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Living a childhood dream

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As a child, Tarun Kumar Pithode dreamt of being a collector as he wanted to improve the condition of roads around him. After securing the 7th rank in the all India 2008 UPSC exam and rank one in Maharashtra, Pithode began to live his childhood dream and the first halt seems to be Rajgarh

By Mohd Ujaley

Tarun Kumar Pithode has been appointed as the collector of Rajgargh District in Madhya Pradesh.

Pithode is an IAS officer of 2009 batch from Madhya Pradesh cadre. Before this elevation, he was serving as director, Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, famously know as Vyapam, and additionally held the charge of Madhya Pradesh State Wide Area Network project.

Thirty-six-year-old Pithode,  started his career as a software engineer with GE India. Before getting selected to IAS, he worked with Central Railways as an assistant signaling and Telecom engineer for some time.

Pithode belongs to a small place in Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh called Pasaria. He did his schooling from a Kendriya Vidhyalaya and graduation in electronic & communication engineering from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal.

Pithode is an avid reader and prolific writer. His first book ‘I am Possible’, which is based on an inspiring story of a young boy, who hails from the small town aspiring to fulfill his dreams, has been described as a ‘literature to understand the world in a different way’ and gives different glimpses of various social issues prevalent in Indian society such as caste system, religion, child abuse, corruption and poverty.

As a child, Pithode dreamt of being a collector as he wanted to improve the condition of roads around him. After securing the 7th rank in the all India 2008 UPSC exam and rank one in Maharashtra, Pithode began to live his childhood dream and the first halt seems to be Rajgarh.

This posting is quite crucial because of two reasons. One, Rajgarh district has been on the forefront of political activities. Twice ex-CM of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh had represented this constituency. Later on from 1994 to 2004, his brother Lakshman Singh won the election from Rajgarh but he lost when he joined BJP. Presently, Rodmal Nagar of BJP, represents this constituency in Parliament.

Second, the farmers of the district faced heavy drought, leading to some of the debt-ridden farmers committing suicide in the past. In fact, his predecessor, Anand Sharma, was believed to be shunted out for negligence in distributing relief to farmers.

According to media reports, Sharma sparked controversy when a circular released by the collector’s office stated that priests, patels, kotwars and farmers having possession of luxuries like TV and four-wheelers will not be granted drought relief by the government. Later on, state revenue minister Rampal Singh intervened and ordered cancellation of the circular. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also had to clarify that barring income tax payers, all other farmers are eligible for getting drought relief.

So, other than improving the overall development of the district, his immediate priority is likely to be fair distribution of drought relief to the farmers.

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