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Escaping from under the table.

More than ` 40 crore assets for a clerk drawing ` 40,000 per month can motivate any youth to aspire to be a government servant. It seems to be the safest route to chase your dream of billions.

The wealth accumulated by the grade II employee in Madhya Pradesh sounds way too disproportionate to his known source of income, but that did not strike any of his acquaintances till the Lokayukta Police decided to pay him a visit. Billionaire Arjundas Lalwani must have been envied by his neighbours and peers for owning a dozen shops in prime areas, besides five houses, flats and other investments.

Today, he is finding it difficult to explain where he accumulated such huge amount of wealth from, but the question may not have bothered him when he was actually minting that money.

Lalwani is not unique. He's only " unlucky" to have come to the notice of the anti- corruption agency. Many other government officers continue to thrive without being questioned for their unprecedented wealth. It may not be discussed publicly, but " income from other sources" continues to lure a number of youths to sarkari naukri . Financial security, post- retirement benefits and other facilities are reasons enough for the middle class to seek government jobs, but there are many who look at such openings as an easy way to make upri mdani (' special benefits').

This confidence to engage in corrupt practices comes as much from poor monitoring by government agencies as from the reluctance of friends and family to speak against it.

Corruption starts when people go out of their way to please an officer appointed to provide them different services. It grows when others choose to accept the illegal incomes as " perks of the job". But it becomes a " motivating factor" for unemployed youths when corrupt officers prosper, unafraid and unrestrained.

Moving away from the cult of corruption will require the vocal efforts of everyone, from govt officers to family members

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 8, 2013
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