Meet the govt clerk from Kerala who defied polio to stand up against corruption in his village
Angadipuram is a small village in Malappuram district of Kerala. The Panchayat office in this village, supposedly the largest Gram Panchayat in the district, employs a clerk who is well known for being extremely friendly with the people who visit the office. He has a knack for seeking feedback for his work, and even asks visitors for ratings after the meetings.
Forty-two-year-old Abdul Saleem Palliyalthody, who has been working with the Panchayat for almost three years now, never hesitates to be open and enthusiastic about his passion for public service. His table has a notice sheet which says he opposes bribery and corruption and also mentions his salary, which he has been updating ever since he started the job.
This sheet, which is written in Malayalam, reads
The government pays me Rs 811 a day (Rs 24,340 a month) to serve you. If you are not happy with my service, please tell me about it.
The Panchayat has a strength of 17 people and he ensures no visitor leaves the office without having a chat with him. He even volunteers for various tasks which aren't a part of his job description, like solving problems with documentation and certificates.
Speaking with The Hindu, he said,
Service is the essence of any government job. People coming to us for different things should not return empty-handed. They should return satisfied.
Saleem has a disability of 40 percent polio but he never lets it get in the way of his work. He never turns away anyone who asks for his assistance. His superintendent at work, IP Peethambaran, says that his ideal approach ensures people are always aware of their rights.
As per our reports,
Barely two decades ago, India held more than half of the world’s polio cases. As of date, India has reached a major landmark by not reporting any new case of polio for nearly four years. In March last year, India was declared a polio-free nation. Through a people’s movement, with over 23 lakh volunteers who travelled across the length and breath of the country to vaccinate children, India was able to pull off one of the greatest public health coups in human history.