Stories of Uttar Pradesh -1

The Central Government is spending too much on useless public welfare programs. A lot of money is being just spent on the paper and is getting siphoned off to the pockets of those who run the system - government servants. They get their salary, they get bonuses, they get arrears, and the most important thing, they eat and live on bribe and loot of public money. I have been to the villages and seen how the money is being wasted under different central and state run public welfare programs. The money actually doesn't reach to the person who is entitled to get it. If the government does not ensure transparency and accountability in use of public money, the country is never going to progress with the crutches of free-food, free-education, free-healthcare, free-MDM etc. India must follow Mr. Sen's ideas but with a caution - here is the proverb that show the way if we want to become a real power - Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.

If you visit villages in Uttar Pradesh, you will find relics of wastage of pubic money everywhere right from the Panchayat Bhavan and Barat Ghar to Health Sub Centres and Gram Sachivalaya. These buildings are of no use. Nobody lives or uses these buildings. The government is spending lacs of rupees on such projects. The quality of these buildings is so low that they look like 50 years old house in only their first year of construction. The plaster of the walls come off very easily. The brick used in these buildings is of very poor quality locally known as peela (because of its yellow colour). I don't know who were the architects and where did they belong to. However, I know they must not have enough knowledge of the settings in the village. The windows need a glass to fill the space in window. The glass is so brittle that even a small child can easily break it. Therefore, you must not be surprised if you see these buildings window panes with no glasses. Most of the buildings get clearance with bribes given to senior officials despite the fact that buildings are never made according to the norms. Norms only remain norms and never trun in to a reality. These buildings are often constructed in a little away from the main settlement and have no paved way to reach there. In monsoon season, nobody can reach there because of water stagnation. These buildings are sometimes used villagers in many ways. In some cases I found that people have filled the rooms with straw, villagers have kept their cattle in the rooms while in others, people use them for open defecation in monsoon season. Many health centers look like as if they are hundreds of years old while the reality is that they are just 5 years old. 

The problem with government spending is that it does not reach the bottom where it actually should. Our great bureaucracy is rotten and we need to clean up the mess. We need to change the way money is sent to the people. We need to ensure the transparency in financial transactions and accountability of public servants.