Coinciding with the birthday of ‘People’s IAS Officer’ -- S R Sankaran, on October 22, a book titled ‘Marginalisation, Development and Resistance: Essays in Tribute to SR Sankaran’ Volume-1 was released by CH Hanumantha Rao, former member, Planning and Finance Commission at the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Rajendranagar here on Tuesday.
The issues discussed in the book include Sankaran’s legacy, social environment of the poor, role of state in poverty alleviation, inequality and exclusion in Indian society, and empowerment of Dalits, among other issues. The retired IAS officer, who is known for working for the betterment of marginalised communities’ lives, passed away on October 7, 2010.
On the occasion, academicians, former bureaucrats and people from other walks of life discussed their experiences of working with Sankaran both at personal and professional fronts.
Speaking about Sankaran’s contribution to betterment of lives of rural areas, Hanumantha Rao said that under his leadership, high level of investments were allotted to rural development by the ministry of rural development and land was allotted to landless for income generation.
The book was edited by KB Saxena and Professor Haragopal. Sharing his views about the book, Haragopal hoped that it will bring forth policy questions about Dalit’s development to the centrestage. ‘’By reading the book, young IAS officers will get sensitised to issues and concerns of Dalits and girijans,’’ Haragopal said.
People present at the book release said that the book is more about concerns of Sankaran like betterment of lives of marginalised communities and not about him as a person. Narasimha Reddy, Professor, S R Sankaran Chair said that the interesting thing about the book is that it speaks about how high growth and low employment in a society like ours would lead to blocking of social mobility which will further lead to discontentment which might be difficult to handle after a point of time.
Mallepalli Laxmaiah, founder, Centre for Dalit Studies said that a lot of people worked for poor and tribals, but Sankaran worked particularly for Dalits.