It happened yesterday in Chikmagalur District which is my 'Incharge' District. From 10 00 am to 1 00 pm, we had the review of Chikmagalur City Municipal Council. Then after lunch, inspected few places and then chaired a meeting to review the civil works progress at Datta Peeta. After the meeting, as I came down from the Deputy Commissioner's office, one of my friends brought before me a visually completely impaired person aged about 35-40 years. He was Chandrappa a villager from Tarikere Taluk. His Disability Pension has been stopped from July this year. He depends solely on this small amount of money.(Rs 1000/-per month) His many visits to the Village Accountant has not helped. Latest development was when one person approached this hapless man asking him to pay Rs 500/- to the village accountant as the necessary 'favor' to get the pension which is actually his right. Chandrappa has become desperate. This poor man somehow managed to reach DC's office at Chikmagalur and incidentally came to my knowledge.
After hearing his sordid situation, I necessarily became furious. But instead of asking the DC to look into the case in the usual manner, I decided to take the matter myself. I made him to sit in my official car. I had a programme at Tarikere. I took this new victim friend of mine to Tarikere. On the way I came to know about his family and made him even to sing a song too. He sang a beautiful prayer song on Ganesha. But his Vighna had not been resolved yet.
I had sent words to the local Tahsildar to make the delinquent Village Accountant to be present at my destination. Once I reached Tarikere circuit house, I exchanged pleasantries with our local MLA friend Sri DS Suresh and other persons. After my informal Interaction with my press friends I came out and that VA was brought before me. He was a young officer with a very long innings in this Govt service lying before him. As I had planned I asked the blind man to offer Rs 500/- (given by one of my friends earlier) to the village accountant in front of more than one hundred on lookers and the team of Taluk Officers and the local MLA. Words are not sufficient to explain the situation in the Circuit House then. Everyone was stunned. The village accountant stood crestfallen. I just asked the VA, what if he himself was to be that blind man in that hopeless situation. After some initial blah-blah excuses, the village accountant fell silent. Then I turned towards the concerned Assistant Commissioner and Tahsildar (incidentally both were lady officers) to see that Chandrappa gets pension immediately and this should serve all those responsible in this social welfare schemes a lesson. Then the on lookers came and said that this is the best lesson one could teach to these heart less officers who make the people hapless.
It is another matter that the Village Accountant will face necessary action and the disabled man will be sanctioned his pension immediately. But if I had lost my cool and had done some unpleasant act against that errant officer in my lost temper what would have been the immediate result. The whole story would have become a negative story by the next hour and the real human angle would have gone missing. Obviously Anna (yes, i meanAnna Hazare) has obviously not reached these merciless though young officers. The sight of the blind man and his bitter state of helplessness do not touch the chords even to the minimum extent.
It may appear as a solitary solution to a stray incident. One may ask, what as a person in authority I am doing to cleanse the entire system. That question is very relevant and my answer is that I shall continuously send this message wherever I go and or I am in charge that these inhuman attitudes will not be tolerated. Yes for me Corruption more than anything else is 'Inhuman' pure and simple.