Himachal Pradesh Governor, Acharya Devvrat carries on with the same values, discipline and agenda at the top constitutional post, makes a difference on ground with little-little positive steps over last eight months.
Shimla: The journey from Gurukul, Kurukshetra to Raj Bhawan, Himachal Pradesh has made no difference to Acharya Devvrat (57). His appointment as Governor of the hill state in August last year came as an unexpected development for him, but it neither changed his lifestyle, nor the agenda. He became the Principal of Gurukul at the age of 21 years and carries on with the same values, discipline and simplicity at the top constitutional post in the state. “I am as free to pursue my agenda for society as I was in Gurukul. The only thing is that the new role has changed my limits to function. That’s okay,” Acharya Devvrat shares with Daily Post in an exclusive interview. As an outgoing and positive Governor, Devvrat may have stirred the political feelings in some quarters in Himachal with his pro-active approach, but he has impressed the common man with his vocal concern to find solutions to social issues like drug abuse, female foeticide and social harmony.
The Raj Bhawan too has seemingly got a new outlook under his direction. To begin with, he has introduced work culture in Raj Bhawan by having even the bio-metric system in place for the first time to bring general discipline. “I believe in doing continuous work and I travel a lot. The employees in Raj Bhawan have given me good support,” he says with a smile. The ‘malis’ (gardeners) in the Raj Bhawan seemingly perform with enthusiasm now as no other Himachal Governor must have taken such a keen interest in their work earlier. The lawns are now maintained lush green through the year and lots of flowers bloom in the flower beds even in the off season now. The kitchen garden, which was almost abandoned over the years, is revived with lots of vegetables growing in it, that the Governor personally monitors on daily basis. The vegetables growing in the kitchen garden, with purely organic base, fulfils the needs of his kitchen to some extent. “Just see, few months back, some people advised to cut these trees. The same trees are now bearing flowers with little care and maintenance,” Devvrat says, as he points to some apple trees in the garden.
Devvrat, who gets up at 4 am in the morning has his daily routine extending from a walk, yoga, some exercise in the Gym, reading, ‘hawan’ and a visit to the cow shed alongside Raj Bhawan. He smiles away the question on the objections raised by some people on the construction of Yagya Shala in the Raj Bhawan complex. He sounds touchy as he reveals, “When I came here, I saw that the cow was being tied in a tight space in the shed whole day long. That was wrong. I told the staff to clean the animal every day and it is now taken to the lawns outside, tied to a long rope, so that it can enjoy freedom.” “See the results. The cow has started giving more milk now. It depends how you keep animal,” he hastens to add. Cows in relation to organic farming is his favorite subject as he relates the animal to zero budget natural farming and talks of his experiences in Gurukul. A shrewd administrator, Devvrat smiles away the question of objections by a local party to the construction of a Yagya Shala in the complex. “We have utilised the space to create a positive aura.” Devvrat’s little-little steps have made a difference in costs in the Raj Bhawan. His instruction to switch on lamps in the huge building only at times of need has saved electricity bills to the tune of Rs 3.5 lakh over the last eight months. He even asked the staff to discontinue the use of central heating system to overcome winter chill, as he found it a wasteful expenditure. “ Acharya Devvrat is totally different. He is very well connected to the basic of life. He is strict, but humble in approach. He is an honest worker,” sums up PS Rana, an old time official in the Raj Bhawan, who has worked with more than the governors so far.
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