Saturday, October 24, 2015

Month on, AIIMS yet to withdraw whistleblower's donated money

One month after former Chief Vigilance Officer of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Magsaysay award winner Sanjiv Chaturvedi donated the entire award money to AIIMS for treatment of poor patients, the money has not been transferred to the AIIMS account. Instead, the institute administration has sought the health ministry's directions, something Chaturvedi says is not done in case of donations by private individuals.
The award was conferred on August 31 and the award money amounted to $30,000 (about Rs 19.9 lakh at the exchange rate prevailing that day). On September 21, Chaturvedi wrote to AIIMS director Dr MC Misra stating that he was pledging the money "for providing financial assistance for treatment of poor patients, particularly those affected by cancer". He gave a cheque amounting to Rs 14.23 lakh after depositing advance income tax of Rs 5.63 lakh on the award money.
On September 22, deputy director, AIIMS administration, V Srinivas, wrote to joint secretary Ali Rizvi in the health ministry enclosing Chaturvedi's letter to the director. "May I request you to examine the proposal under extent (sic) rules and advise the institute on the further course of action," stated Srinivas. He added that the cheque had been sent to the medical superintendent with the request that he ought "to await government directions in this regard".
On October 20, Chaturvedi wrote to Dr Misra pointing out that the award money donated by him had not been withdrawn from his account. "This is particularly unfortunate as in no other case of any similar donation, by a private individual, the matter was ever referred to the ministry," stated Chaturvedi, adding that the ministry was sitting over the issue for the last one month.
"I know that you and the establishment is annoyed with me because of exposing various corruption cases, involving well connected institute functionaries, but I had never expected that this would come in the way of even such issues which are purely humanitarian ones," stated the letter. TOI's attempts to get a response from Dr Misra and Rizvi elicited no reaction.
Our politicians and bureaucrats are so used to dealing in black money that when white money comes to them, they are nonplussed as what to do with it. If it had been black money, it would have been deposited in various banks by now but white money??
What to do - Mr. Modi or Mr Jaitley.
The original article may be read at;postID=1002219489577858223

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