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Arunachal: The story of a public relations officer in his own words

Two years has passed in a whisker from the day I Joined as a District Information and Public Relation Officer (DIPRO) after clearing APPSC 2017.

A Year in Longding District of Arunachal PradeshLONGDIN-  ( By Nyatum Doke, DIPRO Longding)   Two years has passed in a whisker from the day I Joined as a District Information and Public Relation Officer (DIPRO) after clearing APPSC 2017. Going back to the day when the results were declared people instead of congratulating, started telling “CO milne se thik tha” (it would have been better if you had got CO), Why didn’t you choose DySP etc. Some people even asked “what exactly is DIPRO” what is the role of A DIPRO- I had same questions in the mind. Also, once someone asked me are you satisfied in the Job or giving the exam again; to that I Jokingly replied- “two months back I was ready to even become a peon- now I am a group A officer- do you think there is any reason for me not to be happy?’

After a month of haphazard induction training, I was posted to Longding a place where the Post of DIPRO is not yet sanction and therefore devoid of manpower. I joined, and found that there was No office, No Quarter – no manpower. To my great rescue the then in charge DC Taga Ekke, EAC helped me out. I curved out a chamber from one big unused room (now the VC room)- got it painted & carpeted- it took nearly a month: Till then, I would move from chamber to chamber- while my room was getting ready.

Also Read-  Year in Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh

Then, I was trying to understand the role of a DIPRO – I observed that some people have a misconception that the role of DIPRO, “is very easy” “aapka job toh itangar se beth ke bhi hojaega (your job can be done sitting in Itanagar as well) trust me, as I have understood now, it is not that Simple. If someone thinks so, then he has misunderstood the Job profile. It may not be the toughest job but, sometimes you are the driver, the photographer & videographer  then the reporter- then you are the graphic designer, video editor- all in all. After official meetings when everyone rests, our Job starts- because we need to write and send the report by 8PM. Adding to it you don’t have the luxury to sleep in meetings as you can’t miss points.

The Job of a DIPRO apart from being the voice, ears and eyes of the District Administration -as far as I have understood has no set boundary and it’s a deadly combination of being an Officer and an accredited Journalist. If one is enthusiastic enough, he/she can write and evaluate different schemes and issues. However, for efficient performance we need efficient manpower and updated and state of the art technology and Systems- which we lack. I know, I am too naïve and two years though not short, but also not long enough to make me an expert.

As the two years elapsed things are getting better and then I have had the opportunity of being a CO, ARCS, Legal Metrology officer, District Tourism officer, DACO, Labour and Employment officer etc. What I have realized in these two years of my service is that whatever position or department one is posted in- one can definitely bring positive changes.

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Also Read- “NO JAL in NAL” – The Water Woes in Longding

When I say Change- what is change for me? Change for me is not about bringing big change, but the efforts that I made should make the smile of the people who visits me or interacts with me a little brighter. Ultimately, everything we do should lead to public service and public good.

I sometimes tell my colleague and juniors that public never visit us to scold or to fight- but to get some help from us- I have always seen them coming with reverence and respect- so our duty should be to smile back, positively respond and help them. As an officer there is no dichotomy or a watertight compartmentalization of providing public services.

As an officer I am not concern about my promotion as many keeps telling me, my concern is about trying to help people in whatever way possible; my family sometimes mock me by saying “open an NGO’’ for social service- but I believe that’s what I am here for- to serve. Sometimes I am told that “I should stick to my job role”- to that I reply anything that is not restricted by the law books or Service rules can be done by anybody- if at all it is benefiting the society and not impugning on one’s job role.

Also Read- Realizing the Dream of New Arunachal Pradesh

The greatest gift of being an officer is not the luxurious chamber or the facilities or the power that one wields. For me, the greatest gift is the platform that one gets as an officer; because people respect our views, the voice of an officer is valued by the public. So, using this platform an officer we can definitely bring little but important changes. However, things are sounds easy but it’s difficult.

For all those who are aspiring to be an officer, my suggestion will be that you should groom yourself for the place you wish to be in. Also, just clearing the exam and becoming and officer will not make all your problems disappear- infact new challenges will emerge. Therefore, we should never forget our roots, stay grounded, learn to be compassionate and we should inculcate the habit of walking the extra mile to bring smile to someone’s face.

Lastly, coming back to role of a DIPRO: in this age of information it has huge role to play- in terms of dissemination of information and in terms of fighting misinformation and disinformation. However, there is a need to revamp the system of working, the attitude with which most of the govt department runs “managing somehow (kaam chalao jese tese)” needs to be shed- proper planning and training, deputing efficient manpower at the district level to help the DIPRO would go a long way in bringing the incredible work and voice of our Govt to the people in more speedy and eloquent manner.

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