Answer by Manas Ranjan Sahoo:
I don't see being an alumnus of a good college as a big achievement, atleast in India it also has a lot to do with the opportunities one gets.
He did a decent job as the environment minister, but made a lot of pro-industry people unhappy.
But Jairam Ramesh's greatest achievement is his work at the ground level.
He regularly visits the so called Naxalite-Liberated and govt-neglected areas, where you won't see a trace of administration. Even without much support from the state government he has introduced innovative centre-sponsored plans.
I haven't followed many cases apart from the maoist hub near my native place.(A in the map).
Digha village in Saranda jungle, was cut-off from the outside world and government agencies, it was the capital of eastern regional bureau of the Red rebels.
A lot has changed in the past few years in these areas, from roads to basic amenities, livelihood, bicycles. Life is returning to normal. And note that his work is very different from election gimmicks other politicians play. Schemes come and go, very few produce such great results.
And he is very popular with the locals, of-course they have very less options when someone really works for their development.
“Mein chahta hoon, mera antim sanskar Digha mein ho. Main yahan aata rahunga. Marne ke baad mera nam Jairam Ramesh Munda rakh dena (I want my last rites to be done in Digha, I will keep coming here. After my death, call me Jairam Ramesh Munda).”
-[Munda is a common surname in these areas]
"Now that the Maoists have gone and development work has begun in your village, you have another big task to overcome. Giving up consumption of liquor and making your village a dry zone. I have seen women here are working from dawn to dusk while men are whiling away time taking liquor from noon"
“Hartal karo, dharna do, protest karo. Par bandook mat uthao (Resort to agitation, strikes and dharna but don’t pick up the gun). Change will come to Saranda for the better through democratic means. We will ask those with different ideologies to take part in elections”
"During my first visit, the villagers were not even ready to hold talks but this time they have come up with their demand list for toilet in school, panchayat building and electricity. This symbolizes the return of democracy in the region".
I feel happy and proud when I see headlines like:
"Instead of celebrating Republic day in Delhi, Jairam Ramesh made history by unfurling the Republic Day Tricolour in Saranda for the first time since 2000, unabashedly playing to the gallery but also backing his “man of the people” image with livelihood plans in the erstwhile Naxalite hotbed."
References and further reading:
1. Personal experience.