“When you think back on your life, is it about bank balance? Is it about home and car? Or is it also the fact that I could have an impact or I could do something? People remember what you could do for them, even if it’s a small thing. Even if you give one weaver a livelihood, that is some satisfaction all of us have, and that is my motivation.” – Hari Chandana Dasari
When people are busy singing siren songs of their lives, we still have people who work for others, and one such name is Hari Chandana Dasari. A woman with a cause who is driven by the satisfaction of helping others, Hari Chandana left her highly paid corporate job and joined IAS to help people. An alumnus of the elite London School of Economics, she chose to pursue IAS as a career path because of its far broader public reach than any other. Hence, when she was exploring the opportunity to significantly impact the lives of the people, it was a no-brainer for her to take a shot at becoming an IAS officer.
Hari Chandana Dasari is an Indian Administrative Services Officer from the Telangana cadre from the 2010 batch. She is the daughter of an ex-IAS officer. Her husband works for the Internal Revenue Service and has a four-year-old daughter. She is the current District Magistrate and Collector at Narayanpet, Telangana and has formerly served as GHMC’s Zonal Commissioner (West Zone) and Assistant Commissioner. Hari Chandana is well-known for her work as an officer passionate about environment and a recycling champion, for which she has received numerous awards. People often associate Hari Chandana for bringing about “another Green Revolution” in Hyderabad.
When the local economy was teetering under the weight of the pandemic, Hari Chandana saw an opportunity in the challenge at hand. She engaged the help of 4,000 women to make masks. In just a year’s time, the enterprise made a profit of Rs 50 lakh. This became one of the numerous reasons Hari Chandana got the British Council’s Social Impact Award for her foresight. She was chosen for the honour recognizing her outstanding contribution to positive social change.
Hari Chandana is also a recycling champion – a driving force behind recycling plastic into tiles, that is an exceptional example of waste management and the amalgamation of commercial and public sectors to achieve a shared goal. The majority of her waste management contracts originated from start-ups. Besides these initiatives, she has also implemented numerous pathbreaking schemes with excellent results on the ground such as Pet Parks, She Toilets, She Marts, Feed The Need, Give and Share, etc.
At the same time, Hari Chandana is also a counter-example to those who argue that women can’t balance job and home life. She is a paradigm for female empowerment. She speaks on the importance of family support, that family must comprehend the nature of the work and make necessary adjustments, especially when you have a child to care for and a job that requires attention 24 hours a day. “So if you have good support of family support systems, it becomes easier. But it’s also that you know many women have to learn. I don’t think it is a question of deducting your family time and devoting it to your professional life. It is just a way of life for us”, she says.
Hari Chandana takes pride in IAS training helping her become a better crisis manager and preparing her to hit the ground running. She also gives credit to her training for making her more adaptable to different circumstances where she adds, “because you never know where you’ll be assigned or what case you’ll find yourself in”. She also describes how the nature of service has shifted in recent years. Hari Chandana also takes cognizance of the private sector’s expertise and technological advancements, which have reduced the burden on bureaucrats, making the jobs of corporations and bureaucracy complementary to one another.
Honouring her service to the community and her strong inclination towards betterment of the environment, SpeakIn recently recognized Hari Chandana Dasari’s efforts in the first edition of ‘India’s Distinguished IAS Officers’. She was conferred an award for excellence in ESGs, SDGs and Climate Change.
Watch the full video featuring Hari Chandana Dasari highlighting her career learnings, her personal life and some of her amazing achievements as a Civil Servant: WATCH HERE