With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak throwing normal life in disarray, more so than usual, citizens are often found expectedly lost or confused in a sea of government orders and circulars monitoring their every action.
In the face of these odds, it is only natural that citizens of a democratic society will look up to their elected political leaders for guidance, and so they did; except, only a few politicos went out of their way to help their citizenry, according to a recent survey.
The survey by GovernEye Systems, a Delhi-based citizen engagement platform, has revealed the names of the top Members of Parliament (MPs), who extended uncompromising help to their constituents in making sense of life amid the pandemic-necessitated lockdown.
Several veteran leaders like Congress' Rahul Gandhi, Trinamool Congress (TMC)'s Mahua Moitra, and Shiv Sena's Hemant Tukaram Godse feature in the list of the "most helpful MPs during the lockdown", but it was topped by Anil Firojiya, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain.
According to the GovernEye Systems survey, here are the names of the Top 10 leaders who extended the maximum assistance to their constituents during the COVID-19-necessitated lockdown this year:
1. Anil Firojiya (BJP MP from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh)
2. Adala Prabhakara Reddy (YSRCP MP from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh)
3. Rahul Gandhi (Congress MP from Wayanad in Kerala)
4. Mahua Moitra (TMC MP from Krishnanagar in West Bengal)
5. LS Tejasvi Surya (BJP MP from Bangalore South in Karnataka)
6. Hemant Tukaram Godse (Shiv Sena MP from Nashik in Maharashtra)
7. Sukhbir Singh Badal (SAD MP from Ferozpur in Punjab)
8. Shankar Lalwani (BJP MP from Indore in Madhya Pradesh)
9. Dr T Sumathy (a) Thamizhachi Thangapandian (DMK MP from Chennai South in Tamil Nadu)
10. Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Union Minister and BJP MP from Nagpur in Maharashtra)
According to a statement by GovernEye, the survey was launched on October 1 and one of the primary steps was to shortlist 25 Lok Sabha MPs on the basis of nominations received in their favour.
Following the shortlisting process, field interviews were conducted and the Top 10 list was curated based on the feedback from the constiuencies of the respective Parliamentarians.
The statement by the Delhi-based citizen engagement platform added that a total of 33,82,560 valid nominations were received for 512 Lok Sabha MPs between October 1 and 15.
Speaking about the results, Manjunath Keri, Senior Project Lead of the survey team said, "The results don't reveal the stories of courage and selflessness of these MPs that our teams heard during their conversations with people across various constituencies. For all the negative publicity our elected representatives get, we don't hear the stories of how some MPs and their teams risked their personal safety to serve their constituency."
Over the next several weeks, GovernEye will seek brief interview sessions with all the MPs listed above to learn from them how India can be better prepared to face a similar crisis in the future.