By Bhavneet Singh
Heading in to 2016, the people of Telangana are confused because they have no clue if the year that rushed by was a good year for them, or a disaster.
Maybe the reason the current year felt so uneventful was because there was a lot went down in the region since the inception of the Telangana moment way back in 2009.
Although this year might not have seen Osmania University burn down dramatically, or a pink resurgence in elections, there is plenty that the government of the 29th state of the country did.
Here’s a look at Telangana’s highlights of this year.
Getting people connected
Being the youngest state in the country, the government of Telangana realized that it needed to behave like the youngest one too. And to do so, Telangana became the first state government to provide free wifi for its citizens in various parts of the city. And to people’s relief the wifi wasn’t being provided in association with BSNL – a company widely known for its extraordinary internet speeds. The tie up instead was with a company that has been spamming our television screen with a woman who keeps saying 4G but that ends up sounding like she’s saying soldier in Hindi (fauji) – Airtel.
Securing the internet
Realising that providing internet is just the first step to making Telangana a hi-tech state, the government came up with the most unique way of adding a cyber security course of select Engineering colleges in the city. Tied directly with NASSCOMM, this initiative will help the state provide skilled engineers for the over 5 lakh job openings in the cyber security field. By doing so, Telangana is not only giving engineering placements a new dimension but also becoming the first state to recognize the values of cybernetics and cyber security.
Combining education and innovation
As ‘IIPM’-ish that line sounds, the government of Telangana did make huge strides in the field of education with IIT-H getting a new campus this year. But we’re not just celebrating the campus, we’re celebrating the Centre for Healthcare Entrepreneurship that was inaugurated recently in the IIT. The motive of this place is to take innovative ideas for the field of healthcare from the students and test it out until they come up with durable and affordable medical cures for rural India. The first project is already en route and the team is working on making ultra sound more affordable for India’s financially lowest rungs.
A show of unity
The division of the two Telugu-speaking states was anything but a peaceful and cordial affair. Buses were burnt, jobs were lost and many valuable days were wasted owing to bandhs – something the school kids hoped would become a regular feature. However that wasn’t to be, neither was the hatred. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao recently made a very bold statement by joining his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu during a prayer meeting conducted for one of the various things being constructed in the new capital. Though the scars of the bifurcation came nowhere close disappearing, the meeting did ease of the tension between the people of the two states.
A roof for all
In a dramatic yet much awaited move, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya pulled some strings to help the Telangana government get a central sanction of over Rs 600 crore under the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (urban). This means that over 45,000 houses will be constructed in 19 cities and help the state edge closer to its dream of providing everyone a shelter. Of these, over 29,000 of these houses will be constructed within Hyderabad itself.
A celebration of being
The dust had settled and Telangana had completed one year of existing as a state. A festive atmosphere engulfed the state and the government left no stone unturned to make the occasion special. A week-long celebration was held in the capital with various places being illuminated and cultural activities taking place across the city. This was followed by a colourful parade at the parade grounds where the national flag was unfurled on June 2.
Withstanding an epidemic of sorts
The Septembers of 2015 saw the new state hit by a swine flu epidemic that ended up claiming over 1000 lives in the state. Although 1,000 is no small number, the damage could have been far worse if not for the quick action taken by the authorities. Going all out to put an end to the epidemic, the government tied up with various private hospitals and pushed into force its AAYUSH teams too. The state’s grit was put under the scanner for the first time since its formation and together it pulled up to over come what could have been a very bad situation.
A drink to celebrate it all
In what comes as a good news to party-goers of the city, the Telangana government is on the verge of extending the deadlines of bars from 11 pm to 12 am. Although an hour’s increase means nothing to the normal folk, to the ones who like to have a good time, this is the perfect way to head in to the new year – happy with a drink to celebrate it.
So here it is, cheers Hyderabad and cheers 2016!