Making Lamka, the best place in the world
Making Lamka, the best place in the world? What a joke? Ha, a perfect dream for those who are suffering from hallucination! But it is indeed, an excellent slogan for those who would like attract and fool people for their invested interests.
The above is the most likely reaction of many people of Lamka area, particularly those who are well familiar with its present state. Even those who consider themselves wise, knowledgeable and visionary may have the same reaction. It indeed looks quite stupid, looking on the shallow, surface level, to have an objective or aim like this especially if you have a realistic mindset. Realistic mindset is, however, tactical in nature and not necessarily visionary for the future. The mindset looks at the realities of the present and explores ways and means to maneuver for personal immediate gains. But if one has to look at the future possibilities for self and the larger communities, the vision has to be enlarged and set much beyond the present realities. It has to focus on the future possibilities, no matter how hard the upward journey may be. One has to get oneself inspired and others as well. After all, what is the value of life at the personal, community or national level if one does not have a vision or ideal to live with and to live for? Ultimately, great societies, countries of the past and the present live and strive for ideals, values and visions that they would like to attain in their lifetime or their descendants.
You would see the present condition of Lamka becoming worse and worse every passing day. The traffic condition is worsening everyday with increased vehicular traffic and human commuters. The garbage accumulations and blockage of rainwaters is becoming more and more frequent. The local news is increasingly interspersed with all kinds of heinous crimes. The trees and greeneries are disappearing and replaced by the dust and storms. Let the windy month of March arrive. You could see the whirlpool of dusty storm enveloping the town and the surrounding areas. You would encounter more people suffering from throat and other respiratory diseases. Under these circumstances, how is Lamka going to become the best place in the world, when there are so many world-famous cities and beautiful places around? In fact, it is because of this very deteriorating wretched condition of Lamka that the very idea of ‘Making Lamka the best place’ has been born. When you hit the rock bottom of a ditch, there is no other way but to climb upwards and survive.
I am not here to defend the Aim and Objective of Vision Lamka. But having been a part of the original team who came up with this idea and being currently made the Chairman by the esteemed members of the society, allow me to elaborate little more. There are many ways to set an objective or aim for an organization. In fact, there is a tendency to set the objective too easy to achieve, so much so that after it has been achieved, the organization loses its relevance and become defunct. The other extreme is where the objective is too difficult and in the course of its journey, the members may find fault with one another and the organization loses its direction leading to its natural or unnatural disbandment. Being fully aware of these possible falls, the members suggested that the society must choose and formulate an aim and objective which would be relevant for all times to come, be it 100, 500 or even 1000 years later, for the people and the land. Accordingly, it was of consensus view that the society aim to make Lamka ‘The best place in the world’. In this way, the aim and objective of society is nothing but a visioned destination of a Journey for the people of Lamka and not an immediate goal.
The question then is: How does an aim or an objective become a journey? It’s a journey because the objective is not to be or could be achieved by the present generation alone. It has to go on from generation to generation. Do you know that citites are not built in a day or in a year as John Heywood, an English playwright says: ‘Rome was not built in a day’? This basically means that great things cannot be built easily but takes time. Therefore, to make Lamka the best place in the world is a journey wherein the present generation, the next generation and the generations to come shall all continue to contribute to making it the best place in the world. Each generation shall make the pioneering journey laying the foundation of the bricks, the stones, the gravels etc. in their own time, on which the subsequent generations shall continue building on, along the journey.
Having understood the true meaning and objective of Vision Lamka, let us ponder and put our heads together now on what could be done and achieved by our generation. To make Lamka be the best place in the world, the roads, the lanes and by-lanes have to be broader having separate passages for vehicles, on foot commuters etc. with sufficient space. They have to have proper drainage systems. The roads and streets are to be dotted with proper street lighting system and greeneries in the form of planted and well nurtured trees. There should be treatment plant for sewage liquid wastes and robust collection and disposal system of solid wastes. The potable water supply should be adequate and efficient to supply water to each and every household and at public utility places. The residential and public buildings must be scientifically well-designed from safety and artistic point of a view on the basis of proper building codes in place. The city should be dotted with parks and gardens either of public and residential ones. There should be natural parks, picnics spots, holiday homes in the vicinity of the city. There can be more open public places for relaxation and public discourses of different varieties. The institutions either of educational, professional or of public health system must be of world-class with effective and forward-looking research orientation. The economic system should be efficient and robust, effectively linking the rural economies of its surrounding areas with distant national and global markets. The public transport system of local and external connectivity must be safe and efficient enabling the local people to visit any part of the world without any infrastructural hurdles and enabling peoples from other parts of the world to visit and stay in the place. There should be overall public cleanliness in the urban settlement areas. The people are endowed with unique healthy cultural traits to the admiration of other peoples of the world.
Let’s further analyze what could be done by you and me and what should be done by the public/Govt agencies: The share of the responsibilities is shown in the scale of 0-10.
SL No. Items/Issues Citizens Govt/Public agencies Remarks
1 Broader roads/lanes/bye lanes 8 2 10 On public desire and consciousness only, the Govt will help out
2 Drainage System 2 8 10
3 Proper Lighting System 2 8 10
4 Trees and plants 7 3 10
5 Treatment of Liquid Wastes 4 6 10 Only on public demand and pressure, the Govt will do this…
6 Collection, disposal of solid wastes 5 5 10
7 Adequate portable Water Supply 2 8 10
8 Scientific design of residential and public buildings with building codes 4 6 10
9 Public Parks and gardens 5 5 10 Only strong public demand will get this created
10 Natural Parks/picnic spots/holiday homes 3 7 10 Public need to put pressure for this
11 Open public spaces 5 5 10 Only strong public demand will compel the Govt etc
12 Progressive educational and other institutions 7 3 10
13 Robust economic system linking back to back 6 4 10 The public should initiate this and Govt will only be facilitator
14 Better connectivity with the outside world 3 7 10
15 Unique healthy urban culture 9 1 10 This has to be evolved and created by the public
16 Public Cleanliness/Sanitation in the city and its periphery 8 2 10 The public should make strict consciousness and Govt role be only facilitator.
17 Total 80 80 160
Thus, you would see that you and I have nothing less than 50% of the responsibilities in making Lamka the best place in the world. If you allow part of your plot for broader roads, lanes or by-lanes, you are contributing in making Lamka the best place in the world. If you convince another person to do so, you are helping Lamka to be the best place in the world. Similarly, if you practice personal, family and public cleanliness, you are making Lamka the best place in the world. If you convince another person to do so, you are helping it to become the Lamka best place. There is no end to the list. Similarly, if you help your children and grandchildren to do in the same manner, you are doing the yeoman service to your children, grandchildren and those children who are yet to be born. Therefore, the endless journey of a thousand years for Lamka must begin now; and you and I are starting it. Come on. Let’s not look left or right. Let’s look forward and start the journey for the sake of our future generations.