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Our People already forgot what an honest man looks like



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No matter how good a system in paper, when almost everybody is corrupt and the
rest indifferent, there is hardly anything that can be done to cure that kind
of society. This kind of society is bound to punish those who dare to be
different, honest, and those who hazard trying to anything without actually
falling down to the level of what our people are used to, the corrupt,
bribe-taking/bribe-giving kind who cares little about people and society at
large. 

A case in point. A charity, run by dedicated yet not so rich, but caring and
yes, honest NRIs, runs a school for handicapped children and a hospital in
India. It is not hard to picture the difficult times this rare organization is
going through financially and otherwise, getting little support from powers
that be, cuz nobody can expect to get a dime in bribe from this organization.


I am told of a recent incident that led to the school first writing a proposal
to seek central government assistance (as there seems to be a program in
central government that offers infrastructural and logistic assistance to
schools for handicapped children), and then deciding to unilaterally withdraw
the proposal sensing a web of bribe seekers in the system from top to bottom,
who wanted their share of bribe before moving the proposal upward. 

The founder president of the Charity organization in the USA was told by his
school that such a proposal was drafted and sent to the government for
approval. Upon hearing that the district office was seeking Rs. 5000 before
they would move the paper upwards to the state headquarters, he asked them not
to pay a dime no matter what. Somehow, after waiting for months on this
proposal, a local supporter paid Rs. 2000 to the district office (without
prior knowledge of the Charity) and had the papers moved to the state hq. Now
it was the turn of state hq to ask for 20% of the total assistance asked, a
sum of some three lakh rupees as bribe before sending the papers upwards to
the central government agency. At this point the Charity founder stepped in
and blocked all talks of bribe giving and spoke to his personal contacts in
central government bureaucracy. One of his friends in Central Government was
able to finally convince the concerned state government officials (yes the IAS
ppl talking to IAS) to make an exception and not to ask for bribe in such a
good cause. The paperwork was completed promptly and sent to the central
agency. This friend of the charity founder assured the Charity that until
another four years (that's how long he had before retiring) there was no need
for "oiling" the system and their organization could approach him for help. 

However, after going through this frustrating and sad experience of our system
where honesty and charity did not evoke even the basic sense of care and
helpfulness among educated bureaucrats for the school run to help weakest of
the weak, the handicapped & poor thildren of their own society, the Charity
founder volutarily decided to turn down any government assistance even if it
came without bribing someone, because this kind of assistance always carried a
fear of interference of corrupt bureaucrats in running the school. 

This incident was narrated to me first hand. 

It is the people who need to change before talking about a system change. 

Umesh Tiwari

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