted on poles properly, so they are not carried away in the wind and do not dishonor the flag.
As per the provisions of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, the national flag must be displayed distinctly and occupy an honorable position. The saffron band of the flag must always come on the top, and it should never be displayed in an inverted way. A damaged or untidy flag must never be displayed.
Far from all the above requirements, several tribal hamlets in Jawhar are devoid of basic facilities like water, power supply, and healthcare. Most of the people reside in Kuccha houses made of hay. The Government agencies will have to distribute the flags as per the Union Government’s order. But how to maintain the honour of the flag is a big question, say, local people.
Besides, a plan to construct permanent houses for the tribal people in Jawhar has remained on paper for the last many years. Speaking to the Transcontinental Times, Vaidehi Vadhan, President of the Palghar Zilla Parishad, said that the construction of houses for the tribal people was planned under different schemes, including “Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana” (PM Housing Scheme), “Shabri Awas”, “Ramai Awas”, “Adim Awas” etc.
However, the work could not proceed due to the Covid-19 pandemic since the Palghar district was the worst affected district. The construction work will start after the Diwali festival. The houses will be part of rural housing, she added.
As for the flag distribution and its proper display, we are taking abundant precautions and informing households about its importance. If the recipients have no poles, they can display them within their houses, taking support of the cupboard etc. We are aware of the practical difficulties, but we also cannot ignore the national campaign, Vadhan added.
However, social worker and journalist Sandip Salve said that the villagers had been asked to display flags from August 13 to August 15 and then lower them in the evening on August 15 and keep it secured.
The villagers find these conditions cumbersome, and most of them have refused to accept the flags. In these tribal hamlets, due to inaccessible roads, the villagers have to carry the sick patient in a palanquin and march on foot to the nearest healthcare centres during the emergency. While the campaign is important, he added that its implementation leaves much to be desired.
In another development, Ayushi Singh, Sub Divisional Officer and Assistant Collector, Jawhar/Mokhada, recently took stock of implementing the schemes devised to prevent malnutrition and agreed to adopt some of the Anganwadis as a pilot project. She assured the office bearers of the NGO “Samarthan”. The office bearers- Sneha Gharat, Nilam Kakad, and Sita Ghatal- met with Singh and explained the practical difficulties in implementing some of the schemes.
The issues like monetary compensation to the students at the Ashram Schools, non-availability of vehicles to transport the children suffering from malnutrition to the hospitals, etc., were discussed.
Singh assured the “Samarthan” office bearers that she would get a proposal approved from the Palghar Zilla Parishad to ensure the proper implementation of the schemes, including “Maher GharYojana”, and provide facilities to the camps like “Bal Sanjivan Chhavni”, looking after the children suffering from malnutrition.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has purchased the flags worth Rs 35 lakh from Alok Industries, Surat, Gujarat, for household distribution.