What can we learn from Mauritius government employees?

I wanted to share this highly positive personal experience which we had with the government employees in Mauritius. My wife is from Mauritius and we went on a 2 week holiday to Mauritius. My wife’s Mauritian passport was expiring soon and if she did not have her passport renewed she could not come back into UK. My wife had decided that she will get her passport renewed in Mauritius and she estimated that it will take 2 days to get it. She had not checked any of these details and the reality was it would take more than 2 weeks for the whole process . So we land in Mauritius and then we go to renew her passport. There are only 3 documents required, 1 is a proof of address, 2 is her old mauritian id card and 3 our wedding certificate to update her marital status.  My wife had the telephone bill in her name, so 1 sorted and  2 documents to go.

Mauritian id card

My wife’s Mauritian id card was happily resting in the UK and it was quite likely to have expired because all citizens were being given new id cards. So we went to the id card office, we were told we need the old card or a letter from the police saying the old card is lost or stolen.

Police station

Next stop is police station, we explained the situation, the policeman immediately wrote a receipt and gave it to us. No bribes, no recommendations, no questions, no waiting, it was done straightaway.

Marriage office

We did not have our wedding certificate either. We went to the marriage office, explained the situation, obviously everything is computerised, so they found the certificate and we had a copy given to us within minutes. 2nd document done.

Mauritian id card office- part 2

We were back with the police receipt. They did not make us wait in the queue again and took us straight in. They took the application form and said it usually takes 8 to 10 days for a new card. We didn’t have that much time. The officer aware of the situation assured us that he will do his best to get it sorted within 5 days. We were still worried about the time scales for getting the passport. The officer said he has a friend in the passport office, he will speak to him and get it sorted. The officer even gave us his direct number to contact if there was any problem.

So we waited 5 days and the the id card came. The id card officer sent us to the passport office and said he has already spoken to his friend and we can go straight down to the office.

Passport office

We waited to see this person, then when we saw him, he took our documents for processing and we were asked to come back on the saturday before we were going to fly out. We went back and collected the passport. It usually takes 5 days at least but they did if for us in 2 days.

What happened next is unbelievable

We were so pleased and ever so grateful for these people. We took a thank you card and a box of chocolate each for both the officers. Both of them refused to take it and said it will be considered as a bribe. We never knew these officers beforehand and they still helped us. These officers helped us without any expectations even though we were pretty unorganised and they went beyond their jobs to help us out. I was in awe seeing something like this. But then my wife said 1 thing ” Generally Mauritian people are nice and they are happy to help each other”. No wonder they were not expecting anything.

In a million years I don’t believe that this will happen in Indian government offices. Their people were kind, approachable and grounded. Hats off to all those Mauritian public servants and Mauritian Government. All the offices were in 1 place, so it was more convenient and no time was lost in travelling between offices. All offices have CCTV cameras installed to prevent any sort of malpractice happening in the office.

Take home message for Indian government servants – If you do your job by getting bribes you only get curses along with the money  but if you do your job without expectations, you get blessings for it and that’s the greatest gift you can ever get.

Good Luck India.

Are we ready to get rid of corruption?


corruption logo




Every Indian who wants India to prosper and become a successful nation feels that getting rid of corruption is the only solution for that. Of course I agree but are we ready to get rid of corruption? Do we understand what a corrupt free India will be like? There is an old saying that if you point a finger at somebody remember that the rest of the fingers of your hand are pointing towards you. This is a blog for those people who point fingers at others and don’t realise that the rest of the fingers are pointing towards them.

So what does Corruption mean? These are some of the definitions which I found on the web

1.      Lack of integrity or honesty, use of a position of trust for dishonest gain

2.      Inducement by improper means to violate duty

3.      The process of decay

My blog is focussed on the 3rd definition, we as a culture are so used to corruption that we don’t realise that our culture, attitude is in the process of decay.

Now, let’s look at some of the day to day examples which we will come across in a corrupt free India.

1.      We have to pay the right amount of tax, be honest with our taxes, if we don’t the hand of law is much bigger, so we will be penalised for it.

2.      Imagine this scenario, rich kid drives dad’s car without a license, kills somebody on the road, walks away from it and the dad finds a poor man and makes him to take the blame and the son walks free. In a corrupt free India this kid will have to be prosecuted. This story is about Chris Huhne an MP in the UK who was sent to jail, it’s an interesting read http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21737627.

3.      You cannot drink and drive, you have to take a taxi home or arrange a friend (who has not had any alcohol) to drop you back home. This applies for all the road traffic offenses like not wearing a helmet, not wearing a seat belt, driving whilst talking on a mobile phone and most importantly have to give a proper test to get a driving license etc.

4.      You cannot drive an unlicensed auto or taxi

5.      You cannot bribe a customs officer and bring things into the country for which you should have paid customs duty.

6.      You cannot get a fake medical/sickness certificate

7.      You cannot get false reports on investigations, forensics, autopsy reports

8.      You cannot get a loan if you are not eligible for 1 even if your bank manager is your blood relative

9.      You cannot jump queues or cut corners because you know a politician or an influential person. This applies to influential persons as well just because you are in power doesn’t mean that you get priority. This is very commonly seen in our temples where celebrities and people of power have a special line for themselves.

10.   You fail to pay a bill you have to pay the specified penalty and not get away by bribing the officer.

11.   Your kid who is not good at studies can’t get a seat in a good school/college through a recommendation from a politician, they have to sit through the exams and get admitted in school/college if they are successful.

12.   Public officials have to work their standard hours of work and have to be doing official work when at work. They will also have to complete work at the stipulated time.

13.   Can’t use government vehicle for personal reasons

14.   Hospital staff can’t sell medicines to Local pharmacies at a cheaper price and you can’t buy cheaper medications which should have been given to the poor people.

15.   All government employees will be accountable for their work and if they don’t the organisation is responsible for it including handling people’s complaints.

16.   Can’t smuggle government supplies ranging from a simple pen to building materials for personal use.

17.   Street shops should be only in legitimate places and can’t bribe the police and get away from it.

18.   MP’s either Lok sabha or Rajya Sabha would have to attend parliament and cannot get away with poor attendance.

19.   Businesses have to comply with health and safety regulations which would automatically reduce their profit.

20.   Judiciary cannot be bribed to get favourable verdicts.

21.   Politicians who are corrupt and convicted will not get special treatment and celebrities will not be able to openly support a corrupted politician blaming political vendetta.

22.   You can’t have black money in real estate transactions.

23.   Politicians or celebrities can’t set up properties or companies in your name (no benami names)

24.   Common man will not get money, alcohol, biryani during election time. Election funding will have to be made public.

25.   There won’t be cheap labour in India as everybody in the system will have a minimum wage and they have to pay tax and will get all employee rights as any other job.

26.   Consumers will have better consumer rights and if you sell faulty stuff you are accountable for it.

This is just a simple snapshot of our day to day lives in a corrupt free world.  “You” in this blog refers to the common man who is against corruption and is part of corruption. I know that every common man would like to live in a corrupt free world but they have to realise that they are part of the corruption and their attitudes and culture has to change if they want to get rid of corruption.

So we need to ask the question again – Are we ready to get rid of corruption? May be the answer makes more sense this time.