Corruption and US …

India has become a Nation of rule benders, I cannot think of any average person who is not knowingly breaking rules/laws while going about everyday life and we do not seem to care about and we do not face consequences of these actions – this is crux of our problem.

We cannot claim we are clean when we look the other way and bribe someone because we are not ready to stand-up and fight. We cannot be submitting bills that are doctored to get a few thousand rupees of tax exemption and worry about corrupt persons. We cannot be jumping signals, not wear helmet, talk on mobile phone while driving and when caught bribe our way out and still keep shaking our head thinking corruption is pervasive.

We cannot be registering our property for less than its value, buy Jewels with out receipt  i.e indulge in any form of tax avoidance.

I do not in anyway imply what Anna Hazare is doing is not important, we are not having strong enough deterrent in place and hopefully the bill he is talking about will start creating deterrent.  Once we can build a system where wrong doing will get punished in a timely manner things have a chance of improving.

One of the excuses I hear, oh I will change if everyone else is straight (or some variant of this)!! When will we stop indulging friends, relative who break rule of law.  Most worrying aspect for me, we seem to be setting wrong precedents for our next generation (our kids) by showing them breaking rules/law is ok When I was growing-up my parents were drilling into me importance of rule of law and doing it the right way, not sure if I will able to emulate them ?!

Every time we break a rule or law, we are creating an opportunity for corruption to happen, so change starts with us if we want to …   We cannot keep taking the easy way out and still shout from roof top what a pathetic country we live-in

The cynic in me makes me wonder are really people outraged about corruption itself or they envious of the corrupt because of the additional few Zeros we see in the numbers being floated around ? i.e corruption instead of merely being acceptable has reached unimaginable levels.

To summarize – we need to stop  becoming rule/law breakers and we need to create deterrents so that rule/law breaking gets timely punishment and reinforces good behavior


Homeless in Chennai

Whenever I pass thru mostly migrant constructions worker who live in streets of Chennai, I have wondered why cannot we do something about this but I could never come-up something I thought was a practical solution and would always get on with whatever keeps in occupied on any given day.

Then about month back some idea originated and I have been thinking about it more,  I think we can let them live more dignified if we can do the following

  • Basically Dormitory type of accomodation,  with minimal storage in one end (cupboard with lock)
  • These are long halls imaging twin beds stacked against wall on both sides with about 4 foot walking space in between and U shaped of shower curtain that can be drawn out to get some privacy during night.
  • Toilets  and bath and wash area adequate to take care of residents
  • Common community kitchen where breakfast is served and lunch is packed and dinner is also served – these need not be fancy ones but clean & simple food (that is prepared by folks who come from same region as workers)
  • During the day time the same area can be used as school for kids, basically community learning that prepares kid to attend more formal schools latter in their life
  • Government subsidy – PDS portion and employment assistance portion used to assist them and make this place run
  • There should be health assistant available to refer sick folks
  • There can be a micro saving booth that can be manned in the mornings and evening, that can  have simple saving account, accept deposits, do money transfers,  direct deposit of pay etc.
  • These folk live no more than 5-10 kms from their work place
  • There can TV in common place and also adult education for those who desire
  • There can be programs to figure out if these folks can be given more skilled training instead of being construction workers can they trained as pluming / electrical assistants, can women be trained to be tailors etc …
  • This can be thought of as holding place from where these folks can graduate to step higher in economic  ladder

I hope to think about this more and get back with update latter …