MeraNews Network, Surat: District collector Dr. Dhaval Patel has decided that this Diwali he won’t be accepting gift articles and sweets, but only books. He’s following it so strictly, that several big shots from the city who visited his office to convey their festive greetings had to return feeling somewhat ashamed as they had come carrying rich gifts and boxes of sweets.

It is a common practice in the administrative circles where businessmen, realtors, etc would pay courtesy visits to the collector during Diwali with costly gifts and sweets in order to be in his/her good books and maintain a healthy relationship for their businesses. The range of the gifts differs according to the size of the work they need to get it approved from the collector. Bigger work contracts mean costlier gifts. But this collector raised an issue with the practice.

In a notice stuck outside the office of the Surat district collector, the message couldn’t be any clearer. It read, “Greetings on the occasion of Diwali and New Year. Your wishes are valuable to me. Do not devalue it by bringing in sweets and gifts. Let's begin a new practice by gifting books to those, whom you love.”

The collector accepted gifts of books given to him by those who visited him but turned away the ones who brought costly gift articles and sweets for him. Every big shot businessman, realtor and other well-known personalities who didn’t follow the instructions while dropping by the office to meet Dr. Patel had to return red-faced.

I am an avid reader from a long time. These sweets and gifts would lie around, but books would give me knowledge, and thus I decided to take this step, says Dr. Patel regarding his new move to avoid gifts and sweets.

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