DR S Vijayakumar, an IAS officer of the 1993 batch of the Tamil Nadu cadre, has a distinguished record with enviable acumen in public administration. He is known for proficiency in giving shape and structure to government schemes and policies such that they are optimised in accomplishment of their objectives. As the Commissioner, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Dr Vijayakumar was instrumental in conceptualising and initiating efforts to include Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) under the MNREGS. While the MNREGS guidelines indicated providing equal and suitable opportunity for employment of PwDs, its implementation suffered due to factors such as lack of clarity, barriers in attitude, availability of suitable work and services, and so on.
Taking cognisance of the problem and with the conviction that the empowerment of any socially disadvantaged group has to be a cyclic and sustainable process, Dr Vijayakumar, engaging the key stakeholders, initiated a multi-agency approach, leading to the development of the Tamil Nadu Government’s Guidelines for PwDs in MNREGS. The project achieved remarkable success with 1.49 lakh PwDs, constituting 80 per cent of all PwDs and forming nearly 3 per cent of the total workforce under MNREGS, working regularly and achieving social and financial inclusion. This work has been evaluated by known research institutions. In recognition of his contribution, the Rural Development Ministry, Government of India, has fully adopted the TN guidelines, while the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has circulated the initiative to all chief secretaries across the country. His achievements also earned the formal appreciation of the National Advisory Council (NAC).
Dr Vijayakumar is at present posted as the Secretary, Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.
VOL. 9, ISSUE 9 | DEC, 2015