When Government of Nepal (GoN) does not mobile the money deposited in the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund to relieve the landslide victims of Sunkoshi, the inefficiency of our government speaks for itself. A month past the landslide, there has been no relief program whatsoever from the Government; neither has there been any clarification on why the fund is staying idle.
Natural disasters strike elsewhere as well. But when they do, the governments at least makes some relief effort. Following the Jammu and Kashmir flooding, Modi was quoted as saying, “Don’t celebrate my birthday, instead help in J&K relief work”. It all depends on the choice that the government makes.
Let’s consider following scenario
Say, you have 3.4 lakhs in the bank and say the following things happened in your family:
- Your younger sister slipped in the bathroom as she was bathing and broke her leg. She is crying in great pain.
- Your boss thinks you are an invaluable asset to the office. He is coming over to see you today. He might just hand you a promotion today.
- Your parents are migrant workers. You are supposed to admit your sister to a nice college, which you have not been able to find some time for. Fearing panic, you mention nothing of the accident to your parents.
- After hearing of the accident, your friends are offering to help. They are giving you some money in this difficult time.
- You know the medical expenses will be less than 0.4 lakhs – which is the immediate cost for relief.
- You don’t have the best of relations with your sister. You were supposed to admit her to a college some 6 years ago, but you used the money from your parents to enjoy on your own. You think she cannot lead a responsible life herself and control all her finances. She does not trust you.
So here are a few things you can do in the short run:
- Treat your sister immediately: call an ambulance and run for the hospital immediately.Your boss can come some other day.This might re-build your relationship with her.*
- Send your sister in the ambulance and attend your boss. This way she will be treated but your relationship remains the same.*
- Ignore her crying, go and convince her that nothing has happened even if you see her leg in two pieces. You could buy a new Pulsar 220 with the bank balance instead.
- Ignore her completely.
(* will cost you money, your bank balance will decrease)
In addition you have the following constraints in the long run:
- You have to make your parents happy so that there is no panic in the family.
- You have to manage your sisters’ education so that she is successful in life later.
Now let’s go back to the main story. If I were the Government of Nepal,here is what my sister’s accident would look like
- My sister would be the landslide victims of Sunkoshi who NEED immediate relief
- My bank account would be the Prime-minister’s disaster relief fund. 3.4 Lakhs would shoot up to 34 Crores
- My parents would signify the international society as a whole
- My boss would signify the head of donor agencies (Or Modi who visited recently?) that fund a significant amount of the fiscal budget of the country
- Education would signify the constitution and the economic prospect of the country.
- The relationship with my sister would signify the relationship the Government shares with the citizens of Nepal.The postponement of education is the same as the postponing of the constitution.
- My friends would be the corporate institutions which donated to the relief fund.
What is GoN doing at present? The government could do 3.2 if not 3.1. But it is not even doing that.The closest answer seems to be 3.4.
All governments do not have to be incompetent by default, but the actions of GoN leaves room for some serious criticism, more importantly, if simple things like this cannot be done, what more are we to expect?