Saturday, January 9, 2010

Re: [rti_india] Sri Devesh Chaturvedi- An ideal public servant


Dear Mr. Thakur :
Another nice note. Any idea where Mr. Devesh is currently ? How come after IAS he became a District Magistrate ?
Milind Kotak
On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 8:05 AM, Amitabh Thakur <> wrote:


We often talk of the bureaucratic system and how to make it more responsible and responsive. We also talk of an ideal public servant. All of us are concerned about the present situation and want there to be rapid improvement. On this issue, I would like to present one person, who as far as I can visualize, fits in completely as being one. This because an example is much better than hundreds of principles.
I came to know Devesh Chaturvedi of the 1989 batch of IAS in the year 1997 when I got posted as SP, Pithoragarh which incidentally was my first assignment to an independent district. There in the valley of Pithoragarh, surrounded by the tall and mighty mountains I met the person, who in my eyes, still remains the best example of a bureaucrat. When I went to meet the District Magistrate, which is the usual courtesy, I had before me a face that was smiling, graceful, cultured, sophisticated, humble, decent, intelligent and alert, all at the same time. The person had a rare charm and a radiance that would be there only in someone whose soul is smiling and whose mind is at peace. I came to know that we belonged to the same Institute (IIT/Kanpur) and the same branch (Mechanical Engg), though I very well knew that I could be placed nowhere as compared to him in the virtues that he had.
As might be agreed to by those who have been there in the hilly districts, there is not much work of policing in these places as the crime-rates are usually low. But then I had the best period of my life because I and my wife Nutan had an opportunity to be in the company of Devesh and Shivani. This person had everything that was needed for an officer of his class. His honesty knew no bounds, his dedication to his job was marvelous, his capacity to work hard and his zeal to serve the people were tremendous. Every single moment, he would be thinking of the ways he should devise which could prove beneficial to the people of the district. But, and here lies the point that I want to emphasize, unlike some other such officers he was also decent, courteous and modest. He never had a feeling that he was different from others while the fact was that he certainly was special, a rare creature. Yet, his behavior remained completely unaffected. I never found him getting angry with his subordinates or being irritated over their foolishness or insincerity. Instead, he would treat them well, at the same time ensuring that the work that the person was expected to do, finally got performed to his satisfaction. This, he would do with utmost patience and sincerity. And the greatest quality that he showed all around was his power of forgiveness. He had the magnanimity to forgive people, if they realized and accepted their faults, mended the errors and started acting the way Devesh wanted them to be. In Pithoragarh, there would not be one single place where this workaholic and passionate DM would not have gone, including such far off places as the Indo-China border, where he possibly was the first DM to be.
I was fortunate enough to be in his company once more when I got posted at Deoria. It was the same fun, same work, same sincerity and same decency. The more I think of this person, the more I am filled with admiration. This is because he never used a single word of self-praise, nor did he criticize others on any count. Yet it was impossible for anyone to get any work done from him which he considered to be against rules and regulations. In fact, everything that we are taught in the books of do's and don'ts I found in him. I was universally regarded as his closest friend and very dear to him but I knew very well that if he had decided over an issue, even I could not get it changed unless I could reason it out with him on the basis of certain facts which he might otherwise have missed or on the basis of some compassionate grounds, to which he used to heed to.
I am not the only IPS officer in UP to have been fortunate enough to have got to work with him. There would be many like me and I am sure each one of them would swear by my words. Whichever position he would be placed at, he would go on serving in the same way.
I always wish there were more like him, though I know I have been unable to see anyone else come near him.

Amitabh Thakur
IIM Lucknow
# 94155-34526



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