30 July 2008

Encouraging corruption

Encouraging Corruption

The other day I had taken my son to the MVI office for his learner’s driving license for two and four wheelers. After a long time I had the privilege of going there as I had no such occasion in last twenty years to do so.
That office reminded me of an interesting story about a colleague of mine who before retirement wanted to get a permanent driving license for his car. He was as thin as a pencil because he had an intestinal bypass for some reason and food was not getting absorbed for which he remained thin till he retired from job. He was a surgeon by profession.
We encouraged him to get one permanent one as he had been using the “L” license for twenty long years. He was a man of principle so he went to MVI office and filled up the requisite form and deposited the required fees. The head clerk asked him to come on next Friday which he did.

The driving test was in the form of taking the MVI officer from his office to his resident during lunch break. The big boss said ok and advised the doctor to meet one Mr. Sahu, the issuing officer after five days.
Like a disciplined solder he came and met Mr. Sahu.
He was asked to wait as the MVI had not come to the office. After long three hours wait, he went to Mr. Sahu and asked ‘why such a delay,’ our doctor friend had other important work to do before his final settlement with SAIL (steel authority of India).
He was told that the boss is busy for the traffic control for the Puja festival and he is with Superintendent of police and Collector and may not come back to office.
He called him out side and told “doctor”, why are you wasting your time? Pay me Rs: 50(this was in 1988) and things will be done in next twenty four hours.
Our disciplined doctor was furious and told the clerk “you are asking for bribe?”
‘No’, came the reply, I am just trying to help you that’s it’
“No way said the doctor”
He was asked to come after another four days.
When he came sharp at ten he was shocked to see the office closed. It was a state holiday.
Lastly he met the MVI officer and told him that his staff was asking for bribe. The MVI officer pretended to be furious, called the head clerk and warned him regarding the complaint. Then asked him to hand over the driving license to the doctor, to that Mr.Sahu told “sir” his file is spoilt and he has to apply for a new one as it got socked in the rain water.
This way the doctor went on coming to the motor vehicle inspector’s office (MVI) but was refused the license with some plea or other.
He got fed up and approached the SP as the last hope. Police chief told him “doctor you have earned so much why can’t you part with Rs: 50? You know he has to get his daughter married next month?”
Lastly he did not pay and retired with a “L” license hanging from his neck. We do not know how many of us can do that. He is still there and cycling and keeping fit at the age of 82 years.

Here the scenario at Bhubaneswar MVI office is quite different. If you have money, then there are nice people to do the unthinkable job for you? My son asked me “father- why to read MBBS or engineering and do MD or MBA, when one can earn so much every month sitting here under the pipal tree, plus they too get lots of respect from public!!”
I was astonished to hear his arguments which was like this “ each vender earns around three hundred rupees from a client and if he has minimum ten per day it comes to straight twenty-six days multiply by three hundred , plus other activities, coolly he has around seventy to eighty non taxable per month!! And we are encouraging it?”
He continued in the same breath “Whether ‘he’ bribes the clerk or MVI or some body else is immaterial for us but come next Friday the driving license is in my pocket. Then how many people I injure or kill is none of their headache, it’s the headache of public and police. No control over the issuance of driving license, how funny.”
We asked a nice fellow ( dalal) ‘if we try to go in the proper channel how long it will take?’
“May be a month or more or you may not get it at all” came the prompt reply.
This was my son’s first lesion on “encouraging corruptions.”
The next was during his admission after his plus two and joint entrance results were out. He had secured good marks but he had a low ranking due to reservation policy, out side state candidates, NRI quota, female candidates, Physically handicapped etc.
Here again we were asked to pay rupees fifteen lacs , if we want an admission in any subject of our son’s choice.
When we asked why donation? That’s the rule of the game called bribing. If you follow Gandhi giri you have to wait. But if you pay- the seat is reserved for your son or else people with more to donate are in the line.
My son said “dad, I will better run a taxi, but will not allow you to pay that amount for me.”
I told him ‘a taxi driver has to bribe the traffic people from sun rise to sun set, son there is no escape’
We did not pay the donation in that college and he is doing very well in general line.
Next one is when I took my mother for treatment at TMH at Mumbai for her breast cancer.
For one week we did not get any appointment with the oncologist. I was fed up with the rush and the queue there. One gentleman told me to meet the head clerk who gives appointment for the consultant, after five pm, when he is on his way home.He wears a dirty loose kurta but a starched white dhoti , an old style umbrella and a black half torn bag.
So I could recognize him and did exactly that and he told me to come sharp at 8 am next day, after the five hundred rupee note fast disappeared in his kurta pocket.
There was no waiting, this time, my mother was the first patient to be examined and was advised by the cancer specialist to take her back home and treat as per the schedule in any near by hospital and come after six months. My mother did not live long enough but I the cost of medicines made a big hole in my pocket.
The third area where we encourage maximum corruption is land registration and real estate business.
Now you know why the independent body puts India at the fifth or tenth slot on the top of corrupt countries in the world?
We are to blame our self, we are encouraging corruption, be it inside parliament, medical college, MVI office, Land registration office, judiciary, police station, railway and education institutes every where, it has gone in to our system. As we are all corrupt so also our leaders.
The next generation has learned the trick very fast. Honesty and sincerity are things of past, only to be found in Ramayana and Gita recitals.
Where is the end? I do not know!! Unless the youth of the country fights against this which I am afraid it’s not going to come for another decade, it’s going to be legalized corruption every where.
But one thing is sure now corruption is legalized in Indian society, you accept it or perish, choice is your.

