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COVID-19 Testing Times - 2

 Laudable is Government of India’s swift announcement of Rs 1.7 Lakh crore package for providing free food and cash transfers to the poor citizens affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

This contrasts with the dilly dallying in the U.S.A – wealthiest nation and supposedly also most dynamic. The cost of such delays is- human lives.
Plugging Leakages
“ Only 15% of money reaches the intended beneficiary ”- coming from mouth of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to drought stricken Kalahandi, Orissa in 1985 should be a warning to those in administration. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reminded the opposition of this 15% leakage now and then. Now he has to demonstrate how his administration is different. 
Need of the citizens has to be ensured as lives are at stake.
Even if we suppose that corruption has reduced by 50 % since Mr Rajiv Gandhi shared this information with the nation, we are talking of possibility of Rs 72,000 Crores going to unintended people!
Leakages in the system must be plugged and guilty officials warned of swift, serious action.
Eliminate Discrimination
In Tamil Nadu, it was reported that dominant castes even prevented and delayed distribution of relief material to the Dalits during 2015 floods.  In one particular village-Alamelumangapuram, the dominant castes even resisted setting up of a medical camp by the district administration , eventually leading to its cancellation. One week long inquiry by Intellectual Circle for Dalit Actions (ICDA) came to this conclusion.
Discrimination in the name of political party in power / local caste dominance needs to be eliminated while implementing relief work.
Lessons from U.S.A
One hears of government support (read taxpayer’s money) every now and then from the industrialists. Mr Vijay Mallya had requested loans at concessional rate on pretext of saving jobs of employees of Kingfisher Airlines. Many others too have done similar acts.
Mr Allan Mulally, Mr Robert Nardelli, Mr Richard Wagoner were C.E.O’s of Ford, Chrysler and GM. All three corporations were staring at “running out of cash” situation. They were seeking support for a $25 billion loan package in 2008 from the U.S Government for bailout . They made promises of trimming and streamlining of their operations.
Irony was that all three of them had flown to Washington to plead their case before Congress in private luxury jets instead of availing commercial flights. Lawmakers likened this incident to “going to soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo”.
Taxpayer’s money should go to the needy and not the greedy.
Coming Together
U.N’s Security Council is yet to meet to discuss the issue of COVID-19 Pandemic. President Donald Trump is insisting on moving a resolution that would say that the virus originated in China. A meaningless situation of confrontation is shaping up.

Leaders need to pool in resources to save mankind.

More By  :  Navin Chandra Mishra

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