Friday, January 30, 2009

Crusade against Corruption

God, How I wish I did not have a family, a company to work for and free to go with my anger against the system that is meaningless? This is exactly my thought every time I come across a corrupted social environment. Few things that keep a citizen in me anger, restless and frustrated. Every time I see the story of a corporate downfall, the entrepreneur in me is getting wild with wisdom.
Issues that bother us as part of Young Indians:
Corruption, Corruption, Corruption: The whole country is infected with a deadly virus called corruption. Right from the time, we stand in the queue for getting a child's birth certificate, a legal marriage certificate, a driving license, a corporation approval, a license to start a business, a ration card, a electoral card, a passport, a community certificate till finally getting a death certificate and a legal heir certificate in this country, every thing and anything will only happen if you pay that extra "gift" .
This shook me hard when I went to the doctor who declared my dad dead when I was 15. He said, pay me Rs.300 and I will issue you a certificate that your dad was brought dead. What? Did I not pay him his consultation fee when my dad was actually been alive in his last stages. Why should he give a wrong statement and why should I pay him to certify something that he declared. The next wave of embarrassment was when I went to my dad's own office- a government institute called State Excise. His own colleagues charged me Rs 500 to move his papers to process for the last payments that we were eligible to receive. Death certificate was another drama, asking useless and unrelated questions all because I refused to pay Rs 200 to the peon in the Tahsildar office in the town. It took us another 3 months to obtain a legal heir certificate after almost paying another Rs 1000 some 16 years ago. That was the beginning of my anger against corruption and the so called government institutions
Hiring, Transfer, Suspension, Retirement: For getting a job in a government sector, every post has a rate. Irrespective of your qualification and capability, there is something else which is a deciding factor in this country. "Under bench capacity" . I have seen a hindi pandit paying 1.5 lakhs and joining as a watchman in a municipal office. What the heck is happening in my country? My friend, a qualified Principal of a small school in a village travels nearly 4 hours a day from her town to this village and having an infant, when approached the education director, was asked to pay to nearly 2 lakhs for getting the Permanent transfer to her hometown. Her school teacher jobs pays her Rs 3500 a month.
Just because a district collector's brother in law wants a posting in the city, a strict and sincere police office gets booked under a false case himself and is thrown out on suspension. The worst came to my experience when my mom got retired. She served Municipal corporate for almost all her life, nearly 32 years working endless for the same organization. End of the journey, she had to run from pillar to post for nearly 6 months, for her own office to authenticate her service register, and finally she went ahead to go and satisfy her colleagues with her "gift" with out my knowledge, at least to be sure that she would get her pension shortly. She finally managed to get it, after her "well wishers" in the pension pay office found a friend in her. The bonus she got is a form for insurance that retired government servants are privileged to get but mostly unaware. I am annoyed.
Education, health care, insurance - nothing spared:
We have seen hundreds of movies where the most deserving candidate do not get admission to the right college, or the right department, because someone else could manage to make the payment under "Management Quota" . A rate fixed for every educational seat. How will the poor educational institutions manage to survive without capitation fees???!!! How much they spent to pay for acquiring required approvals to run the institutes? Where will they go to recover their costs? Ok, I have not got my education paying a capitation fee and I am determined not to let my child pay anything for getting her education as well. If she gets in merit, she will do professional courses, or else she has life skills to survive, music, fashion designing or anything else, that really don't need this corruption monster to dance upon.
Health care- God bless India. Hospitals are not spared from corruption. It was a Diwali night, and I was driving down near St. Mount, when I saw a man behind hit by another car. The bike rider was lying bleeding and half dead. I managed to call 1066 and plead for help. I was shocked to note that the caller was curious to know if I was his relative, for one reason, he had to be sure that the hospital expenses will be paid. Next he want to be sure that there is no legal obligations unattended. I understand his concerns. But at the same time, there is a life which is at stake and its the moral responsibility of the Ambulance to rush in.
Insurance - I always wonder if it is this sector as a whole that is corrupted or the intermediaries in the name of agents. The man is dead. His family is grieving. He had paid all his insurance premiums on time. His kids are in school. His wife is helpless and the whole family looks upon the agent to help. All for another cost of Rs 10000, for the insurance agent to use his influence in the company to get the claim processed quickly. But why? Why is this happening.
This is a continuous post and there seems to be no end. Can go on and on, describing cases and examples.
What we should aim at is to bring in a portal to citizens of this country to post various instances of corruption, and with proofs where ever possible, and run a strict and rapid campaign to curtail this menace in our society. Unless and until, rapid action is taken as one against AIDS or Polio, this country will be crippled from growth and dead from development sooner than later..

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