Millennium Post

Socially motivated budgeting

Socially motivated budgeting
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation's new budget has, at last, lent priority to some of the most vexing needs of society today. Circumscribing its priority areas to health, education and non-motorised vehicles, the NDMC budget is attempting to attend to the primary woes of the citizens of the national capital. Grabbing headlines across most days, Delhi's abysmal pollution levels and the absence of an effective mechanism to battle the same has been the most plaguing aspect. The NDMC has made valiant efforts to undo this catastrophe by pitching for the need for non-motorised vehicles. Cycles and sharing bikes have come up as an alternative, though their efficacy and ultimate ability to cater to the complexity is yet to be tested on the ground. Bicycles are a most common mode of transport across the biggest metropolitans in the world. London, New York, and Hong Kong all witness a proliferation of cyclists with the government also providing the facility for renting the same across crowded public areas—such as large parks or for commute till the metro station. To improve its overall public transport facility, which basks only in the glory of the efficient yet expensive metro, the bus services in Delhi are scheduled for a revamp. Smart Bus Queue Shelters have been proposed across 20 locations which would display real-time bus information while providing the basic facilities of wi-fi and mobile charging. Aside from public transport and its corollary impact upon the environment, the other most important aspect that could benefit from NDMC's budget would be education, particularly girls' education. There has been a proposal to convert five schools in Lodhi Road to world-class schools, renamed as Navyug Girls' International School. There has also been the talk of propelling sports among girls', especially those sports that have been traditionally reserved for men—such as football. The schools are scheduled to be equipped with 10 multi-purpose playing fields. The most laudable initiative perhaps has been the idea to install sanitary napkin vending machines across secondary and senior secondary NDMC schools. This step would not only assist women but also spread general awareness about menstruation and its parallel requisite hygiene. Menstrual hygiene is a cause that demands direct attention—one that awarded Manushi Chhillar the Miss World crown and is a theme that is also being converted into a film by Akshay Kumar. NDMC's emphasis on installing sanitary vending machines is an integral step to empower the cause of menstrual hygiene that is often neglected in India owing to a strange taboo that is associated with it. Overall, NDMC's budget while attending to critical areas of environment, health and education still leaves unanswered the problem of air pollution, over industrialisation and the government's inability to tackle the same.
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