The ‘Public Grievance Cell’ being contemplated by the Goa Government is a step in the right direction. It must however be a robust mechanism and not a cosmetic exercise.
With its headquarters at the Secretariat at Porvorim, a representative of this Public Grievance Cell should be available at every Taluka, possibly in the office of the Deputy Collector. This cell must be also accessible to the public telephonically and by email to those in need of assistance on the problems faced by them.
The Public Grievance Cell should be broad based in its objective in resolving issues and not requiring aggrieved persons to come on the streets and agitate. The current struggle by the terminated Anganwadi staff and also workers of the Institute of Psychiatry & Human Behaviour (IPHB) are examples where issues could be resolved with a humane and proactive approach.
This much needed Cell will achieve its goal if it functions positively and with the right initiative in reaching out to the people to try and expeditiously redress their problems. It would also be a source of solace to Goans outside Goa in solving issues they may be grappling with here. While it should be the endeavour to reach out to the people with a very helpful approach, solving the grievances of the poor and elderly in particular must definitely be a priority.
The proper and effective functioning of the Public Grievances Cell would not need citizens to knock the doors of the Courts for even their pension benefits and other miscellaneous issues.