SELDOM do we come across public representatives at local government level fulfilling their pre-election pledges and still less do we find them being re-elected for another term of office. Mr. Osman Gani Talukdar has achieved both. He has been re-elected as Chairman, Louhajang upazila parishad in Munshiganj. Mr. Talukdar is widely respected for his commitment to giving back to the people rather than taking benefits which, as chairman, he is officially entitled to. He has forsaken his monthly salary and refrained from taking other benefits like the fuel and maintenance allowance for his vehicle.
Being a businessman, he has actually used his own resources to give back to the community that put him in office. Whereas we are used to seeing his compatriots utilise all the services and powers of office to serve and advance personal interests, this chairman stands out by introducing stipends to deserving students in the district and donating in millions to a medical institution in the upazila that serves public health.
Public representatives have much to learn from Mr. Talukdar. He is head and shoulder above most of his peers who vie for the coveted position which brings power and access to development funds for the area. But how many actually go out of their way to do public good? Rather, local elections have turned into a race to riches for most and the public are left to pick up the pieces that result from bad governance.