Situation:– Kripaya Tebul mathi nabisi dinu hola” (Please do not sit on the table)– “Hamro 4 crore ko beruji ke bhayo? , 4 crore ma nai chha ki 1 crore bhayo”– “Sir, malai ta dherai nai pressure aayo, 15 jana ko sato 18-19 jana lai nai pathau nu parchha jasto chha…. 1-2 lakh ma mantralaya bata milai dinchhun”
Perception: These are what I had to hear and see when I had to go to Singh Durbar for collecting certain information regarding “climate change and adaptation” for a workshop. For a student who is studying “good governance” and how to better the situation in our country, these sights and sounds really shocked me as well as showed me the clear picture of reality. For me, who is, just stepping into the real world, every step is giving me shock literally. Things that were taught in good governance were fresh in my mind as we were preparing for our exam and luckily our teacher was also too good, young and vibrant really shaking us up with his assignments and reading materials. Corruption, the whole governance concept, effectiveness and efficiency, responsiveness etc… and all these things I could see inside the offices inside the Ministries of our country, the topmost administration of our country. There were help desks in ministries.
We visited I guess 4-5 ministries unfortunately; there was no one at the help desk to help us, to help visitors. So we can imagine how effective and efficient our service is. Luckily one ministry, Ministry of Health had. As there are many ministries and offices inside the Singh durbar, for someone who is visiting a ministry, it was so pathetic to see the map that was there with numbers and showing the buildings as to which building was which. It was not comprehensible and for someone for example me who is weak at directions, how would they read that map. And for uneducated, it is absolutely of no use. There was no direction on the way. So we had to keep asking people on the way.
The most surprising and the most shocking thing there was what I saw at the entrance of one of the ministries. “Kripaya Tebul mathi nabisi dinu hola” (please do not sit on top of the table). After reading this, I was like what is this written. May be I misunderstood it or something and told my friend also to read that and even he was shocked to read that. How can an office as big as ministry can have request like that. That is something which everyone should understand and if we need to tell people not to sit on the table, we can imagine what kind of people are there in our country who would sit on the table that is also in a ministry. If the halat of our ministries is like this, what can be expected from our state, the sole authority responsible for all the citizens?? How can people here be well off when there are so many (literally so so so many) flaws in the government???
We were talking to one of the officials in a ministry, he asked another person about “beruji”, (similar to embezzlement). He said, “Hamro 4 crore ko beruji ke bhayo? , 4 crore ma nai chha ki 1 crore bhayo” He was saying that candidly giving me an impression these kind of activities were too common there. Then he called someone probably his boss saying, “Sir, malai ta dherai nai pressure aayo, 15 jana ko sato 18-19 jana lai nai pathau nu parchha jasto chha…. 1-2 lakh ma mantralayas bata milai dinchhun” Sometime I feel sorry for some people who are working inside the mantralayas. A few may be genuine but the pressure from relatives, from those above and from public is so great that they are bound to do some kind of “dhadali” and they are caught up so badly that it is too difficult to get out of this trap. And this gives rise to corruption embedding it more instead of eradicating it.
Then we took an opportunity to visit a NVC. Most people might not even be aware of this centre. It is National Vigilance Centre which was formed in 2002 under Prime Minister GP Koirala under the Corruption control act 2002 to oversee the corrupt objectives. Objectives and functions of NVC are as follows extracted from its official website.Objective The main objective of NVC is to effectively control corruption-related activities and raise people’s awareness against corruption. Functions, Duties and PowersThe NVC is entrusted with the following functions, duties and powers:
|To collect information on whether or not the functions of Ministries, Departments and Public Institutions of the government are properly conducted and to alert them if not;|
|(b)||To monitor statements of property and income declared by persons assuming public office;|
|(c)||To conduct surveillance, surprise audits and inspections in corruption prone places or works;|
|(d)||To make recommendations to Government with regard to policies, strategies and law reforms for corruption control;|
|(e)||To ask Ministries, Departments and other Public Institutions to put up a complaint box to deal with public grievances and advise or direct them on matters related to corruption prevention;|
|(f)||To collect and update information from bodies or authorities empowered to investigate corruption and to share corruption related information with them;|
|(g)||To conduct or cause to be conducted other incidental functions with regard to corruption control;|
|(h)||To conduct technical audits of infrastructure projects; and|
|(i)||To conduct or cause to be conducted other functions prescribed by His Majesty’s Government.|
We recently had presentation about NVC in the class so wanted to see the centre out of our curiosity. There were hardly three people in the office. It was too small. One was working in the computer. We asked for the booklet of NVC but one official, who was just sitting maybe helping one working in the computer with something, told us that there is a very limited copy and he would provide us with only one. But later what came in his mind that he gave us two. When we asked about the latest activities that NVC is doing, he was telling us generally what NVC’s functions were. They were so relaxed and so laid back. They said that information about NVC was there in the website but if you visit NVC’s website it is not even updated.
By the way how would they even update it and how would he even answer our question when they have done nothing? The office vested with so much of power is so powerless in the sense that they were not using power. This office is supposed to be the most powerful and the most active ironically in our country it is not and is the most relaxed office.
Corruption is so rife in our country. Every one knows about this and it is usually the public institutions, government offices that this is like so acceptable act that nobody wants to go against corrupt people. NVC which has so been vested with so much of power that it could go against any official but it simply doesn’t care to do so. It is all because of nepotism, natawad, kripawad that is too ubiquitous in our country, and people here are too passive and think about themselves only.
The problem in our ministry is not the system or anything I think. Until or unless there are genuine people and until and unless there is a change in people’s attitudes, nothing’s going to work here. Whether there be democracy, or so called loktantra or whatever, nothing is going to change for better if people are not conscious, if the government officials are not honest, genuine and seriously think about our country and people. Places like ministries need active, vibrant and dedicated people who possess the value of integrity. There has to be a fair competition and fair selection of officials.
When corruption is in full circle, it is a herculean task to better the situations here. After visiting ministries I felt so miserable that our ministries and people’s attitudes are like this. If we really need to build NEW NEPAL, then one or two honest people cannot do anything. That is 100% sure. First and foremost, the officials in whole ministries have to be changed. The setting is so frustrating that even people who have integrity will become like that if they do not get support. There should be entry of whole new generation of people with high energy level who can work with dedication and who possess the value of integrity.
Only then new
Nepal is possible otherwise only thing that can happen in this country is corruption and more violence and more injustice until the country gets collapsed. So we have advocate for new leaders, young dedicated leaders. We may not know many of young leaders at present but let’s support the youth leaders in colleges and campuses and let’s start a campaign. Let’s do it. Only we youth can do it. The need of the hour is that of youthful people who are not “ekohore” and not talking BIG but the simple dedicated people who have patience and have that zeal to do something.
We might be thinking that Prachanda and his gang will walk the walk but analysing the situations in the country it seems that these Maos are also only for the seats in the parliament. After all, everyone’s got the vested interest. So until and unless there is a transformation at the individual level, nothing’s going to change. No matter, how many times people fight for loktantra or gana tantra or any tantra or no tantra, situations will remain the same. Only thing that will happen is like there will be more hatred, more intolerance and more riots and more disintegration. So it is time that we raise and rise and work collectively.