Monday, November 26, 2012

The Story of Sonu, Leh

this is a small case study i could make from the recent tour of Ladakh
its the story of Sonu, a 15 yr old Bihari boy, whom i came across just like scores of other Bihari labour working on Border roads. only that i met this individual in our guest house mess, and could chat up some details, which i found interesting ...




Native Place-Ghoda ghat, Gaya, Bihar

Presently- working as a server in one of the mess, Leh

Family- Father, Mother, Sister

why he came here- the story is as folows.


Sonu's father who was working at Kolkata suffered an injury in leg and was bed ridden. his medical expenses and lack of any other source of income pushed the family to poverty. So as the sole male member of the family apart from his father, Sonu had to step in.


here at Leh, he gets rs4000/month, all of which he sends home as he's fed in the mess. i asked, what if he falls ill. he said , he goes to the nearby army hospital but has2 pay for his medicines, money for which his superviser lends and cuts from the salary.


About education, he says he never has had the opportunity, but confides that his sister goes to school. quite understandable as according to him he has already worked in a hotel in Manali, with Tibetans at Dharmashala and at a farm at Lahaul Spiti ( where he was only paid rs 500/month!!, + child labor)


i asked him if they were landless...they should be having some land. he was shy while saying that he didnt know the exact term with which they measure in proper Hindi..he said they had 12 'Bhiga' land near Gaya. i asked them why didnt they cultivate..he said with a shy smile ' paani bhi to hona chahiye na saab'... i was not ready to accept that the area around Gaya should be scanty in water, and being aware of the 'water-politics' prevalent in villages, i probed further... i was right, Sonu told me that the Dabangs in village were blocking the water upstream.. he said the Rajputs in the village demanded money in return for water and a share in the crop as well. sometimes they asked for a part of land for them to cultivate...which obviously didnt go back to the debt ridden farmer but in turn the farmer was compelled to pledge his remaining farm too...this way, the Dabangs had aggregated a large parcels of land.. usury was in vogue, and poor farmers were easy meat for land sharks.

Sonu beamed while saying this, obviously proud of being knowledgeable in this isuue and that they were able to withhold in he face of pressure against any such practice. 


i asked him, why didnt they complain to the authorities.. he smiled and said what will happen with that..he said his village didnt have a proper road connecting to the main road and it was still not electrified, so even if they wanted to go for complaining, it was difficult n costly. he said , there is no one who listens to them hence they dont go..previously there used to be a 'good' officer called Mandal. i asked him if it was a Tehsildar or an SDM.. he said it was a police officer. it was surprising! i asked him why didnt they go 2 the Tehsildar or SDM.. he was sarcastic when he said 'woh sab hamari kaha sunte hai sahab'.


i asked him about, Jan sunvai...a designated day wherein u get2 meet any officer directly with ur problems... Sonu was unaware of any such thing.


i asked him about NREGS...why didnt they go to work there.. he was dismissive at this..he just questioned 'payment'? i was left 2 imagine the possible deductions out that one word... either

1. it was erratic

2. too late

3. not easy to get

4. far less when compared to what he earns now, and not guaranteed.


i asked him from where else workers usually came..he replied from all over, 'Ladakh,Bihar, Kolkata'...'and UP?' i asked, he said 'yes, and Punjab also'..i asked 'MP?', and he said yes! he said two of his colleagues in the next block were from MP..but didnt know where exactly they were from...or why exactly they landed here


our conversation ended here...


i was left thinking regarding the several factors that can land an individual into poverty in our country, robbing him of his basic amenities...

-Medical expenses

-Village politics


-Lack of governmental sensitivity

-failure of grievance redressal

-over exposure of Govt machinery to the elite and under exposure to the downtrodden.

-downright insensitivity on our part 2wards our countrymen...not only as officers, but also fellow countrymen..


it is said great edifices are built upon many sacrifices...ofcourse, it has to be...nation building is a veritable thing and each one of us should give sacrifices, be it in terms of civil liberties or building border roads..

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Service Delivery-Lok Seva Guarantee Adhiniyam for most means having to go from one table to another and finally getting frustrated havng lost valuable time and money. all of us have faced it some or the other time. apart from the usual complain of corruption and insensitiveness towards the cause of the applicant, there are also certain intricacies of the system which add to the trouble...or say make space for other 'factors' to co...
me in. in the ongoing process of streamlining the system, the agenda has been to route out these intricacies wherever possible. the fav punchline being "reduce interface between functionaries and public, improve the service delivery mechanism, go for automation wherever discretion isnt required". Two important systems among a host of others developed in MP are Public Services Guarantee Act and the procedure of JanSunvayi.
MP last week celebrated the first anniversary of Madhya Pradesh Public Service Guarantee Act,2010.
hwz it imp? to put it simply, Musaddi lal in the quoted episode of 'Office Office' neednt run from pillar to post for a simple thng like birth certificate. once applied in the designed proforma and list of docu, there is a time limit within which the office has to deliver, or else there is a penalty clause. this was already implemented by means of Citizen service centres, wherein for a processing fee, the person got the req certificate within a timeframe. now the Act seeks to give it a legal framework. ofcourse therez scope for improvement, but it has been a strong beginning. right now 9 depts and 21 services have been included...more coming soon...that means, half the 'Office Office' serial episode issues will be covered in this:)

