By Elton Gomes
As a mark of tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Rajasthan government is planning to develop a model Atal Seva Kendra that will have literature, information, and other objects related to the late prime minister’s life. Additionally, the centres would also have state-of-the-art public utility e-service facilities.
Rajasthan’s Panchayati Raj Minister Rajendra Singh Rathore said the model Atal Seva Kendra will act as a living memorial to Vajpayee. He added that the government has not finalised on the location, but it wishes to make Vajpayee “immortal.” “We have not decided on the location. But it should be near Jaipur. Apart from that we want to make Vajpayee immortal by developing all Atal Seva Kendras as the most efficient public service centres,” Rathore told the Economic Times.
Earlier known as Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras, Rajasthan has nearly 10,000 Atal Seva Kendras at village panchayat and panchayat samiti levels. These centres provide public utility services to rural people. At the district level, a total of 33 Atal Suvidha Kendras exist.
“Atalji will remain alive in our villages and panchayats through these kendras. We will improve service standards at these centres, which currently offer online services like Aadhaar card, PAN card, utility bill payments, ration cards and other government-to-public services,” Rathore said. “We will not let Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s name to be removed from these centres which are directly connected with the hearts of the rural population,” as per the Economic Times report.
In a separate development, Vajpayee’s biography will be included in the textbooks of the Rajasthan state education board. “We have yet to decide the class in which we would be adding the chapter on Atalji. But it will focus on his childhood, unparalleled statesmanship, emergency, Kargil war and nuclear tests, among other inspiring events of his life,” Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani said as reported by MoneyControl.
Additionally, Union minister of state for law and justice, and corporate affairs, P.P. Chaudhary wants the medical college in Pali district to be renamed after Vajpayee in an attempt to commemorate the former prime minister. “I have requested the chief minister to name the college after Atalji,” Chaudhary said, the Economic Times reported.
A memorial for Vajpayee
Sources have claimed that the Modi government is seeking to build a memorial for Vajpayee “to mark his immense contributions to the country,” the Times of India reported.
A senior government functionary said, “He was a leader of extraordinary stature. Something ought to be done in recognition of his service to the nation,” as per the Times of India report. The plan to construct the memorial was not included in the meeting of the Union Cabinet, but sources have claimed that a decision has been made.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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