Showing posts from March, 2015

Hotels and Resorts Today, the battle for political supremacy in Nagaland is being fought in hotels and resorts. Who is gaining out of this turmoil? Who else but the owners of the hotels and resorts! One wonders how much the bills have amounted to. I am sure the hotels are making profit much more than the Hornbill festival days because the guests this time are all VIPs and it has definitely been longer than many Hornbills put together. Hotel bills are not the primary concern of the present political upheaval. But the main purpose which drove our elected representatives to these camps is as idiotic as being concerned for the hotel bills. There were charges of kidnappings and house-arrests, not in some shabby hideout, but in the fanciest hotels in the State. There were instances of ditching camps and the name of a certain legislator has become a verb to refer to such acts. The idiocy continued when they came back and sang ‘How Great Thou Art’ in their ho

Enabling environment I am writing this from Chandigarh where I have been attending a two weeks training. I’m learning that there is so much to be done back home in Nagaland. I have been equipped and inspired. But will I get the support when I come back to put in practice what I have learned? Many Naga students coming out of colleges and universities from across the world may have similar dreams. But on coming home they meet with roadblock after roadblocks that in a short time they become frustrated and give up. And on this trip, I have come across and heard stories of Naga doctors who have passed out from the best medical institutions and are longing to come back and serve the people. But they know that they will be seriously handicapped when they come to the situation we are in. If our own folks hesitate to come home to work, it is very unlikely that we expect other people to come and deliver health care or any other service to our people. Now, s

Who will pay for health care? (Guest Editorial 2)

For Morung Express newspaper Editorial About 78% of all health care expenditures in India are paid from the patients’ pocket. It is estimated that about 2% of households fall into poverty every year because of paying medical bills. Government spends only about 1.2 % of its GDP on Health which is among the lowest in the world (less than Afghanistan and Sierra Leon). Union Budget for 2015-16 shows that there isn’t going to be any change in the coming year too, much to the disappointment of many health activists. On the other hand, there has been constant talk about Health for All, MDGs, accessible and affordable health care, comprehensive primary health care, and so on. But anyone who has visited any health institution for consultation knows that medical care is not cheap. So, how do we make sense of all this high sounding words and phrases when contrasted with ground reality? In the midst of discussion about fund leakage and mismanagement, it is true without a doubt th

…of the same material (Guest Editorial 1)

Guest Editorial for Morung Express newpaper An office peon steals milk powder from the office refreshment. A politician diverts fund from a poverty alleviation scheme to build his private mansion. Of the two, who did more wrong? The office peon harps about how corrupt our politicians have become. We agree. But how different are we from the ones we are pointing fingers at?  A friend asked me why we blame our leaders all the time when we ourselves are corrupt. I replied that it is right and valid that we blame them. A politician and a peon are both individual human beings. But by virtue of their positions and spheres of influence, it is important that we have clean leaders. One decision or action of a single politician can affect thousands or lakhs of lives which is not so in case of the peon. The scale of corruption - of some milk powder lost and lakhs of scheme money lost - is so different. A good leader can motivate a lot of people through exemplary living and creating o


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