Showing posts with label Government Apathy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government Apathy. Show all posts

Saturday, September 01, 2012

No nation for handicaps [245/365]

We, Indians, will never learn a lesson even if it hits us in the face and spits in our finger bowls.
Case in point- Public apathy at the Special Olympics, London.

Wait! I thought the Olympics was over! Sure, and so is corruption.
While most of the civilized world treats its citizens, able bodied and otherwise, with fearful respect and enough opportunities, closer home our 'handicapped' are lucky if they get a PCO and a job in the diversity quota.

I read an article in the British tabloids of how officials of the Paralympic Commitee of India (PCI) have gifted themselves and their families an 'all expenses paid trip' across our motherland (London, for the uninitiated) while our special bodied sportspeople are left to rot or die trying at the stadiums. Well, if it is any consolation, they must be used to the public apathy that they get back home too.

While the six medalists from our Summer Olympics are still getting used to the fame and fattened cheques, it would take our paralympic contingent nothing short of a miracle to get a medal. While I won't blame the athletes for the dry run, this only proves how deep the rot is.

Clearly, this is no nation for the Special People in our lives.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Money for nothing... [39/365]

Recently when I wrote about how most Indians would give a limb and a spine for a government job, I had also mentioned how the cushy hikes, revisions and bribes always besides the free accommodation and perks for the rest of their life meant a charmed life.(Get the dope here)
Well, a cousin of mine who hopped government jobs like it was going out of style felt indignant that I implied he was living a luxurious life getting paid for almost no work. Truth be told, yes he was quite stable financially because of the choices of PSUs that he chose to work in. But it is also true that there are lakhs of government employees who have not been paid for many months/years.

While India has been splurging on trillion dollar defense deals, we have lakhs of government and PSU employees not getting paid their due salary. I can barely imagine how families can survive without salaries for as long as they have been. Reportedly, many of our PSUs have not paid their employees (aka Slaves) for over a year. Shocking!
Now, it's not because we don't have the money or because we are still called a 'developing/third world' country. But because much of the money that a honest tax payer contributes disappears into a labyrinth of bureaucracy and corruption.

Do we really need a nuclear submarine and 200 warplanes? Why do we need better weapons? Has any of the people we've killing complaining about the kind of missile that hit them?
Must we really send a man to the moon at the incredible cost of a thousand crore? Don't we have enough people to take care of here on earth?
How about the billions that flow down the drain during the great democratic juggernaut called Elections?

It is difficult to fathom how a nation with the kind of wealth and resources like India could still struggle to pay itself.
We may not have a capitalist economy but we certainly follow it as a religion.


Friday, February 03, 2012

The blindside of life [33/365]

Do we forgive enough?
Is our love unselfish?
It is incredible how many people will say No to these questions.

Twelve years ago, I made a phone call that led to one of the most profound relationships that I've had.

Soon after the call ended, we got acquainted and since the booth was inside a prominent bus station which I visited often, our bonds grew. 'Aunty' was a middle aged lady who lost her eyesight due to a botched eye surgery shortly after her fifth grade. The doctor 'accidentally' snipped off the nerves to her eyes. Unmarried she was pretty much by herself all her life. I'd later learn that various welfare schemes by the government enabled her to earn her living by candle making, basket weaving and now the phone booth.

As able bodied people, we have many limitations. We are embarrassed and phobic about a lot of things. We would not approach strangers to strike a conversation, yet would spent hours talking over the phone. We would feel embarrassed to give a good compliment or to return an innocuous smile, yet we expect others to be kind and friendly towards us. We feel insignificant in the midst of certain people, yet we want to be the bigger person amongst people we meet. We would rarely try a new profession / craft / hobby without first worrying and being anxious about what the society would say/think about us, yet when we encourage our children to stand out of the crowd. We are insecure and insufficient even when we have much. We give little, yet take much. We are prejudiced against caste, creed, ethnicity and language.

But 'Aunty' blinded by callous surgeons did not curse God for all the curve balls that life has dealt her. She is perhaps one of those individuals whose faith in God has only become stronger. A testimony to how God allows people to go through certain situations so that He is glorified. God has been her guardian, and her strength and even when it appeared that she could be homeless, He worked through the most unlikeliest samaritans. Even when the unscrupulous business people demolished her phone booth, all she did was pray. She didn't indulge in self pity or malicious campaign. As with all things divine, a local corporator soon build her a better and bigger phone booth.

Looking at the lives of those are different from us either by accident or by birth, I begin to believe that no matter successful you think you are, you are only as good as your prayer life.
Our sensory laden lives makes us forget how fortunate we are to see what we see, hear what we hear and speak what we want.

While most people often look for the bright side of every situation, would that make sense to the differently abled unless we decided to share our lives with them?
Hoo Ha!


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