Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Blind people

We know that value system is a collection of rules, principles, standards by which we live our life or the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group. They teach us equality, honesty, truthfulness, hard work, discipline, perseverance, concern for others, punctuality, simplicity, loyalty, conservation of the environment and many other concepts. We learn these values through experience of life and through quality education. Parents as well as teachers can instill these values in children through their own behaviors. These values give us a sense of community and a sense of identity as a nation. They not only make us successful but also help us to live a fulfilled and happy life. Although value system is based on logic and real things, they are already well defined in religious scriptures. Running one’s life without values is like a ship without a compass. Sadly over the last few decades we have been witnessing a huge moral degradation, erosion of social, cultural, economic values, waywardness, corruption and chaos in our lives. Take for instance food adulteration. Every now and then we see reports on food adulteration, from milk to edible oil, butter and ghee, fruit juices and the use of other contaminants and harmful chemicals for improving the look and the size of fruit, vegetables, etc and other contaminated products which are unhygienic. We know how harmful they are? Today nobody can give us any guarantee that our food items are not adulterated. The price haggling, duplicate materials in plastic, garments, electronics, etc are common in our markets. The game between the customer and the seller should have been win-win in which both should become happy. The common people too have very little consumer awareness. We neither demand proper receipts from shopkeepers nor do we have any knowledge of consumer courts. Health department is one the most vital organs on which the whole society rests especially in this part of the world where the people are poor. We are aware of the supply of spurious drugs and substandard antibiotic injections in our hospitals/clinics. Reportedly there is a nexus between drug companies and doctors who benefit substantially in cash or kind for prescribing a drug made by a particular company, even when cheaper or better alternatives are available. Who should we blame for the promotion of sub-standard and spurious drugs in our markets? The understanding between diagnostic centers, nursing homes and the doctors, the kickbacks, the unwanted tests, must-caesarean culture, etc is a curse prevalent in our society. Sir William Osler, who is regarded as father of modern medicine, made a prophetic statement in1905, when we had no powerful drugs of today: “One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicines.” Today, our government hospitals are a shambles. A common man feels insulted to go to government hospitals. And why shouldn’t he? Because we see mostly junior doctors and interns attending the serious and sensitive patients and doing all jobs in the hospitals while the senior doctors are missing. We also see our doctors attending hundreds of patients in early hours at their private clinics and then refreshing for the day in the government hospitals, to get ready for the evening shifts. Under these circumstances can we expect better work at the hospitals? Unfortunately our commercial interests have thrown away our ethical and humanistic issues into the air and the Hippocratic Oath appears to have lost its relevance. It appears that the poor people have no option but to drink water and pray to God. Indeed we are today living in a time very much different than that of before. Every time we read newspapers, there are flashes of scandals, rapes, frauds, embezzlements and violence. Every person does what is easiest, not what is right and try to create their own world. Our people have become very selfish and looking out for themselves alone, since there is no sense of community. The dominating desire to pursue material wealth and other tangible things that provide us physical comforts have made us blind and we have ignored the cardinal principals of life. The crisis have taken up such a magnitude that if serious efforts are not made to check it, then the whole system is likely to collapse.