Kathmandu: When Baburam Bhattarai established Hello Sarkar in November, 2011 as a platform for the people to register their complaints against lack of service delivery or the incidents of injustices including the complaints against the government authorities and bureaucracy, he had received a lot of accolades from the public.
This was probably the first of its kind mechanism in Nepal where the people could call in the toll-free number and register their complaints. It was also expected to become the platform for the government to address people’s concerns right away.
In other words, this was the platform that could establish a link between the people and the government.
Over the years, Hello Sarkar has not become functioning enough. Experts say such a mechanism must be made functioning again at a time when the people have more grievances against the government and frustrations against the political parties which lead the government.
Hello Sarkar has already been an evidence that such a mechanism is very helpful for the general public to express their complaints, said Pradyumna Prasad Upadhyay, joint secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Minister (OPMCM) who was once the in-charge of Hello Sarkar. “The mechanism brings the government and service recipients closer,” he said.
Taranath Dahal, a right to information activist, has a similar view. He says that a platform like Hello Sarkar can help bridge the gap between the government and the public. “The public can complain about malpractices, corruption and their issues to the government without fear,” he said. “If the public concerns are genuinely heeded by the government and if they are addressed as genuinely, it will promote good governance, reduce corruption, and also bring the bureaucracy under monitoring.”
According to him, Hello Sarkar could become a platform to ensure accountability to the people if it is wisely operated.
Like any government in its initial term, the new government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has also promised to work as per the people’s expectations through efficient service delivery and by becoming accountable to the people. Revitalizing Hello Sarkar could be the right direction toward this goal, if it is made fully functional and day-to-day concerns of the people are promptly addressed through this mechanism.