Dal Divas Potluck - There was rice, bread, papad, achaar and then there were dhals..a great variety of dhal from different parts of India. All dhals were carefully cooked with...
Monday, 23 May 2011
Corruption - Root of all Evil
During my growing up days, getting admission in colleges was easy. We neither involved our parents in our admission formalities nor in selecting a college for us. The only criterion that was important was high percentage or a wee bit of friendly influence. I don’t remember paying anything extra than just fees which was affordable. Some of my friends were undecided in choosing their career and would hop from one college to another over the period of four years and after graduation, would choose a completely different line. Some were successful in life and some not, but none of them had wasted millions of rupees during their fickle-minded career hip-hops.
Things have changed. More people are educated now and most of them are sure (well, almost) what they wish to do. They have career guidance centers that help them choose the right track. The only problem (now-a-days) is that they need their parents’ help to escort them because unless the parents don’t co-operate to bribe the college faculty for their admission to a good college, they are not likely to pursue the studies of their interest. Corruption is deep rooted in our world today and those who cannot fight, join in.
I met one such parent who had a story to tell.
Sunita is the single parent, a widow, who is a mother to a bright twenty-two year old youth. Yesterday, she proudly showed me her new blackberry that her son had gifted her from his first salary. There were tears in her eyes, tears of joy, happy that she has an earning son. She recalls the day, two years ago, when she had tears of different shade. Those were the tears of fear and stress. She was so stressed out during those days that she would visit every temple, which were known to perform miracle. She prayed to Gods to help her fulfill the dreams that she and her husband had nourished for many years. She wanted some miracle to happen to save her from paying the bribe of seventeen lakhs that the management was asking for granting a seat in their prestigious college.
She was seeking admission for her son for MBA at management institute in Mumbai that boasts 'of professionally managed, multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted oasis of knowledge'. This institute with a mission to redefine the system of education believes that the most profound learning that they can give to their students outside the textbooks is the importance of value, the strength of upright character and an ability to make difference that can set them apart.
Before meeting the student, an interview with their parents is a ‘must’
Sunita, along with group of other parents, waited in queue for an interview with the director of the institute. When her turn arrived, she was asked to deposit her purse and her mobile outside the room. (Were they afraid that she might record the conversation?) She entered a posh room and sat opposite him, admiring the expensive rings on his eight fingers. This gentleman had good taste and to afford that kind of luxury one needs to earn an attractive salary.
“I am a single mom, can you reduce the amount by few lakhs, maybe fifteen?” she pleaded, “Seventeen lakhs is lots of money and I cannot afford that kind of donation.”
“I am sorry” he replied , "We cannot reduce it. We don’t even reduce it for those people who say that they are over-burdened with 3 daughters and that they need to save money for their marriage, nopes, we don’t bargain at all. It is the same amount for everyone.”
Unabled to speak more words, she sat quietly, staring at the blank wall with tears glistening in her eyes. The director moved uncomfortably in his chair, changing his posture..
“However, there is a solution.” He said, “We will be conducting formal interviews for admission next month; all the students who have applied in our college will be called for an interview, if your son excels in that interview successfully then maybe, he will be spared.”
The interview was held for 2500 students and only 60 students were selected from merit list. She was lucky that her son was selected on merit.
“Miracle, this was pure miracle, I just couldn’t believe it” she says “I had gone all the way to Navi Mumbai to one particular temple to pray, actually I went to many more. I am sure God listened to my prayers. I used to emotionally blackmail God to help me fulfill my promise to my hubby”
After finishing two years, her son has a job now and is earning twenty-five thousand a month. She had paid only five lakhs for the course, plus the transport and the food which might take another two years for him to cover the cost of his education.
Yes! He might make his mark in the corporate world (as was promised by the institution's capability to deliver professional education that meets the highest standards of professionalism worldwide).
BUT.....What about those students who did not make it to the list of lucky 60?
Those who were forced to pay the bribe of seventeen lakhs plus five more lakhs as tuition fees plus the expenses of text books, transport and food? What about those desperate ones who borrowed money to fill those greedy bellies of prestigious institutes? How many more years will it take them to earn back that amount?
The foundation of their education was corruption and we should not be surprised if they will fight back with more corruption.
There is no end. me thinks OR Is there?
I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...