The author is the president of ‘corrupt society of India’, Bhubaneswar branch.
You can send Rs: 500 for a book on “how to survive in corrupt India”. This special offers of 25% less is for you, helping corruption in India.


01 July 2008

Preventive Medicine

A preventive Guidelines

(Health File)
Dr.S.K.Satpathy,MD.FCCP,MB,Ex.Jt.Director ,SAIL,Rourkela.Orissa
If you ask me which are the most neglected organ in our body?
The answer will be the liver, sole of the foot and the eyes.

We will start with liver:
Liver is a huge organ weighing around 1.5 kg in a normal adult. Unless it is grossly damaged it can function with out any problems. From morning till evening what ever we eat has to pass through the liver, be it alcohol, or cold drinks, or colored items or bacteria and virus. It has tremendous capacity to take a load and regenerate. In recent years the load to liver has increased in the form of junk food, alcohol, adulterated food stuffs, contaminated food, and virus infection due to sexual activities and drug addictions. Once liver gets damaged then it is very difficult to repair by the body.
So children it’s your liver you have to protect it no one else. Be careful about Hepatitis ‘B’ and ‘C’ virus both are transmitted through sex and drugs taken through contaminated needles.

Sole of the foot: Imagine an athlete has to run in the finals of an Olympic event but he has a corn in little finger. All his four years efforts are gone. Many of us never look at our sole of the foot, for that reason many diabetic patients lose a finger or a foot. You must make a habit of keeping your feet clean, crake free and soft. If your socks are dirty, or you have a ill fitting shoes then you are inviting problems. Clean your socks and hanky daily (do not ask you maid or mammy to do it for you)and check the shoe before you wear it, there may be a small stone or pin inside which will injure your foot. Remember we depend on our feet to stand on the ground, drive a bike, or cycle or car. So from tomorrow on wards your face and your feet should get priorities in cleaning and care.

Eyes: When I was a student out of hundred students in school one or two used glasses in class for reading purpose. In colleges the percentage wise it was around 3 to 4%.In medical college it was around 6 to 8%. Now I feel so depressed to see four year old nursery school children wearing glasses!! Why so? Was it that the previous generation was not reading? Yes there was no TV no computers no mobiles no computer games .When I asked the ophthalmologist why this sudden deterioration of eyes in children? In spite of going in to the root cause they say it’s because of technical advancement that we are able to diagnose early eye problems.The problem lies with some thing else not with the children. Doctors do not like to talk about preventive measures but they are more interested for treatment so that their business florist. The main reason for the eye problem in children are--1,viewing TV from a short distance2.Improper light arrangements in room3.watching TV from a lying down position4.In dark rooms5.Improper height of TV6.Toomuch computer games on small screens.7.less of green vegetables.8.Hardly looking at natural things ie: trees ,flowers, grass, or any green natural objects.9.Reading books with improper lighting arrangements(students do not use reading lamps now a day, they are out dated.)10. Eyes are not getting proper care and nutrition.

Every parent want to have a child who is physically fit with good eye sight. Losing your contact lenses at crucial hour is a horrifying experience so children please take care of your self specially these three what I have enumerated in this heath care programme.