Prevention is better than cure and Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Meghalaya swears by this proverb.
Recently, photographs of him carrying a traditional bamboo basket on his back and buying vegetables in a local vegetable market in Tura went viral on social media. IAS officer Ram Singh captioned the photograph as, “21 kgs of weekend organic Vegetable shopping, No plastic, no vehicular pollution, no traffic jam, Fit India, Fit Meghalaya, Eat Organic, Clean & Green Tura, POSHAN, 10km morning walk.”
This post of his inspired many to walk every day and it has sent across the right message of staying fit through simple lifestyle changes. We caught up with this young bureaucrat who is a fitness freak to share some tips on how to remain fit and healthy.
“Actually, Tura is a small town and people here have complaints regarding traffic so I thought instead of using a vehicle why not walk to our destinations. As the town is small, it doesn’t take much time to reach a place, so walking is the best option and also this habit of walking can make us fit. This practice is a way of telling people to walk to market places, especially weekly markets, as it will reduce traffic and pollution,” Singh said.
“Another idea of carrying locally made bamboo baskets to carry goods is to avoid using plastics as it harms the environment. Through this practice of carrying traditional bamboo baskets, I am trying to promote the art of the local tribal people out here. The benefits of these bamboo baskets are that they are handy and they are hands-free. Also, they can be re-used which is such a good feature for us. We have banned plastics in Tura from August 15th, 2019 and the practice of carrying bamboo baskets will be revived,” said Singh.
New face of Indian Bureaucracy
When asked about people calling him the new face of Indian bureaucracy, Singh a native of Himachal Pradesh, smiled and said that he is not doing anything ‘extra-ordinary’. He started using bamboo baskets six months back and is trying his best to continue to do so. “I too belong from a village in Himachal Pradesh and during my childhood days, we used to carry bamboo baskets. I am just continuing this old practice of mine,” added Singh.
Fit India Movement
Speaking about the recently launched Fit India Movement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh believes that everybody needs to stay fit and healthy. He said that in a small town like Tura, people are complaining about lifestyle diseases which is a matter of great concern.
“During the International Yoga Day this year, we invited people for health checkups and we found out that more than 40 per cent of the adult population is suffering from lifestyle diseases. So I asked them to walk every day as the weather is pleasant out here and I believe, prevention is better than cure. This movement was the need of the hour,” said Singh.
He further said that gyms are not necessary to ensure fitness in our lives in fact, if we bring small changes in our life like walking and running every single day, we can attain fitness.
When asked about what makes Meghalaya different from Himachal Pradesh, Singh said that he loves hills and mountains and considers himself lucky to get posted in a hilly town. “I love tribal people and the hills and it’s a great feeling to be among the people and working for them,” he said.
He is a 2008-batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre and he has been serving as the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills from December 1st, 2017.
He had previously served as the Deputy Commissioner of South West Garo Hills, the director of fisheries, director of higher and technical education, the sub-divisional officer (civil) of Resubelpara in North Garo Hills.
150th year of Tura township
Speaking about the completion of 150th years of Tura township, Singh said that the celebrations will start from October 2nd, 2019 which will culminate with the winter festival in the month of December. He also informed that seminars, cleanliness drives and many other functions are in the agenda list.
Singh said that people had pointed out how Tura used to be cleaner and greener a few years back. So he has decided to highlight the past glory and pristine beauty of the town during the celebrations.
Photo credit: ram.singh.7564