On Korean Movies

After "Welcome to Dongmagkol" ,"Dangerous meeting(the Korean parents)","3 Iron" and "The Indian Summer"- "Yeopgijeogin geunyeo(My Sassy Girl)" is the 5th Korean movie am watching....and boy the Korean movies are growing on me. the sheer subtleness and sensitivity with which human emotions and innocence are captured in these movies astound me. the values are such too that any Middle class, sensible Indian would relate to. AM OFFICIALLY A DIE HARD FAN OF KOREAN MOVIES...and strongly suggest all my friends to watch the above movies..(ie in absolute calm, without any disturbance)

A normal Day @ the office of an SDM

A normal Day @ office- People showing 40/50K annual income 2 get their wards studyng in Mussoorie Boarding OBC certificates (sans creamy layer)...Businessmen with daily turnover in thousands applying for BPL cards.. versatile actors who bring tears in ur eyes for a non-existent issue.. so called leaders who champion 'peoplez' cause if they arent obliged by the 'party'..suave personalities who nvr ...
thnk twice b4 fleecing the poorest out of his last penny... so called anti corruption crusader who wastes ur 30mins bragging about his exploits without bothering that a poor man outside has travelled 40kms spending half of his day's income for that 5mins with u, which he thnks will bring him justice.. Thatz India vs Bharat for you...n thats where 'India' against Corruption becomes a suspect..
this is the story the nation has been seeing since ages...n the naked exhibition of the same tests ur love for this land which is plagued with Hypocracies.. but yet u, hold on...belief still intact...for that poor old man waiting outside with faith on you.. itz time his better off countrymen reposed the same faith in him, rather than resorting to gimmicks on camera n media..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Satyamev Jayate

listened to Amir talking about solutions regarding certain problems bogging us as a nation...

Community centric approach was one of them...he gave examples of a village deciding as one, as to what to sow for the season...

couldnt agree...maybe he was being diplomatic..

clearly smells of lack of knowledge with respect to how things work at grassroots. all this talk of community decision making looks romantic from the top, but when you watch it on field, its entirely different. no system is capable by itself to sustain efficiently till the players dont adher to the game rules..

Panchayati Raj system delves exactly on the same was thought it would decentralise the decision making devolving powers to the grass roots , where the villagers will have greater say in what their village deserves.. beautiful idea... only that people do everythng else to not to allow it to function in the manner it has to..

unlike in the past, every village today has a ruling group and an opposition...the reason why PR was introduced, overall development of the village in real time-is hardly looked into. its the wrestle for power and the resultant mudslinging that replaces it.
 in the past it was easier for an officer to direct any development in a particular place on reciept of demand. now for the same, you have to go through so many decision making levels and cater to the ego's of so many parties involved that even for a simple job, lot of time and energy is wasted, which could have been put to use for a better result..
 people get so busy in undoing anything done by the other, that they miss the point, as to why they are their....and as it seems, they hardly care...yes, pariotism in us is more of a textbook term or a jingoistic indulgence...but when it comes to putting it to practice, by different means, say doing your part for common good or plain simple even following rules laid out...hardly anyone bothers..

so no amount of new enactments are goin to help, but developing a bit of honesty would definitely do....

Dear Amir.. your serial has been simply outstanding with respect to the issues it has raised till now, and the courage with which it questions our hypocrisy as a society... continue doing it...only you could have done it so effectively..

but on this one, i beg to disagree....i think you got2 stick to your earlier approach...questioning hypocrisy..coz, thats what ails us.....if everybody behaves half as responsible as they are expected, India would be a heaven..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Thought process from Facebook

waah re des mere..
is this the India people fought for n r fighting for? i am a proud Indian, but if these are the kind of countrymen i have who have no sense what it is like to be civilised, then i choose 2 b without nationality..
what a shameful way to begin new year with..even worse, it cmes 4m the capital..4m so called educated people, so called youth power of the nation..

Friday, February 10, 2012

The thought process from Facebook page

2 the 'anti corruption' Candle Brigade

"..while on one hand, there was the Govt,politicians,middlemen,bureaucrats& power brokers on the other were the people. victims of the rot in the system. i set out to look at our role here, conscious that we too were to blame.The manner in which many of us interacted and colluded with system ensured that it continued to function in its indifferent,corrupt fashion.what were any of us doing to resolve the problems?what indeed was I doing to right matters, I asked myself."

Capt.Gopinath, Simply Fly,a deccan odyssey