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Compassion towards the weaker section of society

GS Paper 4


Various initiatives taken by Civil Servants

Once, APJ Abdul Kalam interacted with Shri Venkatesham Burra (IAS) who was the collector of Medak District in Andra Pradesh which is now in Telangana. Kalam asked Burra about the biggest challenge he faced in his service and how did he find a solution to it. Burra replied that the biggest challenge he faced while serving in his district was extreme deprivation.

The solutions suggested by him

Shri Venkatesham Burra made an attempt to solve this problem by motivating communities and by involving NGOs.

  1. Self-Help Group:Active participation by self-help groups led to the launch of a programme known as Aasarathat aimed at providing at least two meals a day to needy people.


  1. NGOs and district administration:A joint cooperation between the Medak district administration and NGOs gave birth to a programme called Ashraya. The objective behind this was to provide a life of dignity for the mentally challenged people who are homeless.


The weaker section includes the poor, beggars, orphans, senior citizens, persons with disabilities etc. Such compassion means understanding and empathizing with the sufferings of the marginalized section of society. Moreover, it is needed for citizen-friendly and pro-people administration for delivering social justice. Burra’s replies and his examples of Aasara and Ashraya sprang from one important quality of a civil servant- compassion towards the weaker section.


Practice Question:

How the values of tolerance and compassion is important for a Civil Servant? 10M