|Pic taken from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Shivaji_statue_in_South_Mumbai.jpg|
At times stupid, oh so stupid things happens around us and we do nothing but just wait and watch. For a while now I had been reading random articles online that the government was planning to build a Statue of Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea. The statue was apparently going to be the world’s tallest statues costing up to INR 3,600 crore!
Initially I thought these were just rumors and that nothing concrete was ever going to happen, partly because such a huge project seemed a little unreal. However a few weeks ago I got to know that this was really happening and I was furious with the news. I am a Maharashtrian, I respect Shivaji and have loved studying about him in school but spending such a huge amount on a statue seems ridiculous to me.
We are not even a developing nation anymore ( source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/world-bank-to-change-classification-of-countries-india-will-now-be-called-lower-middle-income/articleshow/52512636.cms ) and to do something like this after that shows how we conveniently choose to ignore real issues and focus on something that may help us with the vote bank.
I am listing down a few things that I, as a citizen of this country, as a layman, can think of doing with INR 3600 crore instead of building a statue which basically would not serve any purpose.
- Build a library which would include books from all over the globe
- Provide sanitation facilities
- Provide girls in rural areas with sanitary pads, educate them about menstruation
- Provide better facilities at government hospitals and police stations
- Provide irrigation facilities to farmers
- Educate farmers on how to take care of their crops / provide them with better equipment and facilities
- We have so many forts built by Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra which are in a bad state, why not restore them?
- Invest in tourism, make the city safer
- India has a ratio of 138 police personnel per lakh of population, why not employ more people? ( Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48264737.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst )
- Provide better public transport
- Fix the pothole filled roads
- Cancel toll on highways
- The statue is going to affect the local fishermen, provide them with better fishing equipment rather than spending on the statue
- Making provisions and implementing solar energy
- Making provisions for rain water harvesting
- The statue is going to damage nature, why not plant more trees instead?
- Why not have a screening everyday at Gateway of India depicting life stories of every eminent personalities and not just Shivaji? This could include, Scientist, Politicians, Freedom Fighters, Kings And Maharajas, Social Workers etc. when useful information is taken out of classroom and showcased in a fun and interactive way then even students and kids will be interested in learning about them.
- How about not charging us a number of taxes every time we eat in a restaurant? The tax itself comes up to half of our food bill
- Build more sports facilities, parks and open grounds
- Beautification of the city
Now, if I can come up with 20 ways of using the same amount of money then I am sure that people in power who are actually the decision makers can come up with many more, if not, please don’t shy away from using one of the above ideas.
And you, I am sure you can come up with more ideas to utilize INR 3600 crore in a productive way. Mention them in the comments below so that we have more options for our dear